May 16, 2010

Vehicle of [the] Day.

Seen on Willy Street in Madison:

DSC09916

DSC09917

I love the intimate contact with the road:

DSC09919

And the American Flag.

It's all so basic and elemental.

26 comments:

Pastafarian said...

Is that thing street-legal?

If it is, then why does any new vehicle I could purchase have to have emissions controls and 3-point harnesses and air bags and crumple zones to pass elaborate collision tests?

traditionalguy said...

That delivery truck must be for dirty and oganic things like plants, but any speed over 20 mph would blow them away. So it must be used for a nursery farm on site, but it can go to town when empty. Every road bump and crack will be felt by the stick shift driver big time. Maybe he only goes into town with it to visit the Chiropracter.( No Crack, I do not believe in Chiropracters).

edutcher said...

Agree with Pasta. In Pennsylvania, at least when I lived there (no idea how things have deteriorated since Rendell's been gov), that thing wouldn't have made it past the first stop sign.

You really are that liberal up there, aren't you?

traditionalguy said...

The big city rules that regulate motor vehicles seem to pass the Georgia Legislature with an exemption for Farm trucks and Farm machinery. I bet Wisconsin has a similar blind spot set aside for for agricultural interests.

Expat(ish) said...

There is generally a whole set of exemptions for pre-Unleaded and pre-Catalytic vehicles. I'm guessing this is a mid-sixties Vanagon, so you can probably do any dang thing you want with it.

This is one reason why old cars with title have a basic value. If you pulled the VIN and enough metal off a 49 Ford and put it on your Focus you could run it with a truck diesel engine and no fenders.

Of course if he hits anything larger than a small dog he's toast. (Did anyone see a seatbelt?)

-XC

oldirishpig said...

All I could think of was "Talk about your air-cooled engine."

chuckR said...

If Ralph Nader sees that thing, he'll have the vapors.

Methadras said...

How is this even structurally sound?

JAL said...

It appears to have once been a late 50s early 60s VW Microbus.

Our family bought one in 1957. Only Brand New Car my father ever had. I have driven and ridden many miles in one.

And yes. It is truly an air cooled engine. I think the chassis has been shortened (although I cannot figure out why). Our had the front bench seat, a second seat and a third seat, behind which was the luggage section -- elevated above the 36 HP (my VW bug was 24, I think) engine.

I can't quite figure out where they all fit in this machine. Mmmm. Does not seem logical to have cut it down, so maybe the wheelbase is the original ....

My dad and brother later put a Corvair flat engine in a "newer" used 1963 VW bus. The family and a neighbor went across the country in 1967 in it. Now that was a trip. :-)

Theo Boehm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kimsch said...

Word verification:

nenedne

A good name for this vehicle.

dick said...

Copied this to a friend of mine and this is his response:

Most jurisdictions I'm familiar with only require that a vehicle meet the requirements extant when built. I'm not familiar with every jurisdiction...
My former US Army 1954 M38A1 jeep is not required to have seat belts, doors, top, nor turn signals. The one quirk in Kansas law is that if the vehicle *ever* had seatbelts installed, even say, 10 years after first hitting the road, it must always have seat belts. You can't back-date that one particular feature.
Of course, my jeep also mounts a M20 75mm Recoilless Rifle, so law enforcement usually pulls me over just to ogle the ordnance.

John of Argghhh!
(www.thedonovan.com)

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

I'm reasonably confident it's a '64 with some other tail-lights scabbed onto the back. I drove one for a number of years, and we named it 'Boomer' -- Aussie slang for a kangaroo. It made my time in a Transtar II (old cab-over semi tractor) seem smooth and tranquil by comparison.

The #3 cylinder on those things was always burning out owing to its location adjacent to the oil cooler. I carried a spare, since you could replace the cylinders individually.

Great urban vehicle. 300 miles south of the Arctic Circle ... maybe not such a good idea. But that was a long time ago.

Mr. D said...

Willy Street hasn't changed a bit.

Kirk Parker said...

JAL,

"My dad and brother later put a Corvair flat engine in a 'newer' used 1963 VW bus."

How did you manage to get enough cooling?

Big Mike said...

So this is what got you and Meade interested in buying VW wagon, Professor?

Kirby Olson said...

The early VW busses had a gas tank that only held about 8 gallons.

Then there was an emergency tank that got you about another mile or two.

I like the vehicle. It should be the official vehicle of the Tea Party.

former law student said...

The dash clock alone is worth $130.

http://images.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/pix/3199511.jpg

I thought the old buses had Porsche engines. They were a bitch to drive in a crosswind.

The VW bus inspired the Big Three to make vans BTW.

David said...

This is not a vehicle.

It's the US economy after leg two of the financial crisis.

And you thought it was over . . . .

I mean YOU, Pelosi, Reid and Obama.

David said...

FLS sez: "The VW bus inspired the Big Three to make vans BTW."

FLS, there are numerous antecedents of the "van" in America automaking history: the panel truck, the pickup truck, the station wagon, the hatchback. Even American auto executives were able to grasp the idea of a box on wheels.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Yeah, and anyone who's ever driven an F-4 will tell you about putting a box on wings. With a big enough set of engines you can even make a brick fly.

Kev said...

That thing looks like the result of crossbreeding a VW bus with a golf cart (possibly with some flatbed DNA thrown in there).

Re the "intimate contact with the road": If you needed a bit more power, someone in the passenger seat could help out, Fred Flintstone-style.

wv: bashn. You wouldn't want to be bashn into anything in that vehicle.

Skookum John said...

Ah, the VW bus. Quite possibly the most unsafe vehicle in a front-end collision that has ever been built.

former law student said...

FLS, there are numerous antecedents of the "van" in America automaking history: the panel truck, the pickup truck, the station wagon, the hatchback

When you don't know what you're talking about, you're not required to post. Especially because the first Detroit hatchback came out in 1970, nine years after the first Detroit van -- the rear-engined VW bus-inspired Corvair Van.

C Black said...

My favorite part of the post is the (accidental?) title: "Vehicle of Day". In my mind this inspires a poetic principle of time (and it's passage) as the transportation to all the experiences we think of as our "life" manifested in this old re-configured automobile. Or maybe the headlights just don't work. That's prob'ly it.

Palladian said...

"Ah, the VW bus. Quite possibly the most unsafe vehicle in a front-end collision that has ever been built."

But it had a novel, organic safety feature: using the driver's legs as the first line of defense in a front-end collision! That has to count for something.