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(Boing Boing)   Volkswagen to end production of the Microbus. In other news, Volkswagen is still making the Microbus   (boingboing.net) divider line 87
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7558 clicks; posted to Main » on 26 Aug 2013 at 2:25 AM (33 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-08-26 09:14:35 AM
"A friendly gesture for us to take the garbage down to the city dump. So
We took the half a ton of garbage, put it in the back of a red VW
Microbus, took shovels and rakes and implements of destruction and headed
On toward the city dump. "
 
2013-08-26 09:15:32 AM
I had a 1964 VW Camper/Bus for almost 10 years. It's dangerous in front, basically you are sitting forward of the front wheels. You tend to drive more carefully.
 
2013-08-26 09:46:52 AM
About time. It just had too many parts and took too long to assemble.

cache.lego.com
 
2013-08-26 09:54:40 AM
lh4.googleusercontent.com
 
2013-08-26 09:54:55 AM

Delay: I had a 1964 VW Camper/Bus for almost 10 years. It's dangerous in front, basically you are sitting forward of the front wheels. You tend to drive more carefully.


We've got an '82 Vanagon/Adventurewagon and I can vouch for this.

OTOH, the driver's arrangement (seat/steering wheel/visibility/etc) make it the most comfortable vehicle to drive that I've tried in nearly 50 years of driving.

OTOOH, the lack of power, lack of AC, lack of cruise control, and lack of nearly any salient safety features seem to offset that on cross-country trips.
 
2013-08-26 10:04:35 AM

TomD9938: Never cared for the passenger van, but I wish I could get one of VWs cargo vans here.

Since the Astro went away, there's no decent mid-size van (with actual truck properties) available here in the U.S., thanks to the great European / U.S. Chicken wars.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_tax


There is nothing stopping any car company from making a vehicle like that here. Nothing at all.
 
2013-08-26 10:14:54 AM
My parents had a 64 bus that we (a family of 10 - I'm the youngest) all piled into.
 
2013-08-26 10:18:01 AM

lack of warmth: TomD9938: Never cared for the passenger van, but I wish I could get one of VWs cargo vans here.

Since the Astro went away, there's no decent mid-size van (with actual truck properties) available here in the U.S., thanks to the great European / U.S. Chicken wars.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_tax

Check out Ford Transit Connect, Chevy City Express or Ram ProMaster which is hitting the market right now.  One of those are likely to fill your needs.  I find it funny that Dodge's smaller cargo truck is just a panel version of the Caravan.  It still has the drink holders for the rear passengers even though the seats are gone and the floor is changed.


Are they rebadgin Ducato as Ram ProMaster? Bwahahah. Enjoy your plastics folks. And no option for the MultiJet engine but instead some crappy Iveco block? B**** please, failvan has arraived.
 
2013-08-26 10:28:35 AM

TuteTibiImperes: TomD9938: Never cared for the passenger van, but I wish I could get one of VWs cargo vans here.

Since the Astro went away, there's no decent mid-size van (with actual truck properties) available here in the U.S., thanks to the great European / U.S. Chicken wars.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_tax

The Ford Transit Connect is a nice cargo van if you need one, if you want something bigger the full size Transit should be hitting lots next year.


The thing about the Transit for personal use is that it screams:  "I've got a crap-load of tools and stuff in me!  Break into me and steal them!"
 
2013-08-26 10:34:25 AM

Ramsay: lack of warmth: TomD9938: Never cared for the passenger van, but I wish I could get one of VWs cargo vans here.

Since the Astro went away, there's no decent mid-size van (with actual truck properties) available here in the U.S., thanks to the great European / U.S. Chicken wars.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicken_tax

Check out Ford Transit Connect, Chevy City Express or Ram ProMaster which is hitting the market right now.  One of those are likely to fill your needs.  I find it funny that Dodge's smaller cargo truck is just a panel version of the Caravan.  It still has the drink holders for the rear passengers even though the seats are gone and the floor is changed.

Are they rebadgin Ducato as Ram ProMaster? Bwahahah. Enjoy your plastics folks. And no option for the MultiJet engine but instead some crappy Iveco block? B**** please, failvan has arraived.


What about the Mercedes Sprinter ? bonus: It's a diesel. Never understood why Ford Doesn't import the diesel Transit in North America.


DarkVader: Ugh.  Those things are CRAP.

Seriously dangerously underpowered, they shouldn't have been allowed on the road in the '60s, let alone now.

And who could forget the magnesium engine block?  Once that thing catches on fire, there is no putting it out.


Yes, throughout the 50s, 60s, and 70s there was a rash of VW microbuses being rear-ended by faster-moving traffic. Or not.
And the secret, I believe, was to not catch fire. Most people succeeded quite well at this.


dittybopper: Snapper Carr: Bring back the Thing Kubelwagen.


You want one of these
 
2013-08-26 11:19:18 AM
'70 VW Bus, 1800cc engine. Had to use one of those hairdryer-type units running out of the cigarette lighter to defrost the window in the winter. Loved that thing. Once, me and about six of my idiot friends went to a concert in a city about seventy miles away on a very cold winter night. I kept several sheets of cardboard in the back to disguise our "innocent activities". Halfway there, I smell smoke. Right on top of where the gas tank was, those fools had made a fire out of the cardboard.

I miss that old beast. Shoulda dropped a new motor in it...
 
2013-08-26 11:37:41 AM

redlegrick: I miss that old beast. Shoulda dropped a new motor in it...


You could have rebuilt the one you had on your kitchen table. Air-cooled VWs are so easy to fix even an idiot can do it.
 
2013-08-26 11:47:18 AM

Adolf Oliver Nipples: There is nothing stopping any car company from making a vehicle like that here. Nothing at all


I'm pretty sure the Astro got EPAed out of existence.  The new rules meant they needed to retool and they didnt sell enough of the passenger vans to justify doing so.

It was mentioned above that a beefier Transit was on the way (with a diesel) so I'm looking forward to that.
 
2013-08-26 11:56:46 AM
Didn't vw do the same thing just before the new beetle? IIRC they shut down the Mexico plants that were making the old style.
 
2013-08-26 12:36:22 PM

stonelotus: my first 4-wheeled vehicle was an orange 1974 minibus.


R.I.P.


Are you me? My first 'car' was an orange ex-Belgian post office bus. Not split screen but must have been early seventies at least. I got it when I passed my test in 82. I assumed I was going to crash a lot and wanted to be in something big. Of course now I realise the thing had zero front crash protection. Your knees were literally six inches and one thin layer of flimsy steel away from the impact, hence why they don't meet modern safety standards.
Thankfully I never ran into anything. Ran that thing for over a year without ever doing anything to the engine. Never bothered to check the oil or anything, the thing just ran.

/Not a hippie.
 
2013-08-26 12:36:52 PM
Back when I was learning to drive, my family had an orange '71 Microbus. My dad, always the gearhead, bolted in a six-cylinder Corvair powertrain using an available kit, and also managed to install the Corvair heater blower. That damn thing would do 90+ (peg the speedometer) if you dared. The heater worked pretty well once the engine warmed up. From the outside, the only way you could tell it wasn't stock was the Corvair cooling vents under the back bumper, and a crossmember that was part of the installation kit.

That old critter went all over the place, including trips to Utah and Colorado. It had no trouble marching up the mountains. Too bad it got a terminal case of Road Salt Cancer. I still miss that thing.

The shift lever for the Powerglide automatic was an unobtrusive knob under and to the right of the driver's seat. That made things interesting when someone else tried to drive it... and my driver's license examiner had trouble grasping the concept.
 
2013-08-26 12:56:52 PM

wingnut396: StopLurkListen: mithras_angel: Yes, but VW is supposed to be releasing a new edition of it in 2014 or 2015.

http://www.oriautocar.com/2014-vw-microbus/

"A sticker price of $30,000 would be necessary to compete, but we expect it to be closer to $40,000."

[450x302 from http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m4i8brl8wB1qg3muyo1_500.gif image 450x302]

It looks like a slightly taller Golf.  WTF is the point?  VW jumped off the van-wagon when they badge engineered Grand Caravans for some dumb-ass reason.


Only for the US. They decided their own minivan, the Sharan, wasn't suitable for the American market. It's too small. It's a good minivan by all accounts... but not available here. Same with the current version of the Transporter. (which is what the old microbus was originally called. They actually kept updating and redesigning it over the years, but quit selling it here in the US a while ago. The last version sold here was sold as the EuroVan here. They don't think there's a market for that, either... even though there's lots of folks clamoring for something similar to the old Astro and Aerostar cargo vans, and the Transporter would fill that bill exactly.
 
2013-08-26 01:04:03 PM
I used to have a '77 passenger bus.  It was one of my favorite cars to drive.  I loved the upright position of the seats and the nearly flat orientation of the steering wheel.  It was great on longer drives.  The '77 had a 2000cc fuel injected motor and it was actually pretty fast for being shaped like a giant loaf of bread.  I wish I had had the money at the time to rebuild the motor when it blew.
 
2013-08-26 01:11:58 PM

astroman05: I've never understood why VW didn't ever remake the microbuses.  They made money hand over fist for years off the New Beetle.  As a parent of young kids who can't be trusted to open swinging doors, I need a minivan.  If I could replace my generic looking van with a microbus, I'd be there in a heartbeat, screaming "Shut up and take my money".

For those who have dreamed about their very own westfalia camper, check out this thread (warning, very long) over at VWVortex about a guy who custom built one out of a eurovan.  It covers all the good and bad that comes with it, I found it very interesting.


Why did he build his own? VW made them, too. The EuroVan MV Weekender had a pop- up roof and everything.

jakrabit: Didn't vw do the same thing just before the new beetle? IIRC they shut down the Mexico plants that were making the old style.


No, they didn't. The New Beetle came out in 1998, and they continued production of the old one right alongside it until 2003. The reason they finally discontinued the old one was that Mexico City passed a regulation requiring all new taxicabs to have 4 doors. That was more than half of VW's market for the car, gone right there. The reason people bought it was because it was stupid cheap and stupid reliable. The reason it was stupid cheap was that the design and tooling costs for it had been paid off long ago, and redesigning it to have 4 doors would have also raised the price a whole bunch, eliminating the major reason it was still popular. And they didn't shut down the plant. They just started building different cars on that line. VW's plant in Pueblo, Mexico is gigantic, and most of their production for the North American market is done there.
 
2013-08-26 01:21:07 PM
How will Arlo haul away Alice's garbage now? Remember Alice?
 
2013-08-26 02:07:28 PM
I used to drive a '91 Vanagon while living in Miami... I'd be stopped on the daily by migrant workers offering me cash to buy it on the spot, on orders from their boss... I have no idea what was so attractive about my bus that a pickup truck couldn't achieve, but alas, the request came nevertheless.   

I probably put on 250,000 miles on the thing before literally coasting it into CarMax on a trade-in.
 
2013-08-26 02:08:17 PM

Greek: astroman05: I've never understood why VW didn't ever remake the microbuses.  They made money hand over fist for years off the New Beetle.  As a parent of young kids who can't be trusted to open swinging doors, I need a minivan.  If I could replace my generic looking van with a microbus, I'd be there in a heartbeat, screaming "Shut up and take my money".

For those who have dreamed about their very own westfalia camper, check out this thread (warning, very long) over at VWVortex about a guy who custom built one out of a eurovan.  It covers all the good and bad that comes with it, I found it very interesting.

Why did he build his own? VW made them, too. The EuroVan MV Weekender had a pop- up roof and everything.

jakrabit: Didn't vw do the same thing just before the new beetle? IIRC they shut down the Mexico plants that were making the old style.

No, they didn't. The New Beetle came out in 1998, and they continued production of the old one right alongside it until 2003. The reason they finally discontinued the old one was that Mexico City passed a regulation requiring all new taxicabs to have 4 doors. That was more than half of VW's market for the car, gone right there. The reason people bought it was because it was stupid cheap and stupid reliable. The reason it was stupid cheap was that the design and tooling costs for it had been paid off long ago, and redesigning it to have 4 doors would have also raised the price a whole bunch, eliminating the major reason it was still popular. And they didn't shut down the plant. They just started building different cars on that line. VW's plant in Pueblo, Mexico is gigantic, and most of their production for the North American market is done there.


Ah... thanks for the clarification.
 
2013-08-26 02:48:06 PM
My Dad loved Vanagons.  We had a 1980 and then a 1986.  Both were great for hauling whatever because they were square, but they were also slow.  And during the winter, they didn't produce any heat.  My Mom refused to go anywhere in it during the wintertime.  My Uncle still drives the 1986 around (what's left of it!).

/I'm still a VW owner
//03 Jetta GLI and 06 Touareg V6
 
2013-08-26 02:53:52 PM
In other words, it's toast.

images.thesamba.com
 
2013-08-26 03:07:15 PM
The new one looks like the Scion xb's gay cousin.
 
2013-08-26 04:09:09 PM

mithras_angel: Yes, but VW is supposed to be releasing a new edition of it in 2014 or 2015.

http://www.oriautocar.com/2014-vw-microbus/


Right, like hippies are gonna drive that.
 
2013-08-26 04:27:02 PM

sdd2000: "A friendly gesture for us to take the garbage down to the city dump. So
We took the half a ton of garbage, put it in the back of a red VW
Microbus, took shovels and rakes and implements of destruction and headed
On toward the city dump. "


I swear I cannot tell a lie. I put that envelope under that half-a-tonne of garbage....
 
2013-08-26 04:36:58 PM

Day_Old_Dutchie: Ed Grubermann: Day_Old_Dutchie: They're just the ticket if you've got a bunch of trash to pick up.with shovels 'n' rakes 'n' implements of destruction.

[224x194 from http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-VO0LANTjzek/T7EMvgUQRoI/AAAAAAAABL0/d0xirhHz 2lI/s400/GROUP%2BW%2BLOGO.jpg image 224x194]

NOW, KID!!


("KID, HAVE YOU REHABILITATED YOURSELF?")
 
2013-08-26 04:37:29 PM
As someone who daily-drives a '75 VW camper, I'm getting a kick out of some of these comments...

/YA RLY
//Subaru engine transplant FTW
 
2013-08-26 08:10:49 PM

DarkVader: Ugh.  Those things are CRAP.
And who could forget the magnesium engine block?  Once that thing catches on fire, there is no putting it out.


The engine block wouldn't have been so bad if it wasn't for the combination of crappy German rubber that would biodegrade audibly, and a fuel tank mounted up high over the transmission.

In other news, German rubber is still the worst rubber used on modern cars.  After a couple years it goes crumbly and gummy.
 
2013-08-26 08:14:34 PM
Fubegra

The shift lever for the Powerglide automatic was an unobtrusive knob under and to the right of the driver's seat.

I'm having trouble visualizing this.
It was UNDER the driver's seat, on the rightside of the seat ?
 
2013-08-26 09:16:53 PM

Third_Uncle_Eno: I'm having trouble visualizing this.
It was UNDER the driver's seat, on the rightside of the seat ?


Perhaps "below" rather than "under" would be a better word choice. Reach down to the side, close to the floor. The knob moved vertically, the pattern was:

R
N
D
L

No, there was no "Park" on a Corvair Powerglide; you pulled the handbrake instead.

Not that it matters anymore, the rust-ridden thing was sold to someone who wanted the powertrain for another Microbus.
 
2013-08-26 10:02:46 PM

WordsnCollision: In other words, it's toast.

[468x351 from http://images.thesamba.com/vw/gallery/pix/389921.jpg image 468x351]


WANT!
 
2013-08-26 10:13:23 PM

cynicalMFer: //Subaru engine transplant FTW


Yes...go on.

/has an engineless Westfalia gathering dust
 
2013-08-26 10:28:56 PM
Anyone want to bid on a 1978 Porsche 911 SC Targa 3.0 liter engine and tranny / brakes/ etc to transplant?
 
2013-08-26 10:32:04 PM

dweigert: Anyone want to bid on a 1978 Porsche 911 SC Targa 3.0 liter engine and tranny / brakes/ etc to transplant?


I always wanted a grenade...
 
2013-08-26 11:52:52 PM

Fubegra: Third_Uncle_Eno: I'm having trouble visualizing this.
It was UNDER the driver's seat, on the rightside of the seat ?

Perhaps "below" rather than "under" would be a better word choice. Reach down to the side, close to the floor. The knob moved vertically, the pattern was:

R
N
D
L

No, there was no "Park" on a Corvair Powerglide; you pulled the handbrake instead.

Not that it matters anymore, the rust-ridden thing was sold to someone who wanted the powertrain for another Microbus.


So it goes.
 
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