Saturday, May 12, 2007

Klaus the AutoBaus

Well, after a 13 year hiatus, I am back in the Volkswagen ownership game! A few weeks ago I picked up a 1966 VW Camper from a fellow up in Seattle. It is in fantastic shape for its age and I get compliments on it wherever I go. The bus rolled off the production line in Hannover Germany on December 16, 1965, part of the 1966 model year. It is one of the old version, split windshield transporters that preceded the typical VW hippie bus of the 1970s. Klaus, as we have come to call the bus was originally produced as a panel van; with no windows other than the windshield, drivers and passenger doors and a rear window. He was imported to Seattle and likely made his way down to Vancouver Washington where a company called ASI was converting panel vans into campers for the Riviera Company of Beaverton Oregon. ASI put a picture window on the drivers side and cut two windows into the loading doors on the passenger side. Klaus has a fold out bed in back, with a closet, a cold box and storage under the seats. A stove was certainly a factory option but it is long since gone. This weekend Klaus and I are headed to a VW show in Woodburn Oregon to check out other buses, look for parts (he is not without his problems) and generally relax in the VW culture.