“It’s not a car… it’s a Bus” – a morning spent discovering VW type 2 transporters and a couple surprises at the O.C.T.O 2015 Winter Meet

“It’s not a car… it’s a BUS – definitely a 1960s marketing slogan from Volkswagen, and given my surroundings Saturday morning February 14th, there was no mistaking that I was entering into a sea of Volkswagen transporters (buses).

DSC_0274 - Version 2

Held each year at the Long Beach Veterans Memorial Stadium in Long Beach, California, it’s always a morning of discovery, and an opportunity to hear the back stories behind the vehicles on display. The irony of this years O.C.T.O. Winter Meet was that given the clear blue skies and summer like temperatures being experienced in February, this could have easily passed as a summer meet.

DSC_0259

DSC_0264 - Version 2

Another of my favorite subjects to photograph…”automotive opthomology”

DSC_0270

A return visit by a husband and wife pair of 21 window buses; the wife’s bus below…

DSC_0280 - Version 2

and her husband’s blue 21 window parked to the drivers right (below). It has been interesting to watch the progress made from year to year on this dual restoration effort.

DSC_0284

At the opposite end of the restoration spectrum was this early 1960s type 2 bus. Unfortunately, this bus was a painful reminder of the effects of time and exposure to the elements, as seen below.

DSC_0296 - Version 2

Given the extent of the rust, it was amazing that the roof and its body parts were still connected. However, upon closer inspection, it became obvious that the roof had assistance in the form of strategically placed sheet metal screws.

DSC_0297

In stark contrast and one row away, was another example of a beautifully restored type 2, in brilliant turquoise and white…

DSC_0286 - Version 2

and wearing a rather interesting license plate.

DSC_0287 - Version 2

Representing one of the model variations found within the type 2 transporter category, was this 1967 two-tone, dual-cab seen below.

DSC_0311 - Version 2

DSC_0312 - Version 2

If one looks closely, there are frequently clues to be found which aid in revealing a vehicles true identity.

DSC_0314 - Version 2

(Below), one of several single-cabs present, but the sole participant carrying special cargo.

DSC_0348 - Version 2

Another of the beautifully restored, 21 window safari type 2s in attendance; brilliant blue on white…

DSC_0336

and several rows over, a second 21 window safari, dressed in orange over white.

DSC_0343 - Version 2

One never knows what extremes an owner will go to, in order to personalize his/her bus as witnessed below.

DSC_0375

(Below), one of my favorite type 2s in this years show. While photographing this bus, I was   approached by the owner and we struck up a conversation.  During our discussion, I learned that this 1961 bus had originally been owned by his grandfather, who purchased it back in 1963, and then used it as his daily driver. Many years later, and with the passing of his grandfather, he inherited the bus, and then proceeded to store it away in his garage. It ended up sitting there untouched, awaiting restoration for 18 years. With his kids graduated from college, he decided to finally tackle the restoration of the bus, with the majority of the restoration work having been completed by the owner himself.

DSC_0369

The owner continued his story, sharing the memories that he and his brother had, of vacationing with their grandfather, and how hot they were sitting in the back of the bus during the summer. Because of the heat factor, the owner decided to added a set of  safari front windows. He also shared stories of his grandfather driving the bus into mexico to his ranch, traversing dirt roads and creeks along the way, with evidence of these adventures uncovered during the buses restoration. Looking at the bus on that Saturday morning, it was hard to believe that it had not lived a pampered life.

Below, the bullet shaped front turn signal, identifying this type 2 bus as a 1961 model.

DSC_0372_2

Far from the stock motor that the bus was delivered with back in 1961.

DSC_0370 - Version 2

Once the restoration was complete, the owner unveiled the bus at their yearly family reunion, to the surprise of many relatives. The bus became the inspiration for a project his wife began; collecting and recording in written from, the stories from their many relatives with memories of grandpa’s bus.

DSC_0371 - Version 2

Parked on the perimeter of the display area were several unique Volkswagen cars… not Buses, as seen below.

First up was one cool Karmann Ghia…

DSC_0257

DSC_0256

and parked on the opposite side of the parking lot; a beautifully restored VW Notchback.

DSC_0360

DSC_0361

DSC_0363

Saturday morning reflections…

DSC_0394

With this kind of weather and impressive turnout for the O.C.T.O. Winter Meet, one can only imagine what the O.C.T.O. Summer show will deliver.

(All photos by the author)

Advertisements

Observations from the 2012 O.C.T.O Show; a showcase of VW type II transporters…

Last Saturday morning saw a major departure from my usual weekend routine. On this particular morning, I found myself heading south down the 605 freeway towards Long Beach, to check out the VW type II transporter show titled “The 2012 O.C.T.O Show”. The event was hosted by the Orange County Transporter Organization, staged in the parking lot at Long Beach Veterans Memorial Stadium, as a vehicle display and swap meet. For anyone with an interest in Volkswagen type II transporters (produced from 1949 through 1967), these are the ideal type of event to attend. Then imagine finding yourself surrounded by a parking lot full of nothing but vintage type II  buses; with each new row encountered, there existed the possibility of coming face to face with an even more amazing bus than the last…

VW type II transporters _Purple & white bus / nose to tail, front view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporters  _ Lime green and white bus side view_The 2012 O.C.T.O show_June 9, 2012

And in the middle of it all was the events featured “Barn-Door display”, as seen below

VW type II transporter _Barndoor display _red & black lowered bus, 3/4 front view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporters _Barndoor display _hubcap reflection_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter _Barndoor display _red & black lowered bus, 3/4 side view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporters _Barndoor display _a trio of buses, 3/4 front view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

No matter ones preference regarding Volkswagen type II’s (barn-door, Single Cab, Dual Cab, Panelvan, Safari windowed bus, etc.), you were assured of finding an example or two on display. And if looking to buy parts to restore a bus, or maybe even purchase a vehicle, the event was able to accommodated either pursuit.

VW type II transporters _swap meet section, body parts_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporters _swap meet section, vintage bus for sale_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

1967 13 window deluxe bus_green & white for sale_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

1967 13 window deluxe bus_ for sale description_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

The following photos represent a small percentage of the total number of participants present the morning of the show…

VW type II transporter_ Blue Panelvan_ side view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter_ Blue panel van_ OG finish, side view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter_ Surf Canada panel van_ aged finish, side view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter_ green double cab_3/4 front view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

W type II transporter _ green double cab_front bumper reflections_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter _ charcoal gray/carbon fiber double cab_rear view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter _ charcoal gray/carbon fiber double cab_3/4 front view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter  _ Red and white double cab_3/4 front view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter  _ Red and white double cab_turbo motor detail_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter  _ Gray Panelvan_3/4 front view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter  _ Gray Panelvan_3/4 rear view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

Interior view below, showing optional equipment code # M199 – Drivers seat swivel…

VW type II transporter  _Gray Panelvan_blue tinted interior _The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter  _Gray Panelvan_3/4 side view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter  _Dove blue single cab__3/4 front view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter  _Dove blue single cab__steering wheel detail_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter  _Dove blue single cab__motor detail_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

Type II transporter_Wolfsburg West,  Lite Gray Panelvan_The 2012 O.Ct.o Show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter  _turquoise OG paint finish_side view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter  _Red & white safari windowed bus_side view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter  _Two- toned gray Panelvan_3/4 front view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter  _Two- toned gray Panelvan_rear view- motor, fuel tank, spare tire_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter  _Two- toned bus_lite mint green and black_3/4 front view & reflections_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter  _Two- toned bus_lite mint green and black_Side panel reflections_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter  _Two- toned bus_lite mint green and black_Door reflections_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter  _Two- toned bus_pale beige and black_3/4 front view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

VW type II transporter  _Dove Blue with yellow fog lights_ front view_The 2012 O.C.T.O  show_June 9, 2012

For a listing of upcoming VW shows and events near you, please check out the following website:  www.thesamba.com

(All photos by the author)