January 21, 2015

The Most Gorgeous American Car, Ever

In Anaconda there is one original example of the most gorgeous American car ever and unfortunately it is red, which happens to be the worst color for any car ever (sorry red car lovers, but blecch).
It is also, as its owner will enthusiastically tell you, for sale with a price tag of $40,000, last time he tried to talk me into buying it anyway. Looks like it's been marked down to $34,000. Still a little out of reach. 

If the badges haven't given it away yet, it's a Studebaker Avanti, a '63. This fiberglass dream was Studebaker's hail mary pass and it failed. 

The Avanti was designed by Raymond Loewy, who designed a lot of things you didn't even realize were designed, exactly, from the Lucky Strike logo to the color scheme on Air Force One.
Another thing about Avantis is that they are amazingly fast. Like, nearly 200 miles per hour fast, for turbocharged versions at least (this one ain't one).

So anyway, if you all are having trouble securing funds for
that Schwimmwagen I've been asking for, I'll take this thing as a consolation present. Just please get it painted first.

December 31, 2014

The Year in Review

As Big Orange rests snugly in the garage (and no fuel smell yet, knock on wood), allow me to reflect upon what I think was a reasonably successful year.

Stinkertonius got to meet Ludwig... 

...and, later, join the camping crew (thanks to A and B for being part of that).

Returning from camping in Yellowstone, a ten year-old elevation record fell. 

The next weekend we took Ludwig to Craters of the Moon...

...and then the next weekend to Lewis & Clark Caverns (first of two times).

In August Colin helped us straighten out Ludwig's fuel delivery issues. (You're not a serious air-cooled VW owner/operator unless you schedule or are gonna schedule an appointment with Colin. Just saying.)

We took part in a jamboroo up Rock Creek... 

...and another, smaller jamboroo at Georgetown Lake (where we were honored to be part of C's first campout adventure).

Here's to an even better 2015!

December 29, 2014

Requiem for Big Blue

picture courtesy BVE
Citing mounting temporal and familial concerns, earlier this month Big Blue's Driver announced that Big Blue had been sold. Given his tags--Californians are reverential toward those older plates--I suspect he'll remain 'Big Blue' (or 'BIGBLU 3', as it were), however. And given that he's not been sent to the crusher, 'requiem' isn't really the proper word here, I suppose.

Revisit his not-so-distant past here, where down a little and to the right you'll find an archive of adventures, trials, and possibly the thickest stack of Volkswagen miscellany on the internet outside of the Samba.

Happy trails, Big Blue.

November 9, 2014

Blue Bunny, Blue Beetle

November 5, 2014

Ten Years Gone

A few months ago it occurred to me (as this sort of thing tends to) that we'd been driving Ludwig regularly since the late Summer of 2004--ten years. We'd actually gotten him very late in 2003 but between our academic and work commitments and getting him road-ready after a decade idle in a machine shed we weren't really drive driving him until right before we moved to California. That move was his first big trip with us, in fact.

Anyway, I also remembered it being a while after our arrival in the Golden State before we got a chance to actually camp in him and wondered when that anniversary was. A little sleuthing reveals that sometime in August or September, probably September, of 2004 he made his inaugural overnight with us at Gaviota State Park.

And what a campground it was! A barely-glorified parking lot for a beach. Not having much use for a beach, we explored some of the park's wholly different inland component; specifically, a 0.7 mile hike to an undeveloped hot spring.

The spring bubbled up prettily and smellily.

That's Las Cruces nestled in the distant chaparral, with CA Hwy 1 snaking beyond.

We lost two years of our lives to California during which time between the both of us we logged a paltry six more nights camping in him. Which leads to a final batch of statistics I'll leave you with: over those ten years, Melissa has spent 60 nights in Ludwig, I've spent 62, E has 47, and Stinkerton, 11. Not much in retrospect, but it gives us something to improve upon.