Forget about who'll be Mitt Romney's running mate, because today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe contender is the only Veep that matters. Of course, that's only if you don't have to be Romney to buy it.
Germany built the Bundesautobahnen as both a demonstration of the country's national pride and as a strategic military asset. During WWII, the network of highways was used to efficiently move troops and war materials around the nation, while some portions were turned into impromptu airstrips.
The new road system needed cars to ply it, and so the guy with the funny mustache ordered Ferdinand Porsche to come up with a family car, something cheap and easy to produce. That led to the development of what would, after the war, become the Volkswagen Type 1, and thanks to the Marshal Plan reconstructing a war-torn Europe, the Type 1 would end up being driven by Germany's former foes.
Half a world away, as World War Two was heating up, two companies vied to build a vehicle that would eventually become synonymous with the Allied victories in both Europe and the Pacific. Of 135 companies invited, only Willys, and American Bantam responded to Uncle Sam's request for a lightweight, unbreakable General Purpose military vehicle. Bantam's design was initially chosen, but the government had little faith in tiny Bantam's ability to produce the numbers needed, or the company's torque-free motor. So, with typical governmental largesse they handed the blueprints for the Bantam Reconnaissance Car over to Ford and Willys to modify and provide for testing. Eventually both Willys and Ford built what would become known as the Jeep, and the rest is History Channel.
So, a people's car commissioned by the guy who started WWII, and an American Icon generally considered to have had a crucial role in that conflict's eventual resolution for the good guys. A Volkswagen and a Jeep. What better way to encapsulate the automotive legacy of the second World War than to somehow meld these two disparate but related vehicles together. But how?
Allow me to present, the Veep. Offered up in crazy from the heat Phoenix, this equally crazy contraption looks like a Jeep but with Volkswagen underpinnings suffers from none of the onus of capable off-roadability.
It may look like a Jeep, but with what's said to be a 2,110-cc edition of Vee-Dub's air-cooled flat four in the back, it's more of a dune buggy. In front of that is an IRS 002 Bus transaxle - desirable for its sturdier 8" ring gear. That's a four-speed, but as this is the Veep, you can bet that second is in command. Up front the ball joint torsion bar suspension is claimed to be rebuilt. The body is steel, not fiberglass, and the ad claims it to be rust free.
Beneath the olive drab body and black bikini top-sporting roll bar sit a set of anonymous chrome steel wheels that stick out on the sides like the muffin tops on a college sophomore. A tow bar indicates that whatever milage this Veep carries, a portion of it may not have been under its own power.
On the down side the seller says that he's selling it as-is due to the sounds the engine has started making which one can assume are different from the expected vroom, vroom. Another issue may be the car's 1977 Reconstruct title, which will likely get you a frown from both the DMV drone and your insurance agent when you tell them.
None of that seems insurmountable if you really jones for something that finally closes the loop on German-American relations. Hell, even Bush giving Angela Merkel a neck massage couldn't do it, maybe this'll work!
It may be work to justify the $3,000 asking price to do so, however. That's what the seller wants, and he says it'll just go up from there if he has to figure out why the flat four is no longer fapping away back there. Maybe it's the ignominy of having to power a Jeep that's giving it a sad?
Whatever, it's now time for you to determine if $3,000 is a reasonable campaign contribution for this Deutsch-American candidate. What do you think, is that a fair price for this Veep? Or, does it need a run-off?
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