21-Window Volkswagen Transporter Braves Downtown San Francisco

After I was caught in a camera-challenged condition when spotting the '70 Fiat 500 near my office in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood and was forced to use the 640x480 so-called camera in my cellphone, I resolved to start carrying a real camera at all times. Naturally, I totally spaced on the camera thing… » 4/07/08 2:00pm 4/07/08 2:00pm

1960 Volkswagen Transporter

One thing that's hard about this series is the glut of air-cooled Volkswagens on the island; I could easily do nothing but 60s Beetles and Transporters for a month straight and still not run out. These VWs are survivors and fully deserving of recognition, of course, but it wouldn't do to have them shove aside all the… » 3/06/08 9:00am 3/06/08 9:00am

Sell Your Soul To The Man, Drive A 1981 Vanagon

Say you were a Berkeley radical back in 1968- you know, high ideals, willing to lay down your life for The Cause, etc. Then, well, you got taken up on that high mountain and shown the fleshly kingdoms that lay before you, simply for the price of your soul. That's what happened with Jerry, an ex-radical who struck it… » 12/28/07 1:15pm 12/28/07 1:15pm

Another Low Volkswagen Transporter

OK, this VW Transporter isn't quite as low as this insane machine, nor is it quite as old. However, it makes up for those shortcomings by having such a great Survivor Patina, and by parking on one of the busiest streets in town. It's hard to tell how many donor vehicles contributed body parts for this bus, but it's… » 12/05/07 9:00am 12/05/07 9:00am

Lynch Mob After Your Hide? Volkswagen Transporter!

Forgive us for thinking that we'd maybe choose something with a bit more power and ground clearance than a VW T2 Transporter, were a howling, torch-wielding mob of European peasants battering down the doors of our castle. Say, a Unimog, for example. Still, for the mad scientist on a tight budget, the Transporter… » 10/30/07 3:30pm 10/30/07 3:30pm

Ach du Lieber Harry! T3 Transporter Crash Test

How good were T3-generation VW Transporters at preserving life and limb at high speed into a flat wall? Let's just say the last thing to go through the mind of whatever dummy was behind the wheel of this doppeltkabin was about a quarter-ton of gravel. But c'mon, it's wall-on-wall action; what'd you think would happen?… » 10/18/07 1:10pm 10/18/07 1:10pm

Workhorse Engine of the Day: Volkswagen Air-Cooled

We saw the Small-Block Chevrolet engine in the last WEOTD, which means it's time to take a look at what may be the only engine that can rival the Chevy in terms of longevity and units built: the air-cooled VW. In one form or another, it was manufactured for 70 years; while it had its weaknesses (feel free to list them … » 10/15/07 4:30pm 10/15/07 4:30pm

The Lowest Daily-Driven VW Transporter You Could Possibly Imagine

Now, most of the time when I tell people I see a Type 2 driving around town with maybe two inches of ground clearance (if that), they assume the old bus has some sort of airbag suspension and can be raised up to clear driveways, speed bumps, lines painted on the road, etc. Nein! The utter madman who drives this… » 10/12/07 9:15am 10/12/07 9:15am

Project Car Hell: Turbo Corvaired Bus or Cosworth + GT Vegas?

In our last Project Car Hell, the Mazda Rotary Pickup stomped the RX-4 Wagon by a huge three-to-one margin, no doubt because we're all suckers for unfixable little trucks with a huge ROTARY POWERED sign on the tailgate. But forget all about Rotary Hell, because now we've got a couple- actually a trio- of real gems for… » 8/22/07 5:30pm 8/22/07 5:30pm