Part of the 2014 Treffen Highway 1 Cruise is this first annual cruise-in and hang out on historic Main Street, in downtown Ventura, CA.
Starting at 5:30pm, parking downtown will be reserved for vintage Volkswagens! There’s a lot of foot traffic and restaurants on Main, making Friday night a GREAT place to show off your ride! All rear-engine VW’s invited…
The next morning is the Treffen Vintage Volkswagen Show, Saturday 8/9, in Channel Islands Harbor.
Dave Buck and I loaded up his truck with everything we’d need for a camp out VW show. We were heading to the 20th annual VW Spring Fling, held the next day in Madera, CA. Neither one of us had been to this show, but it had been on both out radars for a long time.
We decided to take the back way over the mountains on Highway 33. It’s a 110 mile stretch of curvy two lane road between Ventura and the outskirts of Bakersfield, with a 5000 foot elevation rise and fall.
In need of fuel, our first stop was for a quick fill-up.
The truck already had plenty of gas, and up into the mountains we went!
It got a little chilly as we crested the top of Pine Mountain– that’s the last of the season’s snow there on the side of the road. It was so cold with the windows up, I couldn’t believe it! That little sign in the distance said we were at 5160 feet. We pulled over there for the next picture.
Looking out at the road still ahead of us.
Once we descended a bit, it warmed up again. We cranked up the music and enjoyed the drive.
We were just outside Madera as the sun began to set. Total travel time: 6 1/2 hours.
One of the great things about the Spring Fling is that you can camp out in the grass next to your car the night before. I set up my tent, and Buck made one for himself in the bed of his double cab using the cargo net and tarp.
The driver’s side safari window made a great lantern stand
Looking out the rear window– cozy!
As we were finishing, some locals came over and introduced themselves. We went over and checked out their Bugs and hung out for a bit. Nice guys– funny and kinda rowdy. We eventually got hungry and took off to find some food. We ended up walking to a Burger King, which took some time. We returned to this…
T.P.’d! Certain it was courtesy of our new friends, Mike and Wayne, we set out to return the favor. There are no pictures, unfortunately. The flash would have been a give away, as we decorated Mike’s baja while folks were still stirring in their camp. We all had a good laugh about it the next morning, and it got even funnier when we told them we were at Burger King when they got the bus. They thought we were asleep in our tents and had gone to some trouble to do the job in super silent ninja stealth mode.
The next morning, it was show time, and Buck got up extra early to clean up the Bus from the long drive up. Things started to get going by 7am, as lots and lots of VWs started piling in the showgrounds.
There was a big crowd, and lots of action in the swap area.
But we were mostly at the booth all day, meeting new folks and catching up with friends, while handing out catalogs and stickers.
Linda’s Treffen t-shirt in effect!
In fact, the day flew by. Next thing we knew, Buck was informed he’d won an award and could participate in the Parade of Champions. Another cool thing about Spring Fling. All the class winners do a drive by in front of the crowd to pick up their trophies.
Making our way to the line up.
In line with the other class winners.
Check out Buck getting his award at the 2014 Madera VW Spring Fling!
Congratulations, man! Thanks to everyone at the Spring Fling, and thanks to Gary for accommodating us and putting on an awesome show. We’re already looking forward to next year!
Had a great day at Bugorama! There were more cars than I could count, and the crowd was enthusiastic and friendly. We got to the gates a little after 6:00am, and lined up with everybody.
We got lucky and were directed to a choice spot in the grass surrounded by lots of amazing VW’s.
The grass area filled up nicely, and had to be at least a few degrees cooler than the asphalt parking lot where the majority of the show cars were parked.
This was my view for most of the day
The swap meet and the rest of the show cars took up an enormous area, and was crowded all day.
I was pretty busy at the booth, and didn’t get to check out the racing really, but there was some great looking machinery in the pits.
We started to pack up as the awards were being read. Buck said he wanted to go and listen and clap for everyone, and I said I’d meet him in a minute. As I walked up, I heard his name called, and saw him walking up to accept an award– he got a really nice plaque for, “Coolest pre ’67 Bus!” A perfect ending to an awesome day. Oh wait… there’s still that 10 hour drive home. This day surely ain’t over…
Coolest (happiest) Pre-67 Bus Winner (owner)
The air was cool, and the drive was mellow. On a dark, deserted stretch of I-10, somewhere west of Blythe, CA, we passed an SUV on the side of the highway. A minute later, Buck spotted a dark figure walking on the road and pulled over. Up walked a friendly young guy with a gas can in his hand, and we offered him a ride. Him and two friends were driving from Tucson to Los Angeles and had run out of gas. His two friends stayed behind with the car, as they were traveling with a couple of cats. Well, I love cats. How can we help.
It was about 3 miles to the gas station, and 4 miles back, so we were pretty glad we stopped. Derek was too, and he bought us some coffee to say thanks. We took a few pictures with him and his friends, and we were back on the road.
Hope you guys made it without anymore delays! We got home a little before 3:00am ourselves.
Fate smiled upon us, and a pair of perfectly sized, lightly used heads arrived at the shop in the nick of time! Rodney got to work on getting them on the short block, with help from Dave and Buck.
Buck finishing up his engine
The 1915cc went back together and into the bus with no issues. It was driven around the block a few times, then the carbs got adjusted. Bugorama, here we come!
We left Ventura at 4:30am, so that we could do the 8 or so hour drive and still be in Phoenix early enough to do some exploring, and maybe hook up with some other VW folks for dinner before the show.
It was pretty cold, so the safari windows stayed shut… for now
Shortly after sunrise, we made it to Palm Springs for breakfast. After eating, we cruised downtown and talked Volkswagen with a few of the locals, including a member of the Palm Springs Corvette Club who thought Buck’s bus was just about the coolest thing she’d ever seen.
We left Palm Springs and headed up the Chiriaco grade. It’s a long, steep drive out of the Coachella Valley, notorious for putting automobiles to the test– the bus climbed it with ease.
A few hours later, and we crossed the border into the great state of Arizona.
We still had a long way to go.
We spotted a yard with a couple of VWs in it from the freeway, so we got off and did some backtracking to reach it. The gentleman that owned it was very easy going, and let us check out whatever we wanted, including lots of American iron, some Italian jobs, and a few different types of aircraft. It was awesome.
And a few more hours after that, we finally made it to our hotel across the street from the Bugorama race track. Our 8 hour drive turned out to be a 13 hour journey, about 9 hours of it with the safari windows up. I could use some ChapStick!
It’s gonna be another early/long day tomorrow, and all I can think about right now is this:
We’re going to drive Buck’s Double Cab, seen on our Summer 2012 catalog cover below, to Bugorama in Phoenix this weekend, and we’re really looking forward to the trip. We just need to tie up a few loose ends between now, Wednesday afternoon, and the crack of dawn on Saturday, when we intend to leave. For instance, before I can split, I need to send some emails, do a little laundry, make sure my camera batteries are charged, etc., and Buck just needs to build and install an engine. No biggie. We’ve got over 48 hours!
Drag Days has really turned into a great all-around VW show. The swap area gets bigger each time, there’s lots of folks in the vendor row, and the amount of cars on display is getting truly impressive.
The racing results are over at the Bug-In page here.
We’ll see you all at the next HotVWs Drag Days event, October 26th!
Owner of Airhead Parts, Scott Dempster has just purchased this 71 bus from a lien sale here in southern California. The crew at Airhead is excited about taking on the task of restoration. Scott’s plan is to convert this project into a “surf excursion vehicle, something like the one I had in high school,but didn’t have the money to completely fix up the way I wanted it” Scott says, “I’ll finally have just what I want…while I still surf”. The plan for this Surf Excursion Vehicle is to put in a bigger engine, keep the outside as original as possible, keep the loved to death look of polished patina original (mostly) paint, and transform the Continue reading →
If you have perused the internet the way we have, you have most likely seen those crazy videos of how not to remove your VW alt/gen belt. Those brave (or slightly insane) individuals who take their lives into their own hands trying to change a belt while in motion. We do not condone nor recommend this method, but did find it interesting and slightly scary to watch. Do not try this at home:
Instead we DO recommend that if you need to do a belt adjustment and or change you check out how our Tech Rodney has done it here. This method will ensure two things, you keep both eyes AND your belt will be adjusted properly.
From all of us here at Airhead stay safe! For all the parts you will need to complete your belt adjustment and more Check out: www.Airheadparts.com
While it may feel like winter in the rest of the country we here at Airhead Parts are enjoying the warm Southern California sunshine and clear skies. We don’t mean to brag, but we gotta say that some things are just better here. The weathers nice, the surf is great, and when it comes to building V.W.’s well Californian’s have a look and style all their own.
It’s called “The California Look” also known as the Cali Look. When restoring your Volks it’s important to have an idea of a what kind of a look you are going for. The Cali Look has changed some in it’s 30 year history but most can agree that it starts with a lowering of the stance, and a change of the wheels. The favorite wheels are period-style Speedwell BRMs,the EMPI 5- or 8-spokes, or Porsche factory rims like Fuchs from a classic 911. Continue reading →