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1958 VW Microbus.img436, with story

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This is the 15 year old van which made the trip across America possible.  I had stopped to take a desert photo on Route 66 and turned the camera around to document the camper/van.  The picture I was taking posted as Desert, on March 21.

It is interesting to know how simple these microbuses were made.  The front windows slid back with notches cut to regulate how much air came in.  Above the two flat windshield pieces was an air intake for a fresh air purge of the interior.  The dash was only a round gauge with a speedometer going up to 80 mph.  No gas gauge, but a pull below the bench back seat, to activate the reserve valve in the tank.  The cable was broken so if needed you had to crawl under the engine to get to the gas tank valve.  The bench seat would flip out to give a small compartment in addition to the shelf under the dash for incidentals.  The rear engine, originally a 1200cc was removed and I rebuilt a 1300cc  with a single carb to run the under 50 horsepower 4 cylinder horizontal opposed air cooled engine.  Traction was great, speed and power not so much.  Two side doors swung open to the living/sleeping area and a rear deck door had a tiny window, raised in this picture.

One of the pluses traveling with the VW van, other drivers never expected you to go the speed limit, so you could relax and cruise slow enough to see the countryside.  As this was a no schedule drive, I could enjoy my adventure.  

Taken with my Hasselblad and an 80mm Zeiss Planar lens on Kodak 120 Tri-X film, in 1973.

Feel free to download, just give me photo credit.  If you would like to see more of the series it is in my gallery under America Route 66.  I will be posting more in the future and you may watch me or visit the gallery.


eugene spiegel
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amillar1234's avatar
Wonderful photo and love the bus and the Route.  Planning another trip down "The Mother Road" this fall.  Targeting everything vintage between Shamrock, TX and Tucumcari, NM.  I need more backgrounds!  lol