Friday, June 25, 2010

Rarest of the rarest of the rare?

It was good meeting Aaron Britcher over the VW Classic weekend after years of long distance correspondence. He made his way over from Oz along with a contingent of mad VW freaks who all seemed to be having a great time visiting the Southern California VW scene. Aaron is the owner of the world's fastest VW 1500 panel van, among other VWs, and he has a great collection of Type 3 rarities with an emphasis on performance parts. With his eye always open for the rare and the unusual, it's no wonder he came across something at ISP West so obscure that no one would have even imagined its existence, let alone known to look for it.

A 1962 1500 badge that had escaped the final die stamping that would have released it from the sheet, seen here with a finished badge for comparison. I guess it goes without saying that it's NOS. Somewhat analogous to a mis-struck coin, this is definitely one for the collector who has everything.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

2010 VW Classic Weekend

As usual I got my first proper sunburn of the summer at last weekend's VW Classic. I hit as many events as possible this year, starting with Gizmo Bob Walton's BBQ on Thursday, followed on Saturday by OCTO, Ed Economy's Toy and Literature Show, ISP West's open house, the Type 34 Registry dinner, and the VW Classic itself on Sunday. Kind of a marathon, but well worth it. It was good catching up with the everyone and to get to meet Adam Barrett, Aaron Britcher, Eric Farnsworth, and a bunch of Samba regulars.

Bob was kind enough to let me drive his Hot VWs-featured '62 notch to the events on Saturday, and the first stop was OCTO. It was my first OCTO and it didn't disappoint. Here are Gerson's freshly stamped Type 3 pans at the swap:

After a swing through the toy and literature show it was off to ISP for their open house, always one of the best Type 3 events of the year. Here's Eric Colla's low-mile '62, which he drove down from the Bay Area for the weekend:

Everything's as it should be for an early '62, including the plastic carb linkage and the rubber boot for the accelerator cable. Awesome. You just never see these parts on an engine anymore, let alone one that's driven 1000 miles in a weekend.

Eric Farnsworth drove his nice 1500S down from the central coast:

Then it was on to the Type 34 dinner in Irvine, which had a record-setting attendance of 26 if I'm not mistaken.

On Sunday I headed down to the Classic a little later than I had hoped and got stuck in the long entrance lineup for over an hour. I got through the gates at a little after 8 and tracked down the 1500 Club, and then headed over to the swap where Larry Edson was selling a Vanagon load of Type 34 parts from Tim Dapper's 30-year collection. It was a lucky day for any Type 34 owner who stumbled onto Larry's swap space. I scored a few good parts at the swap and picked up a set of pans from Gerson.

1500 Club lineup at the Classic:

Gary Stell's first-place Nutria 1500S — nicely overrestored and impossibly clean:

Pedro Sainz's 1500S took third in the notchback class.

Deena Reese's low-mile '65 Square won first in class and, unbeknownst to most of us until the deed was done, she sold it to collector extraordinaire Mike Malamut. Nice to know it went to a good home.

Tom Reay and Roger Marcks won first and second place for their Type 34s, respectively — or did they tie for first?

A clean '67 Type 34:

Oscar Guevara's '62 notch with fresh new salt & pepper interior, apparently finished only hours before the Classic:

Oscar's is the first interior finished with the new repro salt & pepper cloth.

The nicest coachbuilt at the Classic had to be Mark Merrill's beautiful '57 Rometsch:

And in the bizarro department there was Randy Carlson's ratrod Tatra T600...

...and a Renault R8 Gordini clone with a racing history and (now) with all-VW running gear. Crazy.

It was a great weekend. Good to see everyone again and meet some old friends for the first time. Many thanks to the 1500 Club — especially Jack and Bob for all the great food — and to Bob and ISP for hosting their pre-Classic BBQs. And Bob, thanks again for letting me drive your notch on Saturday! I just wish I had taken more and better pictures.