Thursday, December 22, 2005

What does the VW van mean to you?

This just in: It's the end of the line for classic, air-cooled VW vans. A staple of the hippie era, the vans will cease production on Friday at the company's plant in Brazil, according to the Associated Press. And so passes another era.

To which we say, "Bummer, man! Now you're getting personal." Because my family has a long history with the hippie-mobile, and maybe yours does, too.

Buying a '73 VW camper van was a great idea back in 1986, when we needed a spacious vehicle for commuting with our 4-year-old daughter. Since then, we've gone through three transmissions and two engines, not to mention spit and baling wire, to keep the trusty tin can running. Just finding parts for the big guy is a challenge. I was ready to give it a hero's sendoff years ago, but my husband refuses to release his white-knuckle grip on the wheel.

"I'm going to be buried in the back yard in that van," he says, brooking no argument. (Hmmm, maybe sooner than you think, I muse.)

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