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Thread: Courtesy between Westies

  1. #51
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Sylva, NC
    Posts
    5

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    We were on about a 600 mile round trip to pick up our second Vanagon a 1982. It was to be a parts Van for our 1981. Obviously, we were hooked!

    Anyway, I had a tow dolly and had loaded the Van on rear first (I was concerned about all the weight in the back, and also, the automatic transmission.)

    We were tooling down the highway, with our NEW Van in tow, when we saw a lineup of cars in front of us. We slowed down and eventually slowed to a crawl. Evidently, there was a wreck way up ahead and traffic was backed up for miles. A little while later the emergency vehicles came through, down the middle of our two lanes of the highway. I had to veer off to the right to let them through. When I veered back to the left, to get off the shoulder and back into the right lane of the highway, I noticed the NEW Vanagon was halfway off the tow dolly. Immediately, we pulled off the road. The Vanagon frame had cut the nylon tie down straps of the dolly!

    We tried to get help, literally for hours, but no one would stop. While my wife and I sat on the side of the road beside our NEW Van, an elderly couple in a BRAND SPANKIN NEW Volkswagen Van pulled over to see if we needed any help! I didn't know, at the time, this was a Eurovan. I thought all Volkswagen Vans were Volkswagen Vans period.

    They let us use their cell phone, and within a short amount of time, the tow dolly rental agency was there with roadside assistance.

    Pretty much, every Van I have seen has waved to me and I have waved back or vice versa. A simple gesture of comradery. But the Van that stopped to help us, I will always remember!

    I never asked them, but I like to think that they were probably at Woodstock in a used Van, just starting out in this community, like my wife and I were on this trip!

    --- just using the virtual to enhance the physical ... ralokych ---
    --- just using the virtual to enhance the physical ... ralokych ---

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  3. #52
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Crowthorne, Berkshire, England
    Posts
    1

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    This friendly form of greeting another VW Van is not unique to Westies. The flashing of lights and waving between VW van owners has been going on to my knowledge since the mid-fifties.

    My father bought a split from new in London in the late 1950's and the first VW Van that came in the opposite direction flashed his lights and waved.

    Later he met with a van owner and asked how it had started, unfortunately the owner did not know, but said he had had his van for 5 years and had been flashed and waved at from the start.

    As VW vans were fairly sparce in numbers in the UK, every van that was met coming in the opposite direction got the same greeting!
    --
    Grenville & Janet Strickland

  4. #53
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Vista, California
    Posts
    3

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    Greetings! Can I refer to my "fellow" Westy owners, even though I'm leasing a Eurovan Westfalia Weekender?

    I leased this van because I was spending nearly every weekend sailing in the high desert in my kite buggy (3-wheeled, wind-powered landsailing craft), and I needed a real "house" on wheels, instead of a pickup bed with a topper on it.

    I researched every available van in the US, and settled on the Eurovan, relishing the thought of becoming part of the VW "bus" culture, too. I'm an old hippie between the ears, and missed the romance of traveling with friends in their rickety, sputtering old VW bus.

    Now, alas, I'm in a "Westy" forum, reading how Eurovan drivers are "clueless", and considered somewhat outside the pale of the VW van esoteric elite. And BTW... since when did "hippie" have anything to do with drug use? And speaking of drug use... visit your local cop bar... listen to them fine young officers talk about busting some druggie, as they're hoisting a huge mug of... *their* drug of choice! Hypocracy, unfortunately, did NOT die in the 60's.

    The Eurovan, IMHO, is the natural evolution of the microbus... all the irritating and catastrophic ideosyncracies have been addressed: The EV accelerates like a Jetta, handles like a Porsche, has all the room of the Vanagon, and exploits the latest in technology to manage everything in an incredibly dependable and efficient package.

    I spend countless weekends in the high deserts of California, many times driving into a dry lake bed (seeking flat sailing areas) over 30-mile dirt roads posted as impassible to all but 4WD vehicles. Crawling along in the Eurovan I go places where other passenger cars won't even try.

    I camp in unaccustomed comfort, now, enjoying late evenings reading and listening to CD's with comfortable surroundings, good lighting, and cozy shelter. And all my crap fits!

    And.... I wave to every VW van, regardless of model, and usually include the peace sign. Pardon my Eurovan, but I still consider myself a life-member of the "VW culture". It's a state of mind, IMHO, and all about stuff we learned as "hippies". Take it easy, stop and smell the flowers, treat others as you'd like to be treated, and leave each place a little cleaner than you found it. Oh, and don't forget to wave. :O)

  5. #54
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Raleigh, NC USA
    Posts
    3,806

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    I don't think Westyville and the VW Van crowd is trying to be 'rude' or uncaring, it's just that the front-engine slope-nose design is of necessity similar to most of the other min-vans around and with the heavier traffic we spend more time driving and less time looking. I'm guilty myself of not noticing a Eurovan until it's too late. They were never a high sales model like the old Type IIs so there just aren't as many around. When you wave or flash, I bet most of the Westy owners say, "What was that? Oh heck, that was a new Westy/Winnie and I missed it."

  6. #55
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Vista, California
    Posts
    3

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    Yep, Capt. Mike, I think I have to agree... the Eurovan *does* look like many of the "pods" out there, esp. from the front. And now that I'm noticing, it does seem that these new Westies are mostly driven by (gulp) yuppies! Or sluppies... slightly older upwardly mobile whatever.

    A good friend of mine whose Wasserboxer Vanagon Westy was my first exposure to present-day Westfalia technology laughed at my Eurovan, and accused me of trying to be like him. (I could do worse). He called the Eurovan a "yuppie-falia" and derided its loose relation to other things Volkswagen.

    Nevermind... I shall persevere. It's only my second Volkswagen vehicle, it took me 51 years to get it, and I'm damn proud and pleased with it.

    Now, what I find really amusing is the VW van passing phenomenon on the open highway. Vehicles approach from the rear until the VW emblem becomes visible. Then they tailgate, preparing to zoom around the famous, slow-climbing, snail-paced VW bus. Then I smoothly depress the accelerator, and regardless of the grade, the "flying brick" just walks away from the surprised tailgater... VW busses just ain't s'posed to do that! <grin>

    Some changes are a good thing.

  7. #56
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    2

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    Hi, the posts on this site are years old, and in a couple months I am about to have my westy on the road. Everyone I talk to in the parking lots all tell me to wave,and they sure like talking about their units. It is like bird watchers, always have something to talk about!

    clayton

  8. #57
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Nevada
    Posts
    2

    Default to wave or not to wave :)

    I knew before I got my VW that there is a camaraderie among vw van owners (drivers) But after I got mine last summer, I really found out how much fun it is to belong to a "club" like that. Driving on less traveled roads and seeing an other van is a happy moment. We had a few times that other van owners stopped besides us at rest areas or at photo spots along the road and started VW talk with us. The wave and the smiles brightens our trip and we are always on a lookout for another bus I think it does not matter what type of bus it is, as long as a VW it is a member of our larger community.
    I hope to see you all on the road or in camping somewhere.

    Last edited by romesz; 12-10-2008 at 12:00 PM.

  9. #58
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    5

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    I've had a VW van since '73 when I got a '59 split window body and built it into a functional vehicle that made a pretty good camper. Put over 200k miles on it and never got many waves but there were/are a lot of VW vans in SoCal. After spinal surgery for a neuro problem that may have been aggravated by the driving posture I had to assume in that old bus I had to give up on my dreams of a real restification. Didn't drive it for too many years and just recently hauled it up to my sister's farm for retirement... In '04 an old friend allowed me to buy his '82 diesel Westy that he bought new in Germany. Not only was it a real joy to camp in a VW again (especially one that resolved a lot of the problems of the old splittie), but I noticed people in other Westies were waving at me! Seems there is greater "family" feeling among the Westie crowd today, especially on the open road.

    Gotta agree about the Eurovans, though. Nothing personal intended toward the Eurovan owners who contribute here, but seems a lot of the owners/drivers don't really consider their vehicles special enough that they belong to a club - just something they bought as a multi purpose vehicle that gets better mileage than a SUV.

    Keep on waving!

  10. #59
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    9

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    Howdy folks. First post! My first VW van was a 56? with a canvas sliding canopy and wrap around windows. We bought it in 1969 and camperized it. We now have a 1990 Vanagon. We love it. Last summer we drove it from Victoria to Toronto. We only saw one 'Westy'/Vanagon somewhere on the prairies. The couple in it flashed their lights and waved. So did we. It really felt great to feel we were part of a special club.

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