“Whenever I drive around at night, I see flashes and get peace signs. It’s great!”
- The Ride
- The Driver: Scott
- Car in Question: 1955 Sunroof Deluxe Volkswagen Bus
- Spotted at: Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, 5220 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, CA 91601
- Odometer: 119,000
- Car’s Nickname: Vern
Q: What neighborhood do you live in?
A: North Hollywood.
Q: How long have you owned Vern?
A: About three years now. I found the car on a website called The Samba, which is a huge vintage Volkswagen website that everyone who’s interested in a vintage VW knows about.
Q: You were actually hunting for a vintage VW?
A: I was hunting for another vintage VW.
Q: Oh, you have two?
A: Uh, no. I’ve got six!
Q: What’s your car’s main use?
A: I pretty much take this guy to shows. People who go to the shows like to see how far I’ve come on my project. Originally, when this car came from the factory, its ceiling was red and chestnut brown. In the ’70s, Pete, the original owner of the bus, repainted it yellow and white. When the paint started chipping off, I started removing it to see how far I could get it back to the original finish.
Q: Do you have any rules in the car?
A: No smoking…of anything.
Q: Of anything?
A: Yeah, people assume because it’s a vintage VW that I’m a hippy who smokes a lot of pot. No.
Q: Does Vern have a theme song?
A: I guess the quintessential VW bus theme song would be “Magic Bus” by The Who, but then again that kind of goes against the whole hippy thing we’re trying to avoid. But I love The Who. Roger Daltrey is actually a VW bus owner.
Q: If Vern had a human emotion, what would it be?
A: Just happiness. Just pure, natural happiness. You know, I drive down the freeway and wherever people pass me—of course people pass me—and, you know, they are leaning out the window and are taking pictures. I get a lot of thumbs up!
Q: What’s the farthest you have ever driven in this bus?
A: Just out to Lake Havasu [from L.A.], maybe 300 miles.
Q: Just a nice day trip?
A: Yeah, and it was a day trip. It took a whole day to get out there and a whole day to get back.
Q: How fast were you going?
A: Well, going out there, there’s this road that you’re on, and it’s sort of an optical illusion. It looks like it’s flat, but I’m only doing 55 MPH on it because it’s at a slight incline. I can do 70 MPH on it, though.
Q: What feature of this car would you brag about, other than the exterior finish project that you’re working on?
A: Probably not the horsepower. As far as this particular vehicle is concerned, it’s complete. It’s original and it’s complete, I mean except for the paint. Everything else is original, like the day it rolled off the factory floor.
Are you ready to Defend Your Ride? If so, email firstname.lastname@example.org with “Defend Your Ride L.A.” in the subject line for submission details.
Photos and interview by Michael Shen, blogger of lacantdrive.com