1st blog – date: December 11th, 2017
Welcome to our first blog post. Click here to read more about us. In this first article we would like to write more about how we found our dream bus.
In summer 2017 we already have been searching for a VW Split Screen Bus for about a year. It took such a long time because aircooled VW buses are quite rare here in Austria and especially because good buses aren’t that easy to find without any contacts. Another reason was that we paused our search very often due to some potential other financial circumstances.
We often were close to making a deal, but never fixed one due to several reasons (seller resigned / bus has been sold to someone else / „won’t sell to buyers abroad“…). So we decided to expand our search to other countries in Europe – not just Austria and Germany. We observed the typical online car sales platforms as well as special air-cooled websites such as bugbus.net and thesamba.com – not to forget lots of dealer websites. Another great help was the search on social media – especially Facebook. We were impressed how many messages we received by private bus owners from all over the world.
Another factor that intensified our search was the one that in the meantime Sascha wanted to buy a very special bus. In the best case it should be a bus from 1967 as this is also his birth year – additionally the month May would be great as it is also his exact birth month. Another fix criteria should be the model: a 13 window bus with the walk-through option – original paint: sea blue / cumulus white.
It didn’t have to be a perfectly restored bus – this would have exceeded our budget and anyway we wanted to buy a light project bus that we could still work on.
With a little patience some buses that matched with our wishes showed up on the internet. And so, after many mails and calls with different owners, we finally started a road trip for another inspection. It took us 11 hours (with breaks) to drive from Vienna to Hengelo – a small town in the Netherlands, right behind the german border. We took ourselves time to take a look at every single spot of the bus – especially the typical rust areas – and both of us took a ride with the bus.
During the 1050 kilometer long trip home, we had lots of time to think about the bus. We also spent a few days thinking about making a decision. Sascha’s eyes still were shining but I (Alex) was very skeptical. It was an old restoration and way to expensive. So we decided not to buy this bus.
And it turned out that this was the right decision. Just one day after declining the yellow bus, we received a message from a previous contact that decided to keep his bus a few weeks ago. It also was a dutch guy who was on the hunt for his dream bus. Some months ago he wanted to fix a deal about his dream car – a 21 window samba in the USA. But back then he also had bad luck as it wasn’t possible to fix the deal. So he bought an alternative: Eve – a 13 window deluxe bus with walk-through option.
And we already knew very well about Eve! Back in November 2016 Alex first spotted her on facebook, when the previous owner from California posted a sales ad. The american owner took good care of her for more than 27 years, even had an own fan-site since 2011 with many photos and videos showing his bus. It really seemed to us, that he really loved this car – he also was the person that named her Eve.
Back to the topic. Now we received a mail by the current owner in the Netherlands. He suddenly had the chance to buy a 21 window samba again. So he quickly wanted to sell Eve and buy his Samba bus. We felt really happy about reading this mail, immediately called him and planned the next road trip. Just a week after our last journey to the other bus, we were on our way again. Again to the Netherlands, again for a bus that matched our wishes. But this time we had to drive an hour longer, as the bus was located close to Amsterdam.
As we finally saw Eve in person, we were impressed. We didn’t just like the bus, also the current owner in the Netherlands was very friendly – we had great fun that day. We made a test drive, inspected the bus very good and listened to all the stories that the seller told us. He didn’t know that we already knew everything. He just thought that we were some guys that responded to his sales-ad on the internet. But all the words that he spoke, matched with the story that we already read on Eve’s Facebook fan-site.
The only sad moment that day was the part as we were told about the farewell of the Californian owner and Eve. The dutch guy told us, that the wife of Eve’s owner never saw him crying in all the years that they lived together. But as Eve drove down the driveway, a tear ran down his face.
So it was perfect. We fixed the deal, signed the contract and everybody was happy. Afterwards the seller wished a safe trip home. Then we told him, that we already knew the route very well – as we made the same trip just a week ago. He almost couldn’t believe it and laughed very hard. If he would have just messaged us a few days earlier, we might could have been saving ourselves a weekend. In the next moment he offered to invite us to dinner for the next weekend. We laughed, kindly refused and went back home to Austria.
As this post already is very long i will end it right here. The topic of the next blog article will be the condition of Eve at the moment we first saw her. And also the condition back when we finally received the bus in Vienna – as the owner still had some work to be done on the vehicle before it was delivered to us.