Curbside Outtake: A Brazilian VW Treat in Berkeley

In the first days of the world shutting down for Covid-19, I went to pick up a take-out order from a local restaurant (trying to keep them in business, while taking precautions to stay safe myself).  The entire process was weird, everybody standing 6+ feet away from each other, each of us wearing masks, the whole process was done on a table outside the restaurant.  It felt like I was exchanging packages with the mob.  The restauranteur emphasized that the pen I used to sign the credit card slip was sanitized with every use.  As I was waiting for the food to come out, I noticed this Type 2 down the street and went to take a look.

Just then the food came out and I went back to the restaurant somewhat sheepishly, and the restauranteur told me “yes, that’s pretty cool”.  He said it had been driven from Brazil by the father of two young women who lived down the street.  It is supposed to stay in Berkeley for the remainder of its life.  I went down and took a few pictures, and the young women happened to see me taking pictures.

The front of the bus. It says "Victoria" in large letters on the camping cover

They said it is a 1994, with an air-cooled boxer engine in the back.  Their father drove it all the way from Brazil (I didn’t ask how he got around the Darien Gap).  They were very nice and proud of their father and his bus.  His journey took 4 months.  They said it would stay with them in Berkeley.  There is a local company which specializes in VW Buses, Buslab and they said the Buslab guys were already all over it, and would be taking good care of it for them.  They were already planning some camping trips.  Looks like it is pretty well set up for that, as long as you don’t mind taking your time.  Lots of room for luggage!

All in all, it was fun to talk to them, but they didn’t really know very much about the bus.  Everything was made a lot more awkward by Covid-19, since everybody stood far away from each other and shouted.  I thought I got a shot of the interior, but it appears I did not.  It had standard black vinyl seats, and the cargo compartment was blocked off by a curtain.  Very utilitarian.  I am sure in Brazil they aren’t so worried about not having a very good heater!