CC Capsule: 1975 Volkswagen Transporter – You’ve Stayed The Same, Man

Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude! We’ve had so many CCs on old air-cooled Transporters, gnarly as they are, it would require something pretty, like, out there to justify one more. And not to bogart my own joint, but I think this one, like, totally does that, man.

I’m not, like, totally sure this is a ’75? But it’s at least a ’73, and those were built until ’79, so I, like, picked a year, you know?

So like, someone took this VW van and made it into a shrine to, like, Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead, but like really intricate and artful and colourful and wooooaaah I just noticed they even painted the wheels, dude! That’s some Deadication to the craft, man. Mind officially blown.

This bitchin’ bus is, like, legendary. It’s even Internet famous. If you image-search “VW Transporter Grateful Dead,” this guy shows up pretty high up in the results. It’s been going around Tokyo for, like, even longer than a Grateful Dead live performance. They paint a different year on top of the left headlight probably, uh, every year. But otherwise, it’s the same it’s always been, kinda.

The paintwork does look brighter in Daniel Stern’s 2018 pictures – that’s the price you pay for not getting any younger, man. But the body of this Transporter is like a temple, or the Sistine Chapel or something like, really really cool like that. You can’t repaint it or you’d lose the stickers, and they’re, like, sooooooooo awesome. It just wouldn’t be groovy without them.

Gotta say though, it’s a good thing the pigs here don’t read English so good, ‘cause weed’s, like, really super illegal here? This bus is narking on itself, but the Man can’t even figure it out. Full respect.

Dig that cabin. They didn’t stop at decorating the body, they went, like, full acid trip on the whole thing. Pretty sure you have to fire up a minimum of two bowls to drive this the way it was intended. And make sure you got some tunes to go with it, though the flat-4 will be drumming away in the back pretty loud.

“Oshino Dead” is the biggest Deadhead music festival in Japan. It lasts three days and they do it at the foot of Mount Fuji. So, like, this is probably the organizers’ ride. It doesn’t look like the festival has been taking place after 2019, which is a total bummer.

With all that Corona thing sorta being in the rearview mirror now, hopefully that festival will be revived.

The bus certainly looks ready and, like, up for anything. It would be so cool to ride it to Fuji and chill out for three days with Japanese hippies. What a long, strange trip that would be…


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