Monday, January 30, 2012

Barn Find 1960 Volkswagen "Donut Bus" - All original including paint!

The “barn-find”! Collectors salivate at the idea of discovering a filthy old classic, sitting on flat tires, having been entombed in a dark and musty building for the past three or four decades.  But could there be something even better than a barn-find?  Perhaps a scenario where the classic car has indeed been hidden away unseen for more than four decades, but in a nice clean climate controlled garage instead of a rodent infested shed with a collapsing roof.  
Well, as hard as it is to believe, that is exactly how this 1960 “Donut Bus” was found just four years ago.   

In 1960, this swivel-seat Kombi Bus was purchased by a Dayton Ohio entrepreneur from R.B. Kuhn Volkswagen in Fairborn, Ohio for $2,269.17. The new owner had the idea of serving fresh, made-on-the-spot donuts to local factories -primarily the General Motors manufacturing plants that dotted the Dayton cityscape back in the ‘60’s.  The bus was sent to Jay D. Tyree, owner of the Rolling Donut Company in Springfield Ohio, who modified it with all of the fryers, mixers and generators required for a mobile donut making business. Having tried several other vans, Mr. Tyree was quoted in a period VW advertisement as saying “They just don’t work.  Too big – and they cost too much to run.  But Volkswagen works beautifully and economically”

The owner hired a “baker” to drive to the manufacturing plants and sell donuts.  All was seemingly well until the owner discovered that his trusted employee had been skimming from the profits. The owner was so disgusted with the situation, that he fired the crooked employee and sequestered the bus away inside a heated garage where it would rest, un-driven and unseen for nearly 45 years. 

Every effort has made to retain the original bits that make this bus so special. The driver’s door jamb has the paper oil change decals placed there by the servicing dealership mechanic on June 20, 1960.  Sitting in the driver’s seat, your eyes are drawn to the spotless speedometer face. The first thing you see is the ultra low mileage – just over 10,000 – but then other details start to appear. The clear needle is truly clear, not tinted yellow with age like so many other 50 year-old speedometer needles. The numbers are crisp and clear and the entire gauge has an art deco appearance that belies the commercial lifestyle of a VW van. Beneath the dash panel where that speedometer lives is a painted metal parcel tray. These parcel trays typically served as a catch basin for spare key rings, residual fast food and pocket change. The life of a parcel tray was a life of scratches, rust, and abuse. In this case, the parcel tray is a rare example of how they looked when new.


Looking further, the rubber door and window seals scream “replacement”, because they are so perfect, but they are in fact original to the bus. The interior paneling has none of the cracks, chips and water-damage that you would expect to find in an old commercial vehicle.  It’s all perfect, down to the little white enamel sink and powdered soap dispenser located just inside the cargo doors. One of the few factory installed options on the bus is the swivel seat in the driver’s position, allowing him to quickly and easily swivel around to the side and enter the cooking area through the walk-through passage. 

Peeking through the hinged mesh panel on the drivers side is a generator resplendent in its original blue metallic paint. Other commercial bits are the fine wire mesh fastened over the windows to keep flies and mosquitoes out of the food prep area, an alarm bell nestled behind the spare tire on the nose which served to alert hungry factory workers that it was breakfast time and two ceiling mounted fans used to evacuate the heat and odor of boiling fry oil out of the interior.
 So what is not original?  Only the tires. While the OEM tires had plenty of tread remaining, they were severely flat spotted and deemed unsafe.  Remarkably, even the paint and sign writing is original from 1960. 

VW busses were used and abused, especially the ones outfitted for commercial use. To find one with original paint and ultra-low mileage is nearly impossible. This bus is museum quality!

Additional photos and information are available upon request.

Price - $old!

9,000 Original Mile '83 911 SC Cabriolet

 It is difficult to find 911's from the SC era in low mileage condition and this is one of the best!

This '83 SC Cab was originally delivered to its first owner in Alaska where it was driven very little. For the last decade it has been an attraction in an exclusive Porsche collection/museum. It still wears the original Alaska license plate.

Mileage is correct at only 9,204 miles! The car comes with many uncommon options such as: ZF Limited Slip differential, Dual-Scale speedometer and a very rare heated windshield! It also has air conditioning, a Blaupunkt Monterey cassette stereo and a factory installed whale tail. The current owner added the factory cabriolet specific bolt in roll bar, a rare and very expensive option. The car even rolls on its original equipment tires.

This car spent a considerable amount of time in a crowded garage and thus was subjected to light storage wear to the paint. Because of this, the decision was made to repaint the car. This paint is stunning! More than $20,000 was spent on fresh black paint and the finish is perfect! Please look at the reflections in the photos.

Car includes all manuals and books, air pump, factory car cover and tonneau cover. More photos and information available upon request.

Contact me at "Cornpanzer(at)Sbcglobal(dot)net

Price: $49,900.00

Friday, January 20, 2012

904........ just looks so good!

Harry's 912

Gotta give some love to the 911's little brother. Harry's not afraid to drive his 912 cross country if need be. '68...Burgandy...nice!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Twilight Saga

Once in a while I manage to get up with the sun. Usually this occurs when I am on the West Coast and slightly out of my sleep rhythm. So it was in Monterey last October. First guy in the parking lot...killing time til my ride to the track got up.

Look at those bugs! Must be one of those Midwest RGruppe Guys.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Way-Back Machine

Poking around on the interwebs this evening and I stumbled upon a catalog of photos of various racing events here in my home state of Ohio during the '60s and '70's. Some of the photos were taken at various auto-cross events, so I was hoping to find some period photos of my '70 "S" since it was used extensively in time trials and auto-X's.
Sadly, there was no joy in my quest, but I did find a couple of other interesting cars.
The first is what appears to be a 66 or 67 911. The car was campaigned out of AutoHaus in Fairborn Ohio, which is only about 15 miles from my home. The driver, Lou Gregg, was also the owner of AutoHaus (which has been defunct for decades). The photos seem to be from a hill-climb, possibly the ones held in Bellfountaine, OH in the 60's.
What caught my eye, besides the great stance and megaphone exhaust, are the magnesium American Racing Wheels. Could this car still be tucked away in a dusty Ohio garage today? Unlikely, but it doesnt hurt to dream.

UPDATE!  I got this great email from Ken Tiven who used to work for Lou Gregg and now lives in South Africa.
The car is a 1965 911 2.0 litre which ran one year in B Production and then in C Production. Louie first ran it in 1967, so I would guess this picture is 1968 or 69. I'd hazard a guess from the proximity of grass and trees to the road and think this was the Bellfontaine Hillclimb which we loved to run. 

I left Autohaus in October, 1966 for the US Army. That season we ran a silver 57 speedster. I believe I recall Louis getting the 911 the next year and then later he got the aluminum coupe 356A that had been run for several years by a guy in Cincinnati. I stayed in close touch with Louie for years because of the close friendship we had developed between 1963 and 1966 when I spent way too much time at the garage, first in Yellow Springs and then in Fairborn. I got a BA in Political science from Antioch University and unofficially received a BS in Porsche repair.   To this day I have retained an abiding affection for fast cars, with a WRX Turbo in the USA and a 2.0 litre Subaru in Cape Town. 
Louie was a fantastic mechanic, a huge influence and friend, and an honest car dealer. That is a real hard to find trifecta. 

Louie was stationed int he USAF in Germany for probably six years at Kaiserslautern and raced a Healy 100 there. When he came to the WP AFB as the senior enlisted man in the  hospital Xray Unit he worked the night shift so that he could run his "hole in the wall VW and Porsche garage in Yellow Springs. I met him in 1963 when he diagnosed a problem with my 57 VW convertible merely by listening to it. His diagnosis of a cracked plastic insulator in the distributor was on the money and I was beyond impressed. Soon after that I was a shop assistant and worked my way up. In 1963-64 we ran a Fiat Osca in F Production. The Speedster was the 65-66 season.  In those days we routinely ran Mid Ohio, Indianapolis Raceway Park, Meadowdale (Chicago, now houses), and a few others I cannot recall. I think it was 1965 when he finished up with the Air Force and we moved  to the garage in Fairborn... later it moved again in Fairborn and at various times was a Porsche, Peugot, BMW and a Datsun (Nissan) dealer. He later sold it and went into mortgage banking and brokering the occasional car for someone.  The split with Porsche came when POA decided to depart from its arrangement with VW and market on its own... demanding dealers move to a specific location with a specific dealership size and look.  That was not to Louie's liking as a business deal and he balked.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

911 R #20

Last year I got the opportunity to spend a morning behind the wheel of the last of the twenty "production" 911 R's made. This was the car that was originally ordered by Lance Reventlow who for some unknown reason never took delivery of it.
My story about the car and my driving impressions can be found in the Feb 2012 issue of Excellence Magazine which is on sale now.
Here are some photos plus a few additional photos that didnt make it to print in the magazine.

For Sale - Complete and Correct Early 911 Tool Kit

This factory basket-weave tool-kit is in excellent condition. Both impossible to find screwdrivers are accounted for (Note that the flat screwdriver tip has been ground on and is not perfect). All of the "Selected Special Steel" wrenches are in place as are the "Hapwae" pliers and spark plug wrench and allen wrench. The factory Porsche fan belt is a later model part.
The vinyl bag is in near perfect condition with great plating on the latches and a very clean interior. This will make the perfect finishing touch for your early 911 restoration!
Price - $1,100.00
Click on images for larger views.

Bunch of Hooliogans!

A little octane with your morning coffee courtesy some early 911 hot-rods. How about that Delaney inspired plate on the raspy orange beast?