We love each van like a close family member, a good friend... weird, but true.
Empowering the vintage bus driver for their Adventure !
We have extensive references,
we are happy to provide to serious enquiries.
You may not have known... VW Westfalia campers are our hobby, we work as a non-profit -> making work available for: a lad with severe disability, a recovering addict (clean since 2015, whoo!) & a war refugee (while at university escaped his country under gunfire... ending up in Canada) now a proud, productive immigrant.
-> The boys together learn to work hard & smart - collectively pouring love & guts into blue ribbon restoration work... come meet our zany crew, we really love VW vans.... & being part of folk's Adventures !
Check out our family (hippies with office) eco-business here... www.organictradercanada.com
Earth Spirit Restoration Love
" If the Adventure is not now... then when ?! "
About Us - The School of Bus
Our VW Family Story:
Can a VW bus work like a Wooden Stake, Garlic or Silver ?
Volkswagen camper vans may have saved my son's life. Not just through working on buses together, also by sharing stories of travel and Adventure with other VW-Nature-wild-afflicted souls. We all search for something. Sharing this search with others brings sweet inspiration for our own Dreams.
Ben from Hasta Alaska actually came and stayed with us coming up from Chile on his way to Alaska, we spent 3 great, inspiring days together.
Ben & Leah with their shared anecdotes & warming stories have opened our eyes and world to larger, expanded possibilities... so much so, that now my son is planning to travel cross country in his own customized VW bus, that he is working on himself, in part from mega inspiration from Hasta Alaska.
But first, allow me to share the roots of my family's story, from almost-tragic near disaster to heart-lifting triumph and how this ' State-of-Bus ' was sparked alive by a VW bus incident.
I will start a bit farther back in time, 2012... Every parent knows the impending feeling that their son or daughter is heading down a wrong road, bad friends, bad decisions, negative influences... but then what the heck to do ??
Well, it so happened to my son and I.
Zach was 17 hanging out with the wrong kids and some stupid adults in the background. The (un)kind, '... drugs are a cool experiment, just buy some from me...' Well, as a former Canadian rugby player growing up on more creativity & guts than money, fighting at times even to be able to walk home from school... I had enough street experience to know that problem would not improve by itself. Smart, effective intervention was needed, so dad (with power only a parent can summon) became Rambo-dad on a mission.
First problem was to clean up the local environment. push out the drug pushers who were making stupidity and danger out to be cool while selling drugs to vulnerable hubris-filled teenagers, who "knew" their parents "know-nothing"! Never underestimate someone who was a teenager once.
So, it was a delicate operation, because as you may know, if you tell a teenager anything they will do the opposite or simply ignore you. So Plan A was to call up some of the rugby boys from the old neighbourhood... lesson one, don't mess with someone tough who also has the experience of age (& is a parent) - that's not an old man. That is a man who can draw on the secret well of "old-man-strength'... after all, this was about some good, local teenagers including my boy. I was going to do what was necessary & Right... covertly yes, but still old fashioned, old school right.
It took about 2-3 weeks to identify these drug dealing types [ they weren't so smart ]. Then one opportune night the old boys and me-self, we committed ourselves to the act of a neighourhood clean-up... olde skool style. The neighbourhood became very quiet for some time.
I knew I would have to get my son out of this environment, so onto Plan B. I played a trick... I took Zach out (innocently) on my boat to a remote place on the local Gulf Islands. There everything went fine, until my son and his teenage arrogance arose like a finger-puppet shadow on a white backdrop... and being smarter than his lame father, he took his backpack and stormed off into the woods not long before dark.
I left him with the words, "You owe it not to me, but to your Grandpa who escaped the old country under threat of being shot to death for a better life here, you owe to him and yourself to live better, but with your stupid friends you play stupid and risk killing the goodness of life. You can do better, but you're a coward!" And he left into the forest.
I knew that one of two things would happen: either, I would lose my son to those negative influences; or we would have a turnaround. But I could not initiate the decision - it clearly had to be his decision - I had to play a trick, create a situation that was a catalyst, so that my son could decide for himself and say the words aloud that he was indeed in trouble.
Well, here is where it got interesting, the woods were truly wild, there were no roads, no access out of there with darkness descending... so I waited it out in that very spot - it took 3 hours. That 3 hours was a duel between myself and the devil forces of evil, it was as if someone put a tomahawk in my forehead and wouldn't let go... neither did I.
I sat facing the darkening ocean in a trance-like state staring down evil at a faceless face, that was unmistakably mocking it could & would take my son. It has taken many sons & daughters. For 3 hours I did not move. I put everything into that moment. It was a moment that would produce a hero, or become the point that all was lost.
It was now after sunset and dark, when I heard my son return. He said, "Dad, I'm not a coward, I need help. I can do better."
There it was, he said it. It was his decision, his words. That moment changed out our lives. Surrendering to all that could be good, we were now in it together.
Joseph Campbell would be proud. Now, what to do to rebuild that bond and a young man's confidence ? Plan C... that's where VW camper vans came in. My father had a 1973 VW bus, we grew up traveling everywhere on the island... fate was about to repeat itself. Zach remembered camping when he was young, our best times together being in Nature... before we drifted apart.
Soon after that hero-journey boat trip, Zach asked if we could fix up a VW van together ? I said, "Yes, if you find one." And the next day, he did. A sage green 1977 VW Westfalia camper owned by an engineer... in Alberta, almost 1300 km away from our Vancouver Island home. OK, this felt like a mission from the gods. So I called the advert. on that Wednesday afternoon, making a deal for $3500. The next Saturday, right after the farmers market we work at every weekend, we caught the BC Ferries off the island, traveling 24 hours to a remote cabin in the woods near Crowsnest Pass, Alberta to meet the bus owner. Since we spoke 5 days earlier, the owner had two offers higher for the bus - to his old-school credit, he'd made a deal with us, that was that - a deal is a deal. It was ours, if we still wanted it. We sure did !
Well, this magic bus had a squirrel living in the air cleaner, had not run in 5 years, a cracked windshield & blackberries growing through her suspension - it was perfect !
We towed that beautiful bus project home (photo attached) with our big diesel work truck through the snowy mountains of Revelstoke (it was October 2013)... and the rest is history. We worked on that bus for months. After new brakes, shocks, many repairs & servicing, the van sold to a family who took it home to the south of France (which amazed us). Since then, for almost three years now we have worked on (& saved old buses) while discovering the Adventure and camaraderie that comes with working on VW vans. Zach (became my hero with his ongoing courage) is learning mechanics, with tools he proudly earned from his grandpa. He bought himself a toolbox. Using them daily now, he cherishes and looks after those old, prized tools.
Working on VW campers has brought us to a way of life, that is not only satisfying but very healthy for a father and son. We feel very lucky and grateful to be on this Adventure together. I'm very proud of my boy, he made it - we made it, and are best of friends. We owe it in great part to the Spirit of the VW bus & inspiration of Adventuring folks.
Dream the Dub and take part in your Adventure, thank-you !
Peace out, Joseph & Zachary,
Cowichan Bay, B.C. Vancouver Island
'if the Adventure is not now... then when ?'
Talk to the VW Boys
1745 Cowichan Bay Rd., PO Box #31, Cowichan Bay, B.C. V0R 1N0
joseph (at) crankcrankvrooom.ca
(you will have to remove "(at)" & add/use the '@' symbol with no spaces.)
Ah heck, just call - we still like talking to people...
Tel: (250) 929-6777
VISITS ONLY BY APPOINTMENT
Please give us a call & come visit!
Empowering Vintage Bus Drivers for a better Adventure !
Vintage VW Bus Services
I want a fixer upper.
It's my dream... saved
enough to get started, I seek
an awesome driving camper
van, I can do some of the cosmetic work myself. Yup!
Back to vintage original.
No details spared,
bumper to bumper mechanical & cosmetics.
Think 'Award Winner'
You're on a 25-35k budget and you need awesome!
Runs awesome, looks great.
Think, 'I'm driving, camping, surfing & on the Adventure.'