The VeeDub Bus Billie Bud. This year? 50 years old!
Sometime in one of the months later this year, my VeeDub Bus would have come off the production line 50 years ago all sparkling and brand new. Her engine would have been fired up for the first time and that iconic VeeDub sound would have been her equivalent to a baby’s first cry. She isn’t human. But she owns a personality of unique quirky natures that are her’s alone. All old VeeDub owners will tell you that one.
First filled up with fuel? Petrol would have no ethanol and the tick tock of her engine would be timed to perfection. She would have travelled the highways and byways proudly pootling along at about 30 to 50 miles an hour. That’s what she does when I’m at the wheel nowadays. A gentle existence of pleasurable driving experiences.
However over recent months it’s all changed. Today I have to go outside in what looks to be pouring rain……again! Put 25 litres of sourced and found E5 petrol in her tank. All 25 litres of said E5 fuel housed in 3 five litre and 1 ten litre petrol cans. All glugging slowly into her tank. To be added alongside the petrol? 20 mls of an enhancing fluid additive to clean up ethanol introduced problematics of water separation, rust in pipe linings and debris in the filters. A carburettor that cannot fire properly with this E10 mix and making her engine run like crap. I couldn’t even drive her to a distant garage that sells premium petrol because she simply keeps cutting out! E5 petrol? It’s the ‘holy grail’ found in a rustic countryside living environment. Found in a ’thank the Lord’ pump alongside the newly introduced E10 petrol in pumps, Billie the Bus currently? She’s not well at all. Hopefully she’ll respond today to her medicinal petrol equivalent of new found and efficient antibiotics. Antibiotic efficacy on human’s nowadays? That’s another story!
Our ideals to keep the planet cleaner with E10 petrol and converting to electric considerations for our vehicles. Essential and vital. However. She’s suffering from the changes.
Rising costs of fuel and energy bills. Not welcome but apparently vital for company’s to keep going. Politics have a lot to answer for. So…..She’s struggling to keep up and travel freely with inflation. Her abilities have always been low miles per gallon performance. At approx. 23 to 26 mpg? Road journeys, which were daily as her owner (me) had to ‘get to work’, are now very much ‘considered wisely’ because of costs involved. A pension at one fifth of my past monthly wage earning determines, as said, wiser considerations in journey choices.
Viral illness hitting the planet in an unprecedented nature and it’s changing variants. Horrendous and soul destroying. She’s in sympathy. Obviously not empathy. But…She’s coughing and spluttering too.
You can’t compare a VeeDub Bus to our own struggles as human beings. But I love the Bus. It has been expensive to renovate. But has provided me with a lot of joy. Joyous freedom and memories to cherish.
What my bus has seen since her 50 years back perfection? For her it’s been joyous in bringing to all of her owners a new found freedom of what a ‘hippy bus’ brings good vibe wise. But struggling with her gathering age related problems of gradually falling apart at the seams and being rebuilt/reborn again? New found problematics. Again. She is once more really struggling with what modern/nowadays reality has been introduced. She’s probably trying to make sense of it all.
As we are all trying to make sense of it all too.
Oh! The irony. 😉
2 thoughts on “Iconic Ownership: The VeeDub Bus Billie Bud. This year? 50 years old! ”
You have done a fine job.
Perhaps an electrification project for the future? once the prices are affordable, or even an LPG conversion, that’s if you have LPG available in your part of the world?
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Hi. Funnily enough I was chatting to my mate Paul Chapman. He was the strip, repair, renovate VeeDub Guru. It got right down to the shell and shot blasted. Then 2 years of pure attention to rebuild. I learnt every little thing about the Bus. I didn’t do the nuts and bolts, but have done many checks, considerations and interventions with her once back. Anyways. Paul was talking of changing his own VeeDub late bay bus to electric. We talked briefly of the practicalities and where to house batteries.
I reckon the fuel problem is the most frustrating. The carburettor on my bus? 3 were tried. I bought one of them for around £200. Fuel delivery pumps and adjuncts and electrics were all sorted and put in place. Petrol with E10? Old classics of any kind are suffering apparently. Two garages I have found sell the E5. So. Today I’ll have my fingers crossed 🤞🏼 when shufty-ing in the fuel. All the best. 👍
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