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    Posted January 5, 2013 by
    La Fayette, Georgia
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    VW camper van memories

    Homer the Super Bus

    Back in the late 1990s, our son came home from school and said a friend said his grandfather had an old VW Bus for sale and he only wanted $100 for it. We went to check it out and found it was '73 Transporter with blown engine. It had been brush painted with a drab green house paint at some point and had been sitting in the same spot for over 10 years . . . the man that owned said he won it in a poker game and had not touched it since the it had been dropped off in his pasture. I offered him $75 and was kind of shocked when he took it. It sat in my backyard for about a year until a friend offered to give me my money back for it. He took it home, went through the brakes and replaced the blown type 4 engine with a 1600 single port type 1 engine from a bug. After he got it on the road, he offered to sell it back to me for exactly what he had tied up in it - $600. I didn't have the cash and really didn't need (or want) the bus, so he sold it to one of our coworkers. In 2001 I bought it back. By this time, the green house paint had been sanded off and it was painted with three different colors of primer.

    Our first trip in the bus was a 1200 mile round trip to Tampa, FL for the Florida Bug Jam. On the trip we used the bus for a canvas and covered it with artwork and graffiti using glass chalk. All VWs need a name . . . my wife looked at the graffiti covered bus and said “That is one homely looking bus. We should call him Homer.” I planned on washing it off when we got home, but found out that glass chalk will not wash off of primer. The artwork stuck. So did the name.

    At a VW show a year or so later, I was looking at some old Volkswagen ads in the swap meet. One of them showed a 1968 Bus painted in a superman theme (red roof, blue body, yellow bumpers and the VW logo on the nose painted red and filled in with yellow). My 3 year grandson said we should paint Homer like “The Super Bus.” I promised him that if I ever painted it, we would.

    The artwork got a makeover a couple of years later when youngest daughter and some of her friends decorated it, dressed like hippies and drove it to their last day of high school their senior year. For a short time after that, Homer became known around town as “Homer the Senior Bus.”
    A couple of years later I had to replace the windshield. I cleaned up some surface rust and repainted the area under the windshield before putting the new one back in. I used flat black paint . . . I planned to just paint the area under the seal, but ended up painting the entire nose of the bus. It looked pretty cool! I thought I’d run to town and get a few more rattle cans and paint the whole bus flat back; then my grandson walked up, put his hands on his hips and said “Grandpa! You promised me that if you ever painted Homer, you would paint him like the Super Bus!” How in the heck he remembered that two years later is beyond me. But, I was kind’a stuck, so I replied “That’s what I’m doing . . . this is just primer!”

    We went to town, bought a bunch of blue, red and yellow spray paint and ever since Homer has been “Homer the Super Bus.” He’s won awards at several shows (Best of the Beaters, Ugliest VW, etc.). His picture made it in VW Trends once and Hot VWs twice . . . all three times he was being pushed (as a participant in the “hippie race” at the annual Bug-A-Paluza VW show in East Ridge, TN). He’s been on trips to VW shows and campouts from Tampa, FL to Effingham, IL and just about everywhere in between.

    Yes, he is old, a little slow and he is homely. He is hot in the summertime and cold in the winter. Sometimes he breaks down and I have to bolt on some new parts to get the old fellow back on the road. But no matter where he goes, he makes people smile. Homer really is a “Super Bus!”
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