Ever wanted to draw attention to yourself? In heavy disguise, I braved the streets of Warminster today in this fabulous creation. It is, genuinely, a piece of art on wheels! Star of Hollywood movie "Getting Wasted" (1980), this early panel van is probably the wackiest vehicle yet to cross our thresh-hold.
The story goes that Paul Frizler, a Professor at Chapman University, Orange County, California acquired the vehicle in the late 1970`s for use in a movie he was shortly to be directing. Art students were employed to "decorate" the bus and it appears throughout the film driven by the lead character with a stuffed parrot on his shoulder purveying macrame and "weed" through the side door!
After Frizler`s death, the bus remained in California only to be imported into the UK in November 2008 by Kerry Smith of VW Evolution. Since acquisition, Kerry has undertaken some very sympathetic restoration whilst retaining the theme of the vehicle. This has included localised repairs and repainting where necessary (in planet colours!) and a complete strip and revarnish of the entire van. Mechanically, the vehicle is fairly stock other than a very healthy 1600cc twin-port chugging away at the back. Having just pottered around for a few miles, I can confirm that it drives very nicely with good acceleration, positive steering and strong brakes.
The bus has been to a few shows and was featured in VW Camper and Bus Magazine in February 2010. It is a piece of movie history and a work of art at the same time. Perhaps too big for the living room, the bus would look fabulous in any serious VW collection. Or perhaps just use it for the school run. Youll certainly not see another one!
Dig out that kaftan, grab the sandals...