Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Remembering the VW Bus and a Drug Dealer

I heard on the radio a while ago that Volkswagen is building its final bus in Brazil Dec. 31, and that brought up something I hadn't thought about in a while.

I used to have a VW bus, faded orange and white and the idiot who had it before me had removed the Porche engine that came with it and put in a Bug motor. That meant it would only go downhill and struggled on flat surfaces. Hills? Huh!

Anyhow, I finally got tired of wrestling the damned old ugly thing (that Consumer Reports suggested was a death trap), so I put it up for sale. This was about 1969 and the bus was from the 1950s (the first one was built in 1950), so I was asking what I thought was a steep $600 for it. Wasn't worth $2.50, but if you don't ask ...

So, this slick-looking guy showed up in a recent-vintage black Mercedes, took a quick look at the van and said, "How much?" as he pulled an impressive roll of bills from his pocket.

"$600," I said, smiling and adding, "You look like a drug dealer with that wad."

"I am," he said, "and you'd damn well better not pass that along. I need a vehicle that won't draw attention."

I signed over the title and his buddy jumped into the bus, turned it on and drove off. The dealer hung for a minute and reminded me: "Don't say anything about this." I didn't.