After months of searching and researching, it was pretty sad to realize that the first bus was gone. After Woodstock it served as the Commune's errand bus, moving kids, groceries, music equipment and all kinds of things. It had rusted beyond repair, broke down too many times, and was likely parted out by their local mechanic. But after talking with Dr. Bob we realized that the bus was just 'the canvas' and that he had the ability to recreate the artwork exactly as it was if we could find an identical bus.
We did. In a field in Tennessee at an epic VW event called Circle Yer Wagens.
Vintage Volkswagen people tend to be the nicest, kindest, and most open and enthusiastic folks you're going to find. So it was no real surprise when we met the folks who owned this bus and told our story they were keen, really keen, to help. Not only did they sell us the bus for a great price, they offered to do the work to get the bus from 'field find' to something that we could actually drive.
Within a couple weeks we had new tires, new brakes, new lines and gas tank, new electrical, replaced dozens of missing parts , and most of all, a new built original engine ready to take on the next 50 years.
The next step? We transported the bus down to Fallon and her amazing team at East Coast VW Restorations in St. Augustine Florida. If you love VW vans you'll find great comfort in knowing Fallon's garage exists. They've resurrected and restored over 160 of them so far. The awards and accolades are rolling in as fast as the buses roll out. It's just a joyful place doing joyful work.
In March we got the bus to her and completely disassembled it in an epic two day effort.
In April Fallon's team will do the steel, bodywork, repairs, and primer.
In May we'll reassemble the bus to get it up to Dr. Bob in Baltimore for repainting through the summer of 2018.
Then we'll hit the road and share the experience with the most interesting and influential people we can find who want to come along of a year of traveling back to Woodstock for the 50th anniversary.
Then we want to find a forever home for the bus. Somewhere that the most possible people can see the bus first hand and share the experience of learning its symbols and story. Somewhere that the bus can be kept in running order so that some peace-loving young people can get in, turn it on, and head out to Woodstock for the 100th anniversary in, what I like to imagine, will be a peaceful, happy world still inspired and fascinated by the 1960's peace movement.