Joined: September 25, 2007 Posts: 413 Location: Auburn, AL
Posted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 8:18 pm Post subject:
I kind of wish my bus sounded like a lawnmower....
That's exactly what I was thinking when I saw the clip! What on earth made him think that thing would make it to Cali? The fact that the engine lid wouldn't even close should have tipped him off as to the state of the engine... _________________ Wanted - Dormobile Roof Parts!
Last edited by autiger78 on Wed Nov 14, 2007 8:45 pm; edited 1 time in total
If I remember the story correctly, he bought it off of ebay. Flew or took a Greyhound to pickup the Bus and drive it back to So-Cal. It was WAY mis-represented. I don't think he got too far until the Bus broke down and a stranger or the AIRS network got him up and running again. For a little while.
I tried doing a search of the archives, but if you put in "rusted bus" or "bad ebay deal" you get thousands of posts to wade through.
Joined: October 18, 2007 Posts: 240 Location: Dayton, OH
Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 6:30 am Post subject:
Dave Torstenson doesn't remember exactly when he "caught the bug."
But ever since he did, he wanted a Volkswagen bus.
"They're iconic, and they almost have a human quality," he says.
And he found the perfect bus on eBay – a 1972 VW Transporter.
This bus looked just right on the screen of his Apple iMac – baby-blue and white, with blotches of reddish-brown in places. It was pretty beaten-up. No paint in the world was hardy enough to withstand 35 winters in the Midwest, Torstenson thought.
He flew over to Des Moines, Iowa, with his life savings. He planned to buy the bus and drive it to Tulsa, Okla. There, he would meet his girlfriend and her parents and celebrate New Year's Eve with them.
The bus rolled along just fine until he reached Kansas City, Mo., where the bus broke down.A passer-by helped him, and he got the bus rolling again. Then the crawl began to Interstate 44.
Torstenson will never forget that sputtering night – Dec. 30, 2006. He was all alone on that frigid freeway. He cursed himself for buying that "rust bucket" for $797.
"The illusions began to crumble one by one," Torstenson says. "I had this idea of a dream car. I spent a big chunk of money on it."
One question resonated in Torstenson's mind: "What was I thinking?"
The cold chilled his bones despite the ski cap, gloves and heavy jacket he was wearing. The bus had no heater or radio. He was left alone in darkness and silence, except for the ominous clunking of the engine and the rain thrashing down on the desolate highway.
And Torstenson realized he still had 400 miles to go.
He didn't know if the bus would make it to Tulsa. But he knew that buying this bus was the biggest mistake of his life.
What Torstenson didn't know at the time was that this rickety bus was in fact his Muse – the object that would inspire him to embark on the journey of a lifetime.
• • •
Charles Pecoraro and Torstenson were roommates in their junior year of college at USC. Pecoraro was a film major, and Torstenson studied journalism, but they shared a common dream – to make it big in the entertainment industry.
When the two lived together their junior year in college, says Pecoraro, a Fullerton resident and Troy High School graduate, ideas sparked.
When Torstenson returned to Los Angeles from Tulsa without the bus, Pecoraro was intrigued.
Torstenson had left the bus in Tulsa with his girlfriend's father, a pastor. He wanted to donate it to a church program, but even the church wouldn't take it.
Torstenson and Pecoraro scoured the Internet to see if anyone could help them bring the bus back to Los Angeles. Google had the answer, and it was in the form of a list.
This one had the names of an international network of Volkswagen enthusiasts that called itself the "Aircooled Interstate Rescue Squad," named after the classic VW engine, which is cooled by air rather than water.
Founded eight years ago, this group of 2,779 volunteers helps stranded Volkswagen drivers for free. They'll even feed them and give them a couch to crash.
"This type of altruism seemed unreal to me," Pecoraro said. "The trust and good Samaritanism seems like something from a different era."
That's when the duo decided they'd do it. They would go back to Tulsa and drive the bus back to Los Angeles, aided by the VW helpers along the historic Route 66. And they'd capture it all on film.
"A documentary feature," Pecoraro announced. "This is going to be great."
Torstenson agreed. But then again, there was one small problem. They were both completely broke.
• • •
Pecoraro's definition of a "truly blessed project" is when things fall into place, as if they were meant to be.
Friends and family heard about the dream car, which was now the dream project. They offered money without even being asked. The friends rounded up five more Trojans. They now had a crew. As for an RV and equipment, they rented it from a friend for a month at a discount.
Last month, two of the guys flew to Tulsa, and the rest followed in the RV. The first step was fixing the bus. Enter Pete Sottnik from "the list." Sottnik owns 15 VW buses and is a venerable "bus guru."
Sottnik says you are not a VW bus personality if: You want to be in the left lane doing 80. You have to be somewhere at a certain time. You need a reliable vehicle. You are mechanically challenged. It takes a free spirit and perhaps someone as capricious and whimsical as the vehicle itself.
As the film rolled, Sottnik helped the buddies fix the bus.
Thanks to his help, Torstenson and Pecoraro made it to Oklahoma City. There, they met an artist who made sculptures from VW fenders and hoods. In a little less than 30 hours, he covered their bus with mural art.
"Now this bus was a rolling piece of fine art," Pecoraro said.
On the same day, Pecoraro ran into a jazz-shop owner in Oklahoma City, who also had a VW story to share.
He recalled Ku Klux Klan members driving through his neighborhood and shouting slogans in their Volkswagens, neon crosses glowing on the hoods. It wasn't a pleasant memory, but it was a memory nonetheless.
"The two of us were from two different worlds," Pecoraro said. "But the VW was something we had in common. We made a connection that was emotional and very real."
Right there, in that hovel of a store, in the middle of eight-tracks, compact discs, vinyl, memorabilia and Mardi Gras beads, their documentary got a title – "VW Nation."
Next stop – Amarillo, Texas. Well, it wasn't a scheduled stop. It never was. By now, Torstenson found himself evolving into "a real VW owner." He managed to fix the bus himself.
The group was beginning to feel it. This was really going to happen. They were going to make it to Los Angeles.
It was around that time that they arrived at the Blue Swallow, a vintage motel on Route 66 in scenic Tucumcari, N.M. Bill Kinder, the motel owner sporting a red beard, straw hat, overalls and a tie-dye shirt, offered to keep the bus at his motel.
"He thought it could be an attraction, and he could have visitors and tourists sign the white top with messages for us," Pecoraro said.
Parked under the glow of its neon lights, the bus seemed to have come home – at least for now.
Crew members agreed. It would stay there until a time when they can go back and get it, and that's when they would complete their dream project.
Maybe they'd go back this summer or fall. Or in January, maybe, Torstenson says.
"We'll just have to see where this takes us," he says.
Joined: September 25, 2007 Posts: 413 Location: Auburn, AL
Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 7:35 am Post subject:
Finding out that he left the bus stranded by a seedy motel sort of kills my enthusiasm a bit, after seeing how much the AIRS guys did trying to keep it running... _________________ Wanted - Dormobile Roof Parts!
Joined: September 20, 2007 Posts: 4085 Location: Swansea (Sunny Penllergaer) Wales UK
Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 12:41 pm Post subject:
Well i been doing some research at work, this might not be fact cause I was just skimming text. But it looks like the guy who bought the bus was in the reserves or something and is now over in Iraq, at least thats what i get from his myspace page. So I guess we'll have to wait till next year, unless he has someone finishing it up for him. Im still wondering whats going on with that Muir Documentary.
Joined: April 28, 2007 Posts: 74 Location: Bitchita, kansas
Posted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 3:45 pm Post subject:
Well, I talked to Charlie on myspace about it, and here's what he has to say:
"Hey Mike, thanks for contacting me. That's great that interest is generating already. We're currently in production and there's still a lot of great stuff we're planning on shooting in this coming year. Befriend the Croc and we'll be sending out updates and such. It's funny to read some of the assumptions folks make. I enjoyed reading it. We haven't posted anything yet because we don't wanna blow our load too soon, pardon the phrase. Ha! We'll come out guns a blazin' when we've got it all put together.
Take care friend.
PS. Everett Barnes, founder and webmaster of theSamba is in our doc. We're def aware of theSamba. I'm actually looking for a reasonably priced late sixties Ghia and I've been scouring theSamba for one
----------------- Original Message -----------------
From: Mikey likes it!
Date: Nov 15, 2007 12:24 PM
yo, there's a lot of volks over at thesamba.com that are really anxious to see your movie. i was wondering if you know when its gonna be ready?
Joined: November 24, 2007 Posts: 8 Location: Los Angeles, CA.
Posted: Sat Nov 24, 2007 6:20 pm Post subject: From Charlie and Dave with Love
Hey, guys. It's Ryan, director of the film. I must say, we've found this forum very exciting and, at times, quite hilarious with speculation.
This week we shot some fun footage at the LA Auto Show and took a minute to address all you who are interested in the film as evidenced by this forum. I put together this short video for you to enjoy until we can cut together something a little more substantial (which is on the way, mind you). Till then, enjoy and Good Road!
Joined: October 27, 2005 Posts: 89 Location: Sacramento, CA
Posted: Sun Nov 25, 2007 7:41 pm Post subject:
Coan Nichols & Rick Charnoski (skateboarders and indie film makers) would travel all over showing their films at night in bars, theaters, people's garage, etc.. They would hook up with locals and go filming/skating during the day. They would sell copies of their films in order to get enough money to make it to the next stop. They were the best films on skateboarding ever because it was mostly about the locals and what they had to put up with just to ride their skateboards. Mind you this was all before the huge bloom of public skateparks.
Why am I telling you all this?
Because when I watched the trailers all I could think about was how cool it would be to watch this at a drive-in theater with all the local car clubs together. Those two guys should be there selling copies. During the day they should be filming the locals and all the blood sweat and tears that goes into keeping their cars going.
I live in CA... I have no idea what its like for a guy in the north east who daily drives his VW.
Joined: October 18, 2007 Posts: 240 Location: Dayton, OH
Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 10:33 am Post subject:
Yeah, my bad on starting some of the rumors, but hey it made Steve and Charlie come out of the woodwork and give some updates. I don't think if we had posted on some other movie forum that the creators would come out and set us straight let alone make a video of it. Well maybe George Lucas, i dont know.... Thanks guys
Joined: October 25, 2006 Posts: 550 Location: Austin, TX
Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2007 11:29 pm Post subject:
This looks great! I could see my friends and myself making such a movie. _________________ '81 VW Rabbit Diesel 4-speed "The Liberalmobile"
'81 Mercedes 240d 4-speed
'77 Fiat 124 Sport Spider (sold)
'78 VW Westfalia "The Beast"
"Traveling in a fried-out Kombie,
on a hippie trail, head full of zombie..."
All times are Mountain Standard Time/Pacific Daylight Savings Time Goto page Previous1, 2, 3, 4Next
Page 2 of 4
You cannot post new topics in this forum You cannot reply to topics in this forum You cannot edit your posts in this forum You cannot delete your posts in this forum You cannot vote in polls in this forum