View original topic: 54 Standard from Bemidji, MN Page: 1, 2, 3 ... 11, 12, 13  Next
cdennisg Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:12 pm

There was a 54 full dash kombi for sale today. It sold quickly. I would like to speak with the new owner. I have some history of that bus. I have been trying to find it for several years. It came out of Bemidji, MN. I suspect the seller was not from the area since he spelled the name of the town incorrectly.

If you bought it, sold it, or have any info for me, please let me know. I will post what I know of the bus here, after I make contact with the owner.

Thanks, Corey

sled Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:41 pm

that is where the bus came out of corey, It is still there and is awaiting transport. The seller has been the owner of the bus for quite some time now.

EverettB Tue Oct 21, 2008 11:10 pm

The ad said Kombi but it looked like a Standard to me with the Standard interior coloring and headliner.

I was wondering why he spelled the town wrong...

mr. warehouse Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:17 am

EverettB wrote: The ad said Kombi but it looked like a Standard to me with the Standard interior coloring and headliner.


I was talking to an "interested buyer" about that Bus today and told him the same thing.

Definitely a Standard or Microbus depending on which term you use.

cdennisg Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:32 am

I only stated that it was a Kombi since that is how the seller posted it. It probably is a standard, but it has a full dash. I have made contact with the new owner and will be sharing what I know with him first. If its cool, I will post my story here.

EverettB Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:47 am

I would like to hear any Barndoor history.

Mango Juice Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:32 am

Count me in too...Kind of like a cozy camp fire story :D

Cool paint job too...I like the racing stripe on the "Barndoor"

RockStock Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:34 am

can we get the pics posted up, for those of us who were in bed?

mr. warehouse Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:01 pm

Only 1 picture here.

cdennisg Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:05 pm

Here's my story. Enjoy.

Back in 1987 I was working in a laundromat in Detroit Lakes MN. I was in high school and looking for my first car. I had my eye out for a bug, since that was what the family had driven for many years, and I liked them. I was reading the Minneapolis newspaper at work and saw an ad for a 54 VW van. I called the next day and made plans to check it out. It was located about 100 miles away near a ski area north of Bemidji MN. When I got there I met Robbie, and he showed me one ugly ass barndoor. It was dark green with light green pinstripe flames starting at the headlights and covering the whole bus. Keep in mind, I was 16 and looking for a bug. I was not into buses, and I knew nothing about them.

The bus ran and could be driven around the yard, but it needed brakes and a muffler. It also had a gas heater (typical in MN) and a full width dash. I found out later that that feature was uncommon for a standard. I took some pictures and left without making a deal, because I didn't know if it was what I wanted. I went back several months later and looked again. This time he was ready to deliver it to my house for $375. I'm not kidding. I had found a 67 euro standard beetle in the meantime and decided not to buy the bus. (hind sight really is 20/20) I had also read in Hot VW's about that time that "another 54" bus had surfaced, and I remember thinking that "if those guys think these buses are common, why should I bother?" I realized later they were joking. Naivete of the young.

I had written to Steve Wood in Seattle for some info on the bus and I sent him some of the pictures. (I have lost all of my pics of this bus) We corresponded back and forth (I still have all of his letters) and he asked me some specific questions about the bus that I, as a neophyte VW guy, could not answer. We lost touch shortly after.

Fast forward about eight years. I still had the paper on which I had written the info the guy had given me when I first called, the directions to his house, and the actual ad I had cut from the paper and taped to the note. (I will scan this and post it for all to see.) I had since moved to Idaho. About that same time is when Steve Wood passed away. I had hoped to meet him in person at the Vintage Meet in Seattle, but I never did. I have spoken with some of his friends to try to find those letters and pics I sent him, but to no avail.

I was in MN in the fall of 97 (or 98, not sure) visiting family. I took a drive and went to the farm where the bus was. Nobody around and no sign of the bus. I never bothered to call since I figured it was long gone. I was half right. It was gone, but not very far away.

Last fall I came across that note I had written all those years ago with the info on the bus. I called the number and a woman answered. I told her my story and she remembered me and the bus. It belonged to her husband but he had sold it many years ago. He was out of town but she would have him call me back. The next day the phone rings and its Robbie. He quit farming and now drives truck. He was home for Thanksgiving and we had a nice long talk. He had sold the bus not long after my last visit, but it only went four miles away. He gave me that guy'snumber and we said goodbye.

I called the other guy immediately, thinking that the bus may still be there by some miracle. The grumpy guy on the phone tells me he sold the bus, a bug, and a yamaha motorcycle about 6 years ago to someone in Bemidji and he could not remember anything about it. I offered a finder's fee and left him my # but never heard from him. I made some other contacts in that area through people I know but never got any new info.

Yesterday I get an email from my buddy Eric (long-roofs) telling me there is a barndoor from Bemidji for sale on the samba. By the time I search for the ad it has been sold/deleted. I saved the one picture for posterity's sake, hoping to see other pics in the future.

I hope to hear about the bus's whereabouts in between the time I knew of it and now. Maybe the buyer and seller can fill in the blanks. I will try to contact the guy that had it in 87 to ask if he has any history prior to that time.

I know this is a little long winded, but it should be an interesting read for all of you. Thanks, Corey

RockStock Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:06 pm

Greg, thanks
then you just have to know the tricks...
$10k then

cdennisg Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:10 pm

Memories are now flooding back to me. Thanks for posting those.

The top has been repainted/graffiti-ed since I saw it, but that is definitely the one.

I specifically remember Steve asking me about the spare tire tray. I didn't even know where to look for it.

RockStock Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:18 pm

bad luck on not catching up with it
someone got a deal..
lots of og paint under there?

mr. warehouse Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:21 pm

RockStock wrote: Greg, thanks
then you just have to know the tricks...
$10k then

I figured someone would know how to pull those up.

cdennisg Wed Oct 22, 2008 12:46 pm

RockStock wrote: bad luck on not catching up with it
someone got a deal..
lots of og paint under there?

Can't win 'em all, I guess. It is going to a good home.

Mango Juice Wed Oct 22, 2008 1:10 pm

Cool story looks like a nice standard from the photos...I noticed someone in Oregon posted a photo of the dash in the show your bd dash thread?...I thought it might be a fake ad but it sounds like it was a real sale here on the bad you missed it but hopefully you will get to see it again at a show in the future.

cdennisg Wed Oct 22, 2008 5:00 pm

Here is the note I wrote when I called about the bus in 87. Also see the ad from the paper that I taped to the note. The directions to his house are on the back.

j.pickens Wed Oct 22, 2008 5:29 pm

Cool that you kept the note with the ad.
I like the little doodles around the ad.
They say: Hmmmmm....

jeffff Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:33 pm

Does that say $475 :shock:

cdennisg Wed Oct 22, 2008 9:35 pm

jeffff wrote: Does that say $475 :shock:

Yes. And he was ready to deliver it to my house for $375.

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