We liked it so much we felt compelled to share it with you in turn. It's reprinted below with permission. —Nick
Thanks very much for the article on the demise of the VW Microbus.
I have to admit to feeling a lot of nostalgia as I read it.
Our family bought the first little bus to arrive in Toronto, but we got it used as a dealer's demonstrator. I think we probably took delivery in 1951 or 1952.
Although the bus was a few months old, it was still an eye-catcher, and we enjoyed the reflected glory it gave us as we tootled around Toronto and environs. It was such a rare event to see another Micro that we took to waving at the other drivers.
The darker side to having an easily recognized car was that it came with political overtones. Of course two bloody wars against Germany were still fresh in the minds of Torontonians. My dad was apprehensive about the car being thumped around, but needlessly so. In Toronto the Good, the worst thing that happened was a nasty message finger-painted in the dust on the car.
The vehicle was a steady performer, slow, but a little workhorse. The main problem was that the European builders had not reckoned on Toronto's winter salt-spreading program!
My father took the bus back to the dealer after a couple of years to talk about rust. The VW staff were horrified and gave us a free body repair. Remember, our bus was the oldest in Toronto — I guess more customers complained in the years following, before modern rust preventatives came in.
My poor mama had difficulty with the shifting, too. Once she drove some visitors to Niagara Falls in second gear, believing herself to be in fourth. "I wondered why I had to raise my voice so high to talk to our guests during the trip," she later said to my beleaguered dad.
Lots of memories.