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Old 08-22-2007, 08:17 PM   #1
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New to the Forum-1980 Caravan?

Just registered Nice looking site!
I'm not an Airstream owner (yet) but I do have two trailers (1968 German Eriba Puck, teardrop made from breadtruck aluminum) and a 1980 VW Westfalia. My first question for the forums concerns the latter. Back in 1980, it was brand new, white, with blue stripes around the bottom and brown seats with parti-colored stripes. On the storage tray over the sink, there is a gold sticker with Wally Byam 3-Continent Tour- Europe-Asia-N. Africa. It also has the correct tour number (can't think of it off-hand, but a TCT member I met had a Byam caravan-ography and it was in there for 1980). According to the stamps in the warranty booklet, it seems the van was picked up in Hanover, Germany. There is a Hanover stamp with April 24, 1980 on the delivery inspection page in the warranty book. The bus had it's 1000 mile service in Germany, May 12, that year. The next stamp is at 7,500 miles, July 21, 1980, from Nilas Galaths (?), which I assume is in Greece. I took Russian- so I am guessing at the similar cyrillic. By October 30 of the first year, Chopstick was in State College, PA at 13,263 miles. So, my questions are- what was this bus doing on a Byam caravan? Support vehicle? It didn't come to me with a hitch- but that may have been removed long ago (would have had to be a short trailer, if it pulled anything). Is there anyway to get a copy of the itinerary of this caravan? Is there anyone around who was on this tour and remembers the Vanagon and/or its original owner? I love history At a Tin Can Tourists get-together in NC, I heard them talking about recreating a Byam Caravan in Africa and if at all possible, I would like to take part. It would be great to get some photos of the Westy in spots where it was back 27 years ago
so- anyone have any hot tips on a Bambi or ...a Wee Wind? lol
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Old 08-22-2007, 08:22 PM   #2
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Hello ommuel -- Welcome to the Forums! Wally Byam died July 22, 1962, and was active in caravans until a year or two before then. Could the sticker be from the Wally Byam Caravan Club International (WBCCI), which is still active today? If the right members see this post I'm sure you'll get better guesses than mine.

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Old 08-22-2007, 08:35 PM   #3
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Yep- sorry about that- I think the sticker has a logo on the left side for the WBCCI. I am away from the bus- down at school in Virginia. Thanks for the reply! I put a picture of my Eriba Puck up as my avatar- it is what led me into trailers, the TCT, etc. I'm a VW nut, so it's doubtful whether I'll ever have an appropriate tow vehicle for anything larger that 12-15 feet- but I love that polished aluminum!
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Old 08-22-2007, 09:18 PM   #4
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sorry- can't find the edit function- wanted to add that the owner's name may have been Mr. White at that time (of State College, PA). I just contacted the WBCCI site to the same effect, and posted in the WBCCI sub-forum- wish me luck!
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Old 08-22-2007, 09:19 PM   #5
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Old 08-22-2007, 10:45 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by ommuel
I'm a VW nut, so it's doubtful whether I'll ever have an appropriate tow vehicle for anything larger that 12-15 feet- but I love that polished aluminum!
We have a number of VW fans on the site as well as several Touareg owners who tow aluminum. Welcome to AIR.
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Old 08-22-2007, 11:12 PM   #7
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Welcome the the Air Forum, ommuel...if anyowne can answer your history questions or help you figure out the heritage of your 1980 Westfalia and its connection to Airstsreaming, it's this crowd...

Ah, VWs...the other vehicular love of my life...I don't own one presently, but my first car in high school was a 1959 bug, and I had several bugs between then and the last one I had...a white 1979 Special Edition VW Bug Convertible (with AC!)...the last year a convertible was pproduced with the old bug body style. I was the 2nd owner and drove it for years, then it sat for some time. I finally completely restored it several years ago and then a couple years later sold it to another VW nut/collector from Phoenix... It has a good new home, which was important to me...

I'm rambling...I love VWs, and now I love aluminum. Anyway...welcome!

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Old 08-25-2007, 09:41 AM   #8
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Thanks for the welcome
Here's our stable: Rodney and Felix, black '99 New Beetles, Chopstick, the 1980 Westfalia, Cyndi [Cyndi Lauper- there was an 80's wrestling mag under the carpet when bought], blue 1968 bug, Slimer, 1974 ravenna [as in Slimer in Ghostbusters] green "Love Bug Edition," unnamed red 1968 beetle, homebuilt teardrop on a Tractor Supply 10 foot frame (unfinished), 1968 Eriba Puck (factory and other paint stripped, aluminum polished). All of the air-cooled beetles are non-running projects at the moment. (is there something that's behind the back-burner besides dust-bunnies- well, that's where they are)

So your '79 vert was a 'triple-white'? Excellent- my wife loves those Glad to hear of other VW folks in the Airstream community- I met a few Tin Canners who were as well. Man- feeling guilty about not sending in TCT dues- hopefully next paycheck I'll be able too. Man- caravans are a lot easier take part in for retirees than grad students

-I typed the following into the thread on WBCCI directories- was actually a response to what Janet said in this one. I'll copy and paster- unfortunately I can't edit it out of the WBCCI one anymore..
btw- I saw the Touareg brochure with the AS-pulling art inside. I also heard that VW was getting in trouble because the Toureg couldn't actually pull a full-sized 'stream....(thinking at this point that I met the guy who did the bicycle-pull stunt- sorry forgot his name ) I'm sure Touaregs must be more than capable. At any rate, I am a grad student and there is no way I'm going to afford a Touareg. Besides which, I prefer to be able to repair my own cars when possible- and I'm not that much of a comfort hound lol. The Vanagon is an aircooled, 1600cc automatic right now. At some point we may either look into buying another (Synchro Westy?) or converting it to a turbodiesel (around 190 or 200hp and plenty of torque). We have a house now, but depending on what career I end up with, I would like to full-time/live like Chris Stevens on Northern Exposure
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