Gunners Garage

Volkswagen Funfest was Fun

Funfest attendees gather for a cruise near the Mid America Fun Dome.

Funfest attendees gather for a cruise near the Mid America Fun Dome.

 

Volkswagen enthusiasts from across the country descended on the Mid America Motorworks corporate campus in Effingham, Ill., to celebrate their annual Air Cooled Volkswagen Funfest. Now, with hundreds of Volkswagens on display, you might have expected the place to look like a lady bug convention, but you’d be off the mark.

Sure, there were a lot of Beetles or Bugs or whatever you want to call them, but the real attention getters were the other models that Volkswagen made. The 15-window and 23-window buses that scooted up in price so quickly, seem to be yesterday’s news in the VW community. Now the fans of the German car want to have other variants parked in the garage next to their Beetle.

The bus guys now seem to be looking for drop side pickups (both single- and double-cab models), barn door panel truckis, double-door panel trucks, campers (both split window and bay window) and oddballs like tow trucks and ambulances. There was even a bus welded onto a normal old camper for a very unique combination. We don’t know if it was home-brewed or factory made.

How about a Country Wagen? It’s an Australian market model that’s kind of a cross between a VW Thing and a Crosley Farm-O-Road. The German automaker built under 2,000 of them and nearly 900 were assembled Down Under. The balance went to Malaysia, New Zealand and the Philippines.

For the sporty at heart, Karmannp-Ghias are in, but so are kit cars made on VW platforms, such as the Bradley GT and the Bugattis made in Buffalo, N.Y. (You see the Bugattis more than the Alfa models the same outfit marketed.) There was also a great-looking MG TD replica on the VW chassis. Squarebacks and Fastbacks are also in demand, as are (excuse the expression) The Real Things. Many in this latter group are customized or accessorized, but the VW lovers seem cool with that type of thing, even on Beetles.

All of these cars are still around and waiting for collectors to scoop them up. If you were interested in making such a purchase, one of the best things at the VW Air Cooled Funfest was the swap meet with all types of VW cars and parts for sale. For VW lovers, this is definitely a must-see event.

 

On Friday evening the VWs went from the show to downtown Effingham.

On Friday evening the VWs went from the show to downtown Effingham.

 

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