1) What kind of bus do you have?
My wife and I are the proud owners of a 1973 Westfalia pop-up Camper Bus. We purchased it soon after we moved to the island about two years ago. We saw it for sale in Aguada Puerto
Rico from a private seller who had just paid to have it exported into PR from Florida. He ran into financial trouble before he even had a chance to register and inspect it and quickly had it up for sale. We happen to be in the right place at the right time as we were driving from our home in Isabela along Route 2 towards Mayaguez and saw it for sale the first day he had parked it with a for sale sign on it along a marginal. Needless to say we had it parked in our driveway a few days later. The bus only had 45,000 original miles on it when we bought it and now even two years later it only has 52,000 miles on it. That is not because we don't drive it and enjoy it, but since the island here is about 100 miles from east to west by 35 miles from north to south so the distance you need to travel to get to most places here on the island is not that bad. But don't be fooled, as driving from the north of PR to the south can take 3 or 4 hours depending on what roads you take so it still feels very big for what initially sounds like a small island.
2) When did you become interested in VW Buses?
My wife and I have always liked vintage vehicles including VW buses but we never really thought about seriously owning one until we saw this one for sale. Once we stopped and looked it all over we just couldn't pass up the chance to finally own one, especially one as nice as this is.
3) Tell us about a trip you took in your bus that stands out in your mind?
We drove the bus to a favorite beach in Arecibo that we call "splashy Rock" as the ocean splashes 30 feet in the air spraying you in the water and parked in our bus for the night. We cooked a delicious dinner on our portable propane stove, watched the sunset and then camped right on the beach. Another favorite was going to Aguadilla and parking along the shore line for dinner and then watching the amazing sunset.
4) What modification have you done that you are happiest with?
We haven't really modded the bus at all. We like it the way it is which is pretty much totally stock so we have just had the normal repairs and maintenance done to it.
5) What is one of your favorite things about owning a VW bus?
I would say the looks we get while driving around in it. Everyone gets a kick out of seeing a beautiful vintage VW bus cruising around and when our Bichon dog Hobbs is hanging partly out of the window getting some "air" the added looks we get is priceless. It's funny because my bright yellow best of show 2001 Mustang GT convertible doesn't get even a fraction of the looks, even with Hobbs hanging out the window, that the VW bus gets for looks while cruising around in beautiful Puerto Rico.
6) What advice would you give a "new" VW bus owner?
After you do your homework and know what to look for and what to avoid, and you finally purchase the year and style of bus you want, make sure that once it's yours you take the time to actually drive it once in awhile and enjoy it.
7) About us.
My wife Alayne (a former French teacher) and I (former computer IT tech and now book author) recently retired from NH and moved to Puerto Rico just a few years ago. We had originally thought we wanted to move to Florida, but Florida is very hot in the summer, chilly in the winter, can be a very expensive place to live, high rise condo's and hotels now block your views of the beaches in most places and the beaches are always crowded. We chose Puerto Rico for the year round warmer weather, friendly local people, car shows and cruises year round, ocean views and beautiful sandy beaches. Many things are much less expensive here in PR than in the states or overseas which makes owning something special and somewhat of a luxury item like this VW bus an easier thing to obtain. If your home in PR is your primary house you don't even pay property taxes which as most of us know can be a huge savings each year right there. Needless to say, Puerto Rico is not only a great vacation retreat but is really the secret jewel of the Caribbean in which to live and retire to.
Star Trek Author and VW Bus Owner