It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time

VW 201531

I remember riding in one of these VW Country Buggies in the late 1960’s when one of the people staying at the university college I attended decided that he was going to be all bush and banjos and beard. He attracted a very pretty young blonde of the expensive hippy sort and careered around the town with the open top in all weathers. I do not believe he came any closer to the bush than the last hamburger joint at the edge of town but that is not the point – he had the little blonde.

VW 201533

At this time in Australia the Land Rovers were one of the few 4WD available – apart from s/h Jeeps and leftover ex-NATO Austin Champs imported through a local dealer. The idea I suppose was to sell such obviously rural transport to the obviously rural Australians and the importers probably thought to make a fortune. I have not seen a Champ for decades and I suspect that most of the farmers were smarter than that in the first place – they bought Toyotas and Nissan patrols and any number of tray-tops and left the leftovers to the car club enthusiasts.

VW 201532Well, BMC though that they could get in on the game with the Mini Moke and VW tried this thing out. I cannot tell you whether it ever had any European ancestry in the Bundeswehr or anyplace else – you might think it from the boxy lines of it but I suspect it was just a cobble-up by the local factory.

They are never seen nowadays, while Land Rovers and Mokes of the period are still occasionally on the roads. It is just as well – who would want to do a nose-to-tail commute on the freeway in this much iron oxide?

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