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Our Newsletter

Happy Cherry Picking 2019

Posted on 5th Jan 2019 @ 9:48 AM

Happy 2019!

It's crazy to think that another year has gone by and here we are still coming up with new and exciting news. A few years back, give or take 10 years or so, I recall seeing an early VW bus that had come up for sale up in Oregon. This wasn't your ordinary, early type 2. In fact, this was a 1964 Ruthmann converted single cab, cherry picker, bucket truck, whatever you want to call it, V90 model. A really cool commercial bus that would be an awesome addition to a neat line of commercial buses.

Well, as in most cases, the bus was out of reach. Not because it was in Oregon but because it was high on the affordability chart. And so it was admired, but not acquired. As the years went by, it was forgotten and like other things in life, the thought of it was replaced with other interests including another bucket truck that had been presented by a good friend in Belgium. That 1962 Ruthmann was a V60 model that had been set outside and unfortunately neglected for many many years. Still salvageable, a price was agreed upon and it was "rescued" and shipped halfway across the globe. This was not an easy task as the mast had to be disassembled in order for it to be shipped via sea container. Today, this V60 sits awaiting restorartion.

Some folks believe that "if it's meant to be, it shall be" or that "things happen for a reason" but whaever you might believe, check this out. One day, while driving around town just east of Los Angeles, I stumbled upon a cherry picker sitting in a parking lot of a service station that appeared to work on VWs, both new and old. It was pretty cool to see this truck and it sure did look familiar. It made me think of the old 64 that I had been interested in so long ago. This one didn't look as nice as the one I recalled, but then again, it was years ago that I had seen that other bus. I asked the gentelman working at the shop what the deal was with the cherry picker and he told me that it was owned by the person that owned the land the shop was sitting on............and then he said the magic words, "I think he's interested in selling it". Before waiting for the owner to come back from being on holiday, a nice conversation was had over the phone prior to him returning and a price was negotiated and agreed upon! During that conversation, it was confirmed that this WAS the same bus from Oregon! I was blown away, especially considering the increase in attention over VWs during the past 10 years and how the values had climbed astronomically. It was just hard to believe that the bus and I would some day meet in person.  The 64 once seen in Oregon had made its way down to Los Angeles over the years. The seller in Oregon had sold it to a collector, which was the gentleman I had met over the phone, and the Ruthmann had lived the rest of its years........outdoors unfortunately. However, it was still very dry and with very minimal rust. Much less than the typical European commercial buses and definitely much less than its older V60 brother.

Once the owner was back in town, we met up and had some conversations about life and of course VWs. it's always interesting how vintage Volkswagens have brought so many of us together. Creating new friendships is pretty nice, but to circle back many years later to a car that you once sought to buy and couldn't and then did, is pretty awesome. This cool 64 V90 is now indoors. The goal for now is to get her roadworthy and driven under its own power to the February OCTO show.

So there you have it. If you think you can no longer find a rare VW in a big city full of enthusiasts, you may want to turn down the dial on your skepticism motor. Keep searching, keep the faith, and once you do find something you've always wanted, use it and show it.