Original Microbus owners buzz about the new ID. Buzz

Hundreds of VW busses showed up in Huntington Beach, California to mark the world premiere of Volkswagen’s three-row ID. Buzz electric van. What would their owners think of VW’s fresh take on their beloved classic? I asked a few.

My first stop was to talk to the actor Kareem Grimes, who has been in several films and TV series including most recently the football-oriented All American series on the CW Network. A VW enthusiast, Grimes has followed the development of the Buzz for the past five years. Growing up in Inglewood, California, he fell in love with Volkswagens and recently purchased his dream bus, a ’67 23-window Samba.  I asked him what it was like to love classic cars with EVs like the Buzz on the horizon.

Kareem Grimes '67 23-window Samba Bus
Kareem Grimes with his ’67 Samba. Rachelle Cummings

“This is just a part of life,” he said. “I’m an electric car owner already. When I saw the ID. Buzz, I thought now that’s what I’m talking about! Volkswagen is stepping up to the game, and I definitely want to be a part of that.”

I then interrupted a family eating lunch in their 1962 Walkthrough (meaning it has individual bucket seats up front, allowing occupants to walk through it). Dre Verga, the dad, shared that he had always wanted a bus and recently purchased this one. We discussed the new Buzz and if it captured that iconic look that first caught his eye as a child.

Dre Verga 1962 Volkswagen Walkthrough bus
Dre Verga and family with their ’62. Rachelle Cummings

Verga said, “They did a great job with the shape. They did a modern take on a classic, and while it’s not 100-percent the same, you get the added safety features.” I asked him what he thought about the future of collector cars, and with his baby nestled on his lap, he responded, “Back in the 50s and 60s, it was hot rodding. Now younger kids are modifying cars from the ’90s; that’s their version of restoring hot rods, and in the future that ID. Buzz will be a hot rod restomod for someone.”

John and Danny Staggs are brothers and brought a 1960 Standard and a ‘64 Deluxe Standard Non-Sunroof.  I asked Danny, the younger brother, what got him into buses, and his answer was simple: “John.” When I asked him why he loves buses, he said, “because they make people smile.” And as for his take on the new Buzz, he said, “I think they’re pretty cool. I’d loved to own one. It looks like a lot of fun. I love how the doors open up on both sides; it reminds me of the double door of the split-window buses. I love how they carried on the tradition.” And when I asked him if the new one made him smile, he said, “Yes.”

AJ Salazar is 18 and just got back from a 2000-mile road trip to Moab, Utah in his 1967 Westfalia. He grew up attending bus events with his family and now brings his own. Salazar’s take was simple: “It has potential. You never know. It’s never the car; it’s the community that’s attracted to it. The people could do nothing, or they could make it into something amazing.”




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