I am a retired Police officer having served 35 years . In 1970 . I commuted to work some 40 mi each way Long island. for some 20 years...In 1972 I came across a1965 VW window van in pretty bad body shape with a blown engine. Over that winter I rebuilt the engine in my garage and hand painted it , built it into a family camper. I hand [painted it chevy block orange, so I wouldn't be missed. My family and I camped in the vehicle for some five years driving my van allover the east coast... that was fun .But we were stopped a lot of times by the police as it attracted a lot of attention and looked like a hippie van left over from the 60 ss. Additionally I drove the thing in uniform and was given very strange looks by my fellow police officers, supervisors, my commanding officer, and particularly the public. As much as I enjoyed it , after the transmission blew out I decided to sell it, as my wife was getting annoyed at all the police stops and public annoyance we were getting
I continued to drive my 40 miles to work in vw bugs ( several of them) for over the first twenty years of my career but I missed my old van... In 1990 I was prometed to supervisor and moved closer to work.. By this time most vw air cooled bugs were outdated, and not being made in the us, repairs were getting costly. Also . With the cold winters in the northeast and defective old air cooled cold heater systems I wanted to be warm in the winter, so I bought American cars with good heat for the next 15 years. But now I missed vw bugs and my vw 65 van.. In 2005 it was time to retire, so I did. After a few years of boredom I looked for a restoration project.
I started looking thru papers and Most Craigslists on the east coast for vw bugs or VW kit cars. Because most of the cars were vw based, I was faced with very expensive restored cars still with no heat. I decided I wanted a van again to relive my younger years. I also use e bay for a lot of purchases, and . In 2009 I found a vw transporter in Vermont up for bid. The original owner sent me pictures . The van was in very very bad shape, had multi colors all over the badly rusted dented body,. but he said the engine was in good shape. I was very interested as now I wanted a van, did not care about driving to work in uniform, and this time I would paint it it more sensibly. I won the van for 800 dollars a steal. I contacted the owner and said I would purchase the van despite the body shape provided the van could be driven. I rented a u haul car haul dolly and drove 12 hours to the top of Vermont almost at the Canadian border.
We finalized the deal and I drove My Van onto the dolly. This was about 12 pm midnite. I had a long haul home. I drove all nite towards Long Island. As luck would have it, the jinx continued. I got stopped by the police on two separate times. I thought the stop jinx was still with me. I got the van home and parked it in my driveway. Later that day my wife spotted the van and immediately understood why I got stopped again. She stood there looking at this pile of junk and nicknamed it " The Pail" AS IN GARBAGE PAIL. I worked on my van over the next few years doing most work that I could do, ie body work engine rebuild etc. myself. I had the van painted by MAACO who did a great job. I' ve entered it in several car shows and won several awards. I drive carefully. get appreciative looks and beeps from the public and I' ve yet to be stopped by the police. I 've realized my dream, I got my second chance,,,,,