At the start of the year we bought a 1976 VW Kombi and relocated it to Melbourne from Adelaide. Since then it's undergone a few transformations. When we first got it in Adelaide, the headlights would fly out and the fuel gauge didn't work, but damn the old girl had some charm! Our main man Jimmy and his girlfriend drove it back and had plenty to say haha...
"The goal was simple. Fly to Adelaide, pick up the 1976 VW Combi, and drive it back to Melbourne. Easy baby.
But the elements and the big heads of the universe had other plans, and those plans were to fuck with me. It was January – essentially summer – and we landed in Adelaide ready to grab this old piece of shit and embark on a lovely weekend drive to Melbourne. The trip was delayed as it took me 1 hour to figure out how to close the side door. Then another 30-minutes of clogging traffic in Adelaide’s King William St as I tried to figure out how to put the fucking thing in reverse.
But then we were on our way. Up the hills that lead East, out of Adelaide, slowly chugging our way inch-by-inch closer to Melbourne. All was sweet, kind of felt like a coca cola commercial – everyone’s laughing and having fun in this old cliche hippie bus. But then the headlights fell out of the front. And so, 2 gaping holes in the front of the bus allowed an Arctic wind, colder than a butchers’ stare, to penetrate our homely ride. I had no jumper, no jacket – it’s fucking summer, who needs that shit?
Then we discovered the fuel gauge didn’t work. Which wouldn’t have been too bad if we didn’t run out in the middle of butt-fuck South Australia. I managed to pull us off the isolated Princes Hwy into some farmers driveway, where i would proceed to hitch-hike either 30km back to the last town, or 50kms to the next. It wasn’t easy, there’s fucking nothing but empty plains around these parts, but I got a ride back to the Petrol Station in Talem Bend, lodged between 2 screaming kids in an SUV. Was all fairly easy, I got 2 drums of Unleaded and walked back to the freeway to start hitching again. After around 25 minutes of watching the clouds, I got a ride in a little old hatchback. The older fellow driving was a little odd, it didn’t feel too right. But I had left my girlfriend and the shitty VW in some farmers driveway, in a state known for it’s serial killers and weirdos. South Australia tourism even used a Nick Cave song to promote the Barossa Valley, i mean fucking hell.
Anyway, the weirdo in the hatchback gave me a ride back to the VW. Along the way, he changed the CD 5 times – from Fijian tribal beats to banjo folk-crap, he just kept on changing the music. And he had one of those nervous tick-things. But I’m sure i was just being paranoid about the guy, he was just an old farmer from the area who probably only killed people on a casual basis.
I got back to the bus and we headed further south-east towards Mount Gambier. Without incident, we made it to the shittiest little town in Australia, Mount Gambier. I’d been stuck here before on other roadtrips and knew it wasn’t safe to talk to anyone – they’re all just too weird. But the big Blue Lake at the top of the town was always good for making out, so we went up there.
Eventually we made it back to Melbourne. We couldn’t go over 70km the whole trip, but the old VW got us home. But not without repercussions, having been exposed to winds colder than a penguins willy, we both were sick with death-flu. It’s not like we died, but I could have – it was the worst case of man-flu I have ever had.
The moral of the story: if you’re going to drive a 1976 VW Combi through butt-fuck nowhere, don’t invite me."
Next up we whipped up a paintjob for the guys from surf flick 'Spirit of the Earth' - a modern tribute to the surf classic 'Morning of the Earth'...
A bunch of guys and girls cruised along the East Coast surfing and playing music to local stations while meeting the communities that inspired the original film. If you haven't seen 'Spirit of Akasha' or 'Morning of the Earth' - then drop a magic stamp or two and get on it doods!
The Kombi has now been claimed by our buddies at Johnny Feelgood Travel - who have given it a pretty sweet new do!