Bitten by the V-dub bug

archive_import /

By SCOTT PESZNECKER

Call it what you will loyalty, infatuation or obsession but Volkswagen owners love their cars.

Take Elisa Anttila, for example, who moved to Angels Camp from the Bay Area two years ago.

She has owned four Volkswagens in her lifetime, but her favorite is the one she drives now.

It's called a "Thing," and lives up to its name.

It's stout, orange, sort of Jeep-like and has windows that slide off and doors that detach. It looks a little like a military Humvee, only it's a lot smaller and far less intimidating.

The Thing is among the more rare Volkswagens that a V-dub lover can find. They were produced only in 1973 and 1974.

"The best thing about it is it makes people smile," said Anttila, who spent three years scouring newspaper ads and car lots before eventually finding the Thing.

Many foothills residents are equally crazy over their German-made Volkswagens whether the model is the aptly-named Bug, a Thing or one of the rounded buses that have become a symbol of the 1960s Hippy era. This Saturday, VWs of all ages, conditions and models are expected to be at Utica Park in Angels Camp for the second annual Mother Lode Volkswagen Show and Swap Meet.

The club has nearly 40 members who live in Calaveras and Tuolumne counties and range in age from 18 to 70 or so.

A club member and Sonora resident, Sam Wise organized the Sonora Bug-Out Volkswagen rally at Snowshoe Brewery in Standard in March.

He said the average age of Volkswagen fans is climbing as do the ages of original VWs.

"There are fewer and fewer younger kids getting into it," said Wise, who collected muscle cars in the early 1990s before getting bit by the Bugs. "Definitely kids these days are getting more into Hondas and stuff."

Each member owns an average of three Volkswagens, club president Jennifer Mitchell said. Then there are the extreme members Wise figures he has owned about 200 in his lifetime, but now owns just five.

In addition to all those Volkswagens, Saturday's event will feature music, a swap meet, food booths, a raffle and games.

11700536
The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Friday May 27, 2016

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
Homelessness, high school and the Butte Fire

05/20/2016

Cole Baisch arrived at Calaveras High School around lunchtime as the sky ... more

Avalon Care Center fined for patient death

05/24/2016

Avalon Care Center in Sonora has been fined $80,000 by the California ... more

Deputies visit schools, build community ties

05/24/2016

You would think Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Deputy Nate Yorston was Santa Claus ... more

UPDATE: Probe begins in Don Pedro fire

05/25/2016

Investigators began sifting through the rubble of the Don Pedro Recreation Agency ... more

High Sierra passes closed again

05/20/2016

Days after authorities opened Ebbetts Pass, Sonora Pass and Tioga Pass for ... more