Busses and Buggies

Everyone that enjoys seeing VW Micro Busses, Hippie Busses, Surfer Busses, Dune Buggies, Beetles and Bugs please raise your hand! During the early ‘60s, classic VW Kombi Vans captured the attention of young surfers that needed the space for their boards and other equipment. Cheap, available and easily modified to express the owner’s chosen lifestyle, the VW became part of the landscape. As the decade of the ‘60s aged and the hippie movement emerged, the VW bus proved again to be accessible and was soon adorned with bright colors and murals that typified the Flower Power Era. These and other iconic rolling images of bygone days and distant beaches will adorn Germania Park the last Sunday in September when The Cincy VW Club hosts the 23rd annual VW/Porsche Family Reunion.

Meanwhile, back at the beach, the presence of the straightforward VWs sparked the imagination of a fiberglass boat builder to create the platform for a car to cruise the beaches and dunes. Fifty years have passed since the first Meyers Manx dune buggy appeared on the beaches of Southern California. The dune buggy was born when Bruce Meyers created an open fiberglass body and mounted it on a shortened VW Beetle chassis for maximum fun when cruising the beach or exploring the dunes. Now 87 years old, Mr. Meyers is scheduled to appear at this year’s reunion on Sept. 28 to celebrate the creation of the Dune Buggy. This is your chance to meet and chat with an automotive legend.

Organized and chaired by eminent Porsche restorer Mark Schlachter of Metalkraft Coachwerkes, this show also celebrates the air-cooled Porsches. The unmistakable shape of the early Porsche 356 “Bathtub” is prominent throughout the show. As a salute to Porsche, Schlachter also arranged to have legendary racer Bobby Rahal appear as a special guest. A favorite amongst the Porschephiles, Rahal won the Daytona 24 Hour Race in a Porsche 935 and the 12 Hours of Sebring in a Porsche 962, and maintains a vintage Porsche in his collection. Rahal also won the Indy 500 as a driver and Team Owner, raced on the Grand Prix circuit, and currently has teams competing in the Indycar Series and the Sportscar Championship. A fabulously convivial speaker and personality, Bobby Rahal is very knowledgeable and a student of the history of everything automobile related, and will fortify this show’s history of exemplary special guests.

Bruce Meyers and Bobby Rahal, the 50th anniversary of the Dune Buggy, Sambas, Kombis, Westpahalias, Beetles, Bugs, Cabriolets, Super Beetles, Rail Buggies, Squarebacks, Notchbacks, Coupes, Roadsters, Speedsters, Targas, Outlaws and Kartoffelwagens will all merge on the grounds of Germania Park, 3529 W. Kemper Road, Cincinnati ,starting at 9 a.m. with awards at 3 p.m. The home of the Germania Society of Cincinnati, Germania Park’s alpine architecture, will create a charming and appropriate backdrop for the distinct German vehicles.

These Geezers Are A Gas!

One of my favorite components of being the staff automobile, motorcycle and boat guy here at Cincy Magazine is that I get the pleasure of meeting many new people and having them share the story of their passion and hobby. The Indian 4 Vintage Motorcycle Club and the Midwest Donzi Club of high performance boaters come to mind. Recently, I enjoyed a “Car Guys” lunch with the Gassy Geezers in Fairfield after I received an invitation from Jim Thomas and Tony Cerito while on a Southwest Ohio MG T Owners driving tour.

The Gassy Geezers started with a surprise birthday party eight years ago and have met every month since for lunch, with any number of mouth-wateringly beautiful cars to compliment the menu. Many of the Gassy Geezers were classmates at the former Hamilton Catholic High School and developed a lifelong passion for hot rods while in school. Host Steve Crain’s front yard featured some very serious drag racing machinery including a Corvette Coupe, a Willys “Gasser”, Shelby G.T. 350 still in the hands of the original owner, and more that makes car guys and gals stand up and take notice.

A diverse group, representing many professions and walks of life, stepped up to the plate to help the Joe Nuxhall Miracle League Fields organize a fundraising car show. Joe’s son, Kim Nuxhall, spoke to the assembly about the opportunities the Miracle League Fields afford the children they serve. Many of the Geezers had volunteered time, effort and other resources to get the field built at Hatton Park in Fairfield. For a bunch of guys approaching their 50th high school reunion, these Geezers still enjoy playing with cars.

Upcoming Auto Events in the Tristate

Aug. 2, Medora Covered Bridge Road Rally Fundraiser, Medora, Ind.

Aug. 1-3, The Honda Indy 200 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio

Aug. 8-10, Indian Four-Cylinder Motorcycle Club Annual Meet, Tiffin, Ohio

Aug. 16-17, Rising Sun Regatta Powerboat Races, Rising Sun, Ind.

Aug. 16-17, Nationwide Children’s Hospital 200, NASCAR at Mid-Ohio, Lexington, Ohio

Aug. 25-27, Put-In-Bay Road Races Reunion, South Bass Island, Lake Erie, Ohio

Aug. 31, The Italian Gathering 2014, Dublin, Ohio

Sept. 5-7, Lunken Airport Aviation Days, Wilmer Ave., Cincinnati

Sept. 6, British Car Club International Car Festival, Jungle Jim’s Eastgate

Sept. 6, Wyoming Exotic Wheels & Wine, Wyoming Ave., Wyoming

Sept. 14, Dayton Concours d’Elegance at Carillon Park, Dayton

Sept. 19-20, ARCA and NASCAR Racing at Kentucky Speedway, Sparta, Ky.

Oct. 4, Rallye Porsches Mariemont, Mariemont

Oct. 12, Tenth Annual Jack Roush Day, Manchester

Recurring Events

Thursday Evenings, Cruise the Square, Downtown Sharonville

Friday Evenings, Mulberry Square Cruise-In, State Route 28, Milford

Saturday Mornings, Coffee & Cars, Fuel Coffee, 2726 Riverside Dr., Cincinnati

Saturday Mornings, Cars with Coffee and Donuts, Dunkin Donuts, Dixie Hwy., Fairfield