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European Bug-In

ひょんな事から、ベルギーで開催されるEUROPEAN
BUG-IN
に行く事になりました。
昨年のHCSで主催者のKobus君から色々話を聞いていましたが、ヨーロッパは遠いので二の足を踏んでいました。
しかし、MOONEYES Dragsterが招待されたイギリスのイベントの一週間前がEUROPEAN
BUG-INなので、「今年行かなければ後は無い」と、両方のイベントに行く事にしました。
今、ヨーロッパでは、American Hot Rod, Custom and Kustom kalture シーンが最高に盛り上がっていますから、時期的にMOONEYESが行くのはGood
Timingだと思います。

僕にとってのBUG-INって、1979年に現PRA会長のタケが、当時のScat Japan社長のお供でCaliforniaに来た際、Orange County
Int’l Raceway aka OCIRで開催されていたBUG-IN 22に連れて行ってもらったのが、初めてです。

この時、Bee Hausの植野さんは、今とあまり変わらない風貌でレース場に居たし、Flat-4はRace Carを走らせていた訳で、時代の先駆者達は素晴らしいですね。
これらの写真は、その時の数枚です。

< BUG-IN 22にて > 

こちらの写真は、週末に行われていたBracket Raceに参加していたVW達です。

< Service Center VW、
もちろんV-8です。> 

なぜこんなに写真が少ないかって言うと、VW、特にT-1(カブト虫?)に当時まったく興味が無ったのです。
(と言っても最初の車は、’67T-IIなんですが) すみません!

その結果がこれらの写真、友人が免許を取り初心者だからVWがほしいなんて言いだし、「一緒見に行って下さい」と頼まれ、一緒に見てましたが良く分からないままこのVWをLAで購入、Orange
Countyに戻るフリーウエイで、スピードが思うようにでない!何か後ろが振られる!
窓から顔出してリアタイヤを見てみると、なんと!タイヤがフェンダーから出たり入ったりしているではありませんか。
ラグナットが2本しかとまってなくて、その2本も緩んでいたのでした。
フリーウェイから降りて、学校近くを走行中、今度はフロントタイヤが外れて転がっていくし、トランクからジャッキらしき物を見つけ広げたら、楽譜を置く、何て言いましたっけ?それです。
それに懲りた友人は、即このVWを友人に転売、「せっかく見てもらったのに」って呆れて怒っていました。

< Newオーナーをのせて。
右のEl Caminoは僕のです。> 
< 右のEl CaminoはChicoの、454SS、
その前のマスタングは、このVWの最初のオーナーがVW転売後、買った車です。> 

そのNewオーナーは、「Cal Lookを作る!」と息まいてすぐに当時大人気のCenterlineホイルを購入! 
(予算の都合から、とりあえずリアの2本だけ)

< センターラインを履いてポーズする友人です。> 

早速アダプターを取り付け、ホイルを履いてみると、何とこんなに飛び出してしまいした。

< この程度ならまだOK!> 

 
でも、まー!いいか!!って気楽な感じ、この時まではです。
数ヵ月後、フロントを同じ様に取り付けたら、なんと今度はフェンダーの外にタイヤが出てしまいました!

< ハミ出したタイヤを指さし笑う奴、完璧にノックアウトされました。> 

大枚はたいて買ったCenterline、思ったように装着できず、友人はかなり落ち込んでいました。
「このCenterlineどうやってVWに付けるんだよ!?」ってなり、結局お粗末にも、Cal Look計画は頓挫、その後このVWがどうなったかも覚えていません。
今ならもう少しはましな事が出来たかもしれませんが、当時はこんなもんだったと言うお話でした。

長くなりましたが、EUROPEAN BUG-IN、結構楽しみです。

Out of curiosity, plans have been made to attend the EUROPEAN BUG-IN, held in
Belgium.
Kobus, who came to visit last year’s HCS had talked a lot about the event he
organizes,
but because Europe is so far, there was always hesitation in going to see it.

However, the EUROPEAN BUG-IN is one week before the event that the MOONEYES
Dragster was invited to in the UK, so "it’s now or never" as the saying
goes. Therefore, plans have been made to attend both events.

The popularity of American Hot Rod, Custom and Kustom Kulture scene in Europe
is at an all time high right now, so for MOONEYES to attend might be Good Timing
too.

As for me, the BUG-IN takes me back to 1979, when PRA Japan chairman Take was
an attendant for SCAT Japan’s president and came to California for BUG-IN 22
that was held at Orange County Int’l Raceway aka OCIR. It was the first time
I was taken to the BUG-IN event.

At the time, Mr. Ueno of Bee Haus, which hasn’t changed much in appearance even
now, was in the race area, Flat-4 was running a Race Car, it was a period when
they were pioneers which is so awesome.
The following photographs are from that time.

These photos were from the weekend of Bracket Race VW participants at OCIR.

Why are there only a few pictures, you ask? VW’s, especially the T-1 (beetles/bugs?),
were of absolute no interest in those days. (in saying that, the first car I
bought was a ’67 T-II though)
Sorry!

The results of these photos were because a friend had just got a driver’s license
and talked about wanting a VW saying, "Come with me to check it out."
Although we went together to look, I didn’t quite understand his interest, and
this VW was purchsed in LA. Driving back to Orange County on the Freeway, the
lack of speed was worse than I thought! Something was wrong with the rear end!
Sticking my face out of the window I looked at the rear tire. What’s this! Isn’t
that the tire wobbling in and out from under the fender. There were only two
lug nuts holding the tire on and it turned out those were coming loose.

Exiting the freeway, driving near my school, this time the front tire comes
off and rolls away. From the trunk, what appears to be a jack is found and when
it was extended it looked like a stand for putting music sheets on, what was
it called? Yes, correct.

After learning first hand from the experience, my friend was instant to sell
this VW to my other friend. "Went to the trouble of looking at it first
too," was said with amazement and anger.

That NEW owner already had plans, "to make it Cal Look!" and in one
breath had purchased Centerline wheels!

(Due to budget circumstances, only the rear 2 were obtained)

In an instant, the wheels were swapped but because of the wheel adapters the
result was the wheel sticking out this much.

But, well! it’s OK!! It was decided in an easy going attitude. After several
months, the front was swapped to a matching pair as the rear but this time the
adapters caused the tire to stick out past the fender!

Just as predicted, the Centerlines, could not be installed and my friend was
feeling real down. "How do you put these Centerlines on the VW?!"
The Cal Look project was put on hold.

After that, interest was lost and what exactly happened to the VW is not known.
Looking back, there were a bit more things that were possible to do, but for
that period of time, that’s the way the story goes.

It’s become a long blog entry, but that’s because I’m excited about attending
the EUROPEAN BUG-IN.

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