Last Saturday was the spring meeting of the North Midlands Meccano Guild, so I made the familiar journey over to Oxton with a couple of models. As my homage to “Convoy” continues to grow, this time I took my GMC truck with me, (the “Jimmy haulin’ hogs”) and a new model – of a VW camper van. As I said to some there, everyone I know has either had one or knew someone who did, and before restoration became the vogue, they were all the same – made of various multi-coloured bits of metal that were often rusty and full of holes. An ideal subject therefore for some of my older Meccano!
The “Convoy” song includes the lines: ….”and eleven long-haired friends of Jesus in a chartreuse microbus ….
- (Ah, Rubber Duck, this is Sodbuster. C’mon here?)
- (Yeah, ten-four Sodbuster. Listen, ya wanna put that microbus in behind that suicide jockey?)
- (Yeah he’s haulin’ dynamite and he needs all the help he can get!)”
It’s not actually chartreuse – that is a vivid green about the same shade as the #216 cylinder that appeared in a few recent sets. But when I found some second-hand plates that had been painted in green this seemed well worth doing.
According to Wikipedia, The Volkswagen Type 2, known officially, depending on body type as the Transporter, Kombi and Microbus is a panel van introduced in 1950 by Volkswagen as its second car model, following on from VW’s first model, the Type 1 (Beetle). Like the Beetle, the van has received numerous nicknames worldwide, including the “microbus” and, due to its popularity during the counterculture movement of the 1960s, “Hippie van”.
“The Jesus movement” was a movement in Christianity that began on the West Coast of the USA in the late ’60s and early ’70s, dying out by the early 1980s. It was the major Christian element within the hippie counterculture: members of the movement were called Jesus people, or Friends of Jesus, so your “Long-haired friends of Jesus” are Christian hippies, known, among other things, for love, peace and a variety of stickers!
What I most like about this model is people seem to greet it with a fond smile! Perhaps because it has rarely, if ever, been built in Meccano. I hope you enjoy it too!