Just over one hundred buses and trucks dotted the lawns of the Solano Fairgrounds for Nor Cal Bus Fest 7 on August 14, while several hundred enthusiasts spent the day talking shop, swapping or just relaxing under the trees.
The vehicles on hand ranged from moss-covered forest finds to high-caliber restorations, and lots of daily drivers. One of the restored buses that attracted a crowd all day was Eric’s immaculate, Sacramento-based 1954 Barndoor Deluxe. Another special bus, which has not been seen in the bay area too often, was Mark’s amazing Caterpillar Yellow 1955 Deluxe sunroof, complete with a rare Police roof rack, driven in from Sausalito. Other beautiful restorations in attendance included Larry’s class winning 1960 Single Cab, Mark’s green and white 21 window and Tony’s 1959 European Deluxe.
There were also some very cool recent acquisitions such as Eric’s 1961 Westfalia, Lou’s Barndoor Kombi and Christopher’s Double Door Panel, along with one freshly discovered and recovered bus - Brian’s internet famous 1959 “Rat Attack” Kombi, with the amazing drive-out from the Nor-Cal mountains that captivated readers on the Samba.com. The combination of these “new” vehicles and many of the Bus Fest regulars made for an excellent variety of vehicles to check out.
Several people rounded up drivers and brought multiple vehicles out to the event, including Richmond’s Jahnai who brought four, Sacramento’s Todd (two Barndoors) and JP (Deluxe and Double Cab.)
As always the swappers were scattered among the vehicles, and covered the main concourse. I was told there were many bargains to be found. Like all Bus Fest events, the day ended with a few awards and a fantastic raffle, thanks to our generous sponsors. This year’s grand prize was a complete 64-67 Type II brake update set, complete with all hydraulics, hoses and shoes from Al at Honest Engine Midtown (great idea Al!) Other great prizes included a side step from Bus Boys, locking shifter/mirrors/gift certificates and more from Wolfsburg West, gift certificates and tons of t-shirts from Vintage Warehouse and Lavere’s VW Restoration, weather strips for each generation of bus/truck from West Coast Metric, several tune-up kits from Greg’s VW Service, lots of cool VW dealer accessories from Niello Volkswagen and assorted t-shirts and patches from Vintage Wheels.
Thank you to all who attended and to the ever generous sponsors who make it happen every time, and a special thank you to the RBS crew: Marilee, Ella, Gen, Tom, John, Dusty and Ken – without them these events would not happen.