For over half a century, the Volkswagen "bus" has cast a spell on the automobile industry, and John LaTorre understands why. In the process, he's put close to half a million miles on them, camped in them, lived in them, and worked on them in some very inconvenient places and times. This is their story, and his story.
The VW bus has had several lives: a no-nonsense commercial van, a (mostly) reliable daily driver, an icon for a free-wheeling counter-culture, a symbol for getting away from it all, and the template for today's ubiquitous mini-vans. An amazing number of them are over forty years old and still on the road, doing what they were designed to do, in one of transportation's greatest success stories.
On the Bus is a story of auto shows, roadside breakdowns, and journeys across the country and around the American west. It's a story of the people who drive buses, love buses, camp in buses, repair buses, and keep buses on the road. Hop in and buckle up -- it's a thrilling ride, and the journey isn't over.
"John LaTorre offers a significant new book for the canon of writings on classic Volkswagen vehicles -- his love of the VW bus. What's remarkable about Mr. LaTorre's account is not only his historical insights but also most importantly his anecdotal reveal of his intimacy with the bus, from his meandering campout adventures on the road to his rewarding yet greasy work in keeping his buses alive.
"In his four buses over the course of forty years, Mr. LaTorre logged in an odometer count of over 400,000 miles, which makes On the Bus an authoritative read of his hearty passion for the vehicle that became a cultural icon of wayfaring people whose love overcame the sometimes arduous mode of travel.
"Like its cousin the Volkswagen Beetle, everyone has an engaging story in their memories with the four-wheeler. Read and remember your own days when a computer chip did not make the machine go."
The book is available as a trade paperback, priced at $16.00, from Amazon.com and through your local bookstore, as well as in a Kindle format priced at $9.99. In the electronic version, the photographs are in color instead of gray-scale.
Click here to go to Amazon.com, for both the paperback and Kindle format.
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