V.I.S.I.T. – Holiday Weekend Edition


For the Independence Day weekend, we made our way over to Lake Wenatchee State Park, on the south end of the lake. The weather was hot and dry – absolutely perfect, after putting up with a cool, wet spring back on the other side of the Cascade mountains. On Saturday, we made a quick run to Leavenworth, WA, for some shopping and sightseeing.

For me, sightseeing means scoping out cool cars and trucks.

For those unfamiliar with Leavenworth, this former mill town was reborn as a Bavarian village in the 1960’s, and has become one of the most popular German-themed towns in the country. Even the street signs are bilingual, and many people who work in town speak German.

But enough about cheesy theme towns. Let’s take a look at some of the interesting cars I saw last weekend.


First off, we have this cool VW van. This van has seen more than one rattlecan, but somehow it just works. Minimal rust, complete trim and lights, and those great (13″?) wheels.


Later, while walking down the main street through town, I saw this pop-up Element. I’ve never seen one like this before; it has a matching roof, and a 6″-8″ extension above the windshield and doors, and running boards. Not exactly a versatile off-road car anymore, but I bet it’s perfect for weekend camping.



Later, I saw another sweet VW, this time a very nice little 1989 Westfalia. This is the Westy that I really like, with the full kitchen, popup top, double bed, and a manual transmission. My wife told me to stop taking pictures and staring at it.


Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans are not all that special, or photogenic, but this one stuck out, and I had to get a quick shot. First there’s the size- it was huge sitting there next to the cars nearby. This one is a conversion, obviously, with a high top, a wet bar/kitchenette inside, and lots of seating. It was definitely the biggest thing around, and stuck out in traffic, but I bet it was very comfortable inside.


Back at camp, this was waiting for us just a few minutes down the trail. I love spotting and sharing interesting cars with you all, but a quiet morning next to a lake that’s smooth as glass is good for the soul, and just what I needed after a hectic few months. I could live here, but they’d probably kick me out after a few months. What do you think of these cars?


[Photos Copyright 2013 Hooniverse/Marcal Eilenstein]

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12 responses to “V.I.S.I.T. – Holiday Weekend Edition”

  1. skitter Avatar

    I like the lake better than any of them.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      +1, and it is a more reliable source of happiness, too. Saw a bunch of hipsters with a broken down yellow VW bus yesterday. Felt sorry for them, but couldn't stop and wouldn't have been able to help them anyway.

  2. dead_elvis Avatar

    14" wheels on that VW (15" on split window buses, I think – wouldn't be surprised if there were specific exceptions)

  3. Bren Avatar

    That Mercedes Sprinter – http://www.rvtrader.com/listing/2007-Roadtrek-Mer

    1. MVEilenstein Avatar

      Thanks for that. Saw another Roadtrek conversion, a Dodge van. Probably a lot more practical, easy to drive.

    2. salguod Avatar

      I've seen a couple similar Sprinter conversions by Airstream. They look like amazing rigs.

  4. Van_Sarockin Avatar

    Sprinter might be the new VW van. Nice lake. Any fish left?

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      Isn't the Sprinter built to last eight minutes? (And thus only slighter better than the three-minute-Vito/V-class.)

    2. MVEilenstein Avatar

      Plenty. Watched them early in the morning, eating bugs off the surface of the water.

  5. robbydegraff Avatar

    That Westfalia is awesome

  6. Mike C Avatar
    Mike C

    As a former 72 Westfalia owner in the 80's in CO, my memory of the vehicle may be much better than the vehicle itself. One thing you do learn–how to rebuild the motor. Driving up in the Rockies she's gonna blow, it's a matter of when. My wife would like us to get an old Westie–I remind her that the Denali she runs now gets better MPG with both AC running and 340HP. I am considering a Sprinter-type for future camp travel. They are the new Westy–at over $100K new converted.

  7. Mike C Avatar
    Mike C

    One more thing–the Westy was the best Red Rocks tailgate concert vehicle ever!!!!!! With smoky libations going 'legal' there, maybe another old Westy is the way to go…….

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