Texas Hill Country Man Loses Volkswagen Bus Somewhere… in Canada

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A story out of British Columbia (B.C.), Canada, has the Texas Hill Country written all over it. Short of checking the Old Volks Home (yes, I was particularly fond of that…), August Budde of Austin, Texas hasn’t been able to locate his Volkswagen camper which he left in Prince George, B.C. a little over a decade ago. That might leave you scratching your head, but wait, there’s more. Budde was living in Alaska back in 2006 when his father gifted him a 1974 Volkswagen bus for his 16th birthday. He and his friend decided they were going to take a road trip to the Texas Hill Country (who wouldn’t?!) to see Budde’s mother in Austin. This is where the story gets juicy…

Setting out from their home in Alaska, the duo got as far as Prince George, approximately 1,670 miles into their more-than-4,300-mile trip, when the Volkswagen broke down. According to an article from CBC news, Budde said, “We end up driving into Prince George and the engine started stopping on us, seizing. [The bus] would make it about a minute then stop. Then make it like half-a-minute and stop… We just parked it.” Caught between a rock and a hard place, having limited funds and unsure of what their next steps would be, the pair went to a local coffee shop to make a decision.”We start looking for bus tickets … We started talking about what we do with the bus. Can we find a parking lot? Do [we] think we can find a place to hold it for us?” Budde explained. “And this girl overheard us.”

According to Budde, the woman said that her grandfather was a mechanic and could possibly fix the Volkswagen bus. So, they drafted an agreement in which Budde would sign over temporary ownership of the van, which would be repaired and returned to his possession afterward. The troubled travelers spent the night with the woman’s family and were given a ride to the local Greyhound station the following day. The troubles with their Texas trips weren’t finished, however, and the backpack in which Budde had placed all of the Volkswagen paperwork went missing on their way to the Hill Country. Not being able to recall the woman’s name, nor how to follow up on the Volkswagen, Budde was left bereft. “We’d talk about it over and over again. Her name was Andrea, we think. We couldn’t remember her last name. I do remember her saying though that she was going to go to college in Victoria,” he recently said.

Texas Hill Country Man Loses Volkswagen Bus Somewhere in BC…in Canada

Photo: Pxhere

Since the growth of the internet and our ability to regularly use it for good as opposed to evil, Budde, who now resides in Austin, has turned to the world wide web to find out what happened to his beloved 1974 Volkswagen bus. Prior to that, he had made some efforts in sourcing leads, even considering a private investigator, but more recently has looked to online forums. Noting that the bus would most definitely stand out in a crowd (it was orange with custom powder-coated blue rims, a white bumper, and a Westfalia camper top), Budde says, “It wasn’t perfect, but it was close enough for me.” For now, he continues to look and ask questions where possible, noting that he dreams of one day taking it on another road trip. Although we’ve yet to see this marvel of moving ’70s memorabilia here in the Texas Hill Country, Budde says his wife will be his co-pilot for whatever road trip it takes. “I see all these images of us traveling in it, and I’m like, ‘oh, if only I hadn’t left that bus.’”