The Last Ride for Herbie No. I

We’re flying back home to Austria! Our plan for there is to activate our Love Bug No. II in order to continue Herbie’s World Tour on the other side of the globe. Domi and his friend Michael Lee Phillips went on a last trip in Herbie No. I for this year. They visited Trona in Searles Valley, where Michael was born and raised. He also showed Domi the local cemetery and the graves of his parents, Ruth and Frank.


Read the Scripts!

Domi went shopping again. At the local junk yard he found three engine lid scripts for just ten Bucks. We’ll take them back home in order put one of those on Herbie No. II.

As Herbie No. II is powered by a fuel injected engine, this script would perfectly fit.

But Domi actually bought three different Volkswagen emblems for the engine hoods.

We’ll might put an original motor (1,200 cc with carburetor) back into Herbie No. II. For that case, we could easily change the “Fuel Injection” script into the “Volkswagen” one.

Getting Ready to Go!

Very soon we’ll have to leave Herbie No. I and his fellow camper behind. They will be waiting for us here in Southern California, while we are in Europe or somewhere else.

Today we did our last laundry. The clothes are hanging on a tree to dry, right besides our Love Bug in front of the apartment. On Friday we’ll leave Ridgecrest, California.

This is the new spot where Herbie and “QEK Junior”, the camper, are going to stay, while we are gone, preparing Herbie No. II for another adventure, exploring the world.

You’ve Got Mail

We received a package by mail from South America the other day. The Classic VW Club Paraguay sent us a copy of the “ABC Color” magazine featuring Herbie’s World Tour. But the package also included a gorgeous handcrafted pin. Thank you so much!

Celebrate the Best Car Ever Made!

With over 21 million manufactured in an air-cooled, rear-engined, rear-wheel drive configuration, the Volkswagen Beetle is the longest-running and most-manufactured car of a single design platform anywhere in the world. Let’s celebrate!

Herbie, Fusca & CIA

Herbie’s World Tour got featured in the latest edition of “FUSCA & CIA”, a Brazilian magazine about the air-cooled Volkswagen Bug. The story goes over eight full pages and includes a lot of pictures from our travels around the world. The article is written in Portuguese by Luiz Guedes Jr. from Brazil.

The Safety Star

We just rewarded Herbie with the so-called “Safety Star”. Domi found a very nice reproduction of this vintage accessory on an online auction website.

The “Safety Star” was given out as a reward to excellent drivers by their insurance companies in the past. We think, Herbie deserves that too!

Normally, people would have the “Safety Star” as a license plate topper. We’ll put it on top of Herbie’s right rear bumper guard serving as a third brake light.

The original “Safety Stars” were introduced in the 1930ies and were exclusively manufactured by “National Safety Devise” in San José, California.

Herbie’s Blind Side

After traveling around the world without seeing passing cars on both sides of the camper, we finally found the proper extension mirrors for Herbie at an American retailer.

The only mirror we used was the interior one looking through three windows – the back of the VW as well as the front and the back window of our “QEK Junior” camper.

The Love Bug might looks a bit odd with these new mirrors, but they really work and are easy to install. Back in Europe we couldn’t find those – in the US we got lucky.


Herbie has no blind spot anymore! We were driving hundreds of thousands of miles blind sided around the globe and back in Austria before. We finally improved that!

“Tow-N-See” is the name of the product, Domi discovered at an American retail store. We’re looking forward to pulling “QEK” with seeing what’s going on in the back.

You just place the vacuum cup against the surface of your existing mirror. We tested the strength by hitting the freeway with maximum speed. Everything worked out!

The Golden State

Herbie will remain in the Great State of California, where also his brother from Walt Disney comes from. He enjoys the dryness in the desert of the Golden State.

California is the third largest and by far the most populous state of the United States.

If California were a country, it would be the eighth-largest economy in the world.

Ridgecrest in Kern County, is where Herbie’s camp is located. Although we’ll get home in two weeks, we’ll be back here in 2013, after we’ve traveled through Africa.

I Got Stripes

At this year’s “VW Classic” show in Irvine, Domi bought new chrome running board moldings for Herbie. So now he got new stripes besides the red, white and blue ones.



The Gold Rush

Michael and Domi checked out the lower section of Kern River near Kernville and Lake Isabella in the Sierra Mountains of Southern California last week in order to find out more about its white water rapids, because they want to kayak down there. While observing the flow of the river, they discovered an actual gold mining camp.

It was very interesting for Domi and Michael meeting and talking to the gold miner. He was telling them that he’s making money for all his daily needs by chasing gold.

The Kern River is one of the most storied rivers in the West, as well as one of the most dangerous ones. Merle Haggard actually wrote a famous song about the Kern.

Above you can see one of the signs put up by the miner including his mining claim and its number. Gold mining is obviously getting back in trend, as the stakes are high.

Gold was discovered for the first time along the upper river in 1853 and is still a hot spot for gold rushing men in the West. Below a picture of the miner’s home.


Herbie’s Hall Effect

While we spent time in Veracruz, Mexico, Domi bought a complete hall effect distributor kit (including ignition module) for our American Love Bug. Just a couple days ago Herbie got his new feature installed and he seems to feel very well with it.



American Graduation

Our neighbors and dear friends, Diego and Pablo Ramírez graduated from Ridgecrest’s Sherman E. Burroughs High School this year. It was a great honor for us getting invited to their commencement exercises at the school stadium.

California’s VW Classic 2012

Today Herbie and Domi visited the reportedly “greatest VW show on earth”, better known as California’s “VW Classic 2012” in Irvine, near Los Angeles. Hundreds of air-cooled Volkswagen showed up and the Love Bug enjoyed being part of the show.

The Greatest VW Show on Earth

Herbie and Domi are going to appear at the reportedly “greatest VW show on earth”. The 30th “VW Classic” will take place at the Verizon Amphitheater in Irvine, California, on June 10. For more information about the show, just follow this link!

If you’re planning to visit this year’s “VW Classic” too, it would be a pleasure for us meeting you there! This will probably be the last VW show we’ll take part, before flying back to Vienna, Austria, continuing our World Tour in Herbie No. II.

Blogging Half-Year Jubilee

Herbie’s World Tour already started in September 2009, but the “dot-com” just exists since last December. Umpteen thousand people all around the globe were following our adventures within the last six months of driving Herbie across America.

Since March our blogging host offers country related stats. Within in those three months we got visitors from all colored nations you can see above. Our Top 10 are Brazil, USA, Germany, Austria, Peru, Paraguay, France, Canada, Ecuador and Norway.

The Love Bug Sound

When we were at the junk yard the other day, we discovered a feature, Herbie really needed. There it was, a VW Bug from the early 1960ies with an original horn on it.

This is a six volt horn exclusively made by “Hella” in Germany for Volkswagen.

Domi removed the horn we bought once at a common automotive retailer.

Finally Herbie got his voice back! As our Bug is actually running on twelve volt, the six volt horn is much louder than normal. But this is exactly what we were looking for.

Together Again!

As we are back in Southern California since May 25, Herbie and the camper got together again. Our trip to South America was made exceptionally without the trailer.

In 2010 we found our new friend and camp’s host Lyle Gregory from Ridgecrest.

Ridgecrest is the only incorporated city along Highway No. 395 in Kern County.

Here you get an interior look of our camper “QEK Junior” from East Germany.

We just installed mini blinds at the front and rear window instead of curtains.

Mount Whitney vs. Death Valley

Herbie’s camp in Ridgecrest, California, is located right between the highest mountain peak and the lowest elevation basin in the contiguous 48 United States of America.

The summit of Mt. Whitney reaches a total height of 14,505 feet (4,202 m).


Mount Whitney is just 85 miles (136 km) East-Southeast of Death Valley.

Death Valley’s basin Badwater has the lowest elevation in North America.

The Badwater basin in Death Valley, at 282 feet (86 m) below sea level, also holds the record for the highest reported temperature in Western hemisphere, 134 °F (56.7 °C).

Going Kayaking

Today Domi went kayaking. He got invited by our friend Michael, his wife Susie and her friend Vicki to paddle down the Owens River in Inyo County, California. They drove about 130 miles (or 210 kilometers) on scenic Highway 395 up to Bishop in order to get to the point where they started floating down the the winding river.

The Indian Wells Valley

Herbie’s camp is located in Ridgecrest, the biggest city in the Indian Wells Valley. Recently we took a short ride to “Cerro Coso Community College” to get a better view.

Above you see Ridgecrest and along its most important street, China Lake Boulevard.

You can find beautiful gardens and interesting sculptures at the college campus.

Other towns in the so-called Indian Wells Valley are Trona, Inyokern and China Lake.

We got the chance to park on a dramatic spot, enjoying the sunset and overlooking the valley as well as the Sierra Nevada, Coso, Panamint, and Argus mountain ranges.