One of the most thrilling aspects about owning one of these old Volkswagen vehicles is knowing that we are a part of a community. Being able to show up at any VW event and make instant friends even though we are miles and miles away from home, is part of the reason why we keep our Westy on the road.
Bringing VW fanatics from all around the world together, TheSamba.com is by far the most useful resource available on the Internet. We had the opportunity to ask a few questions to its founder, Everett Barnes, and here’s what he had to say.
For the non VW fans out there who do not know about TheSamba.com, could you tell us who you are and what your purpose is in the website?
I am Everett Barnes, creator of TheSamba.com, a place to sell, discuss, and post photos of vintage Volkswagen automobiles.
Back in 1997, TheSamba.com was born under the name of “The Type II and Type III Experience”, and later became “VW Planet”. It was originally created to share photos of your cars and from the California VW shows you had attended over the years. What was your first ever post about?
If I remember correctly, the first items I posted on the site were some VW literature scans from my collection of literature. The first piece I have recorded in the Site Update history is this 1951 VW Bus and Beetle Brochure.
You seem to be really active on your website, keeping track of all the major updates you’ve done since day one. With thousands and thousands of forum messages to your record, what keeps you going after all these years?
There is always something new and exciting on the site – someone finding a new car, people posting restoration updates, and new cars and parts for sale. I am always interesting in reading and looking at the site so even if it was not my web site, I would still be very active on it.
It ain’t a secret, TheSamba.com is a real goldmine when it comes to information on Volkswagen repair and maintenance. Have you ever considered publishing books with the most helpful content we can find on your website?
I have not considered this as it’s typically easier to read it online where you can get more detailed photos and information than what a book can provide. In addition, any updates or corrections or feedback from others can be integrated immediately.
How many VW vehicles do you currently own?
Have you ever been on a long journey with one of your vehicles? What was your itinerary like?
The first thing that comes to mind is I drove my 1963 15-Window back from Washington state to Arizona when I bought it. There was no exact itinerary but I first drove north to a friend’s house to check it out for the trip, then south to visit family, then home.
As a VW purist, what do you think about the Volkswagen bus to be revived as an electric vehicle?
It says it’s just a concept vehicle but I’m all for more electric vehicles of any type.