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Old February 10th, 2006, 07:10 AM   #1
RyanB
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Location: Lafayette, OR
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Some of my fondest memories as a child was to wonder when it would be my "turn" to go somewhere with my Grandparents. Each time I was told that we were going camping I secretly hoped that my Grandfather was going to bring the Dune Buggy. I can remember taking rides in the buggy into the green mountains. Finding old abandoned logging area's. I can remember standing up in the back, wind whipping at my face and having windburn for hours after.

I remember going to visit my Grandparents and I would immediatly ask if I could go out back. I would run outside and just walk around the Dune Buggy for what seemed like hours. I would inspect everything I could see and I would jump in (When nobody was looking!) and pretend I was driving. There were VW parts all over the place. Along side of the garage were transaxles and kingpin/balljoin front ends. I would marvel at all of this and want to "work" on it all.

As I grew up, my grandfather must have know about my major interest in his VW's. He probably also knew about my knack (or curse?) for taking everything apart. He gave me a frozen VW engine to take apart! I can say that I was in total bliss!!! I dont remember just how long it took me really. I just remember being in the garage, taking that thing apart piece by piece. Learning how they were put together. I found one of the pistons was frozen and as a jubilant kid I attacked that iron sleeve(with a hammer! haha) and broke it open. Then sat in amazement as I was able to spin the crankshaft and watch the conn rods moving in and out.

My 1st car was purchased for me (I saved the money) by my Grandfather. It was a Blue VW Beetle of course! Man did I have some good times in that car. I went through 3 engines and a number of different clutch's. I can remember limping the car over to my Grandfathers house a few times and him helping and giving advice. I had wanted to Baja it but I just could not afford the kit, and I didnt know how to weld.

Even after I had become a teenager and had cars of my own, everytime I would go over to my grandparents house I would always go out back to see the Dune Buggy. My Grandfathers shop was always an amazing place to go inside. See all the VW stuff and all the tools.

Sadly, as age progresses he was unable to continue working on his VW's and he eventually sold off the Dune Buggy. It had been my secret dream to have it, but again when he sold it off I simply couldnt afford to purchase it.

There are always things you wish you could have done when someone was still around. I know I asked many questions of my Grandfather but I feel that I could have spent more time with him. He had an amazing amount of knowledge about VW's since he had been putting together buggies for years. Sure he was old school and old fashioned, but really that was probably part of his charm.

My Grandfather was my inspiration to get into automotive things and specifically VW cars. I graduated from high scool with honors in automotive and took my high school to the Plymouth AAA troubleshooting contest in 1990 where we took 6th in the state of CA. All that, because of my grandfathers inspiration.

I will miss you terribly GrandPa.


R.I.P. Alfred Munson

I love you, Ryan.
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