My name is Jay Canode. I am a jack of visual arts, part time videojournalist and full time Dad. See my background for more B.S. about me and what I do professionally. What you see here functions as my emotional and creative outlet required and inspired by the relationship with my 1974 Volkwagen Transporter. Some call it a bus, type 2, kombi, bay window, hippie-wagon, around my house we call it Thevan. I’ve owned Thevan as long as I’ve been married, in fact it was my wife Amy and I’s wedding present to each other in the summer of 2000. We test drove it, Amy burst into tears, and that was that. It survived a year of vagabonding in Arizona and thrived 6 years in the deep snows and thin air of Silverton, Colorado. Now Thevan lives in the banana belt of Colorado, the North Fork Valley. Its hard for me to explain why, after several quarts of blood spilt from knuckle and forehead lacerations, I remain so “in love” with this vehicle. Call it magic, call it mojo, call it sadomasochism, but something compels me to keep Thevan in the family and on the road. Along with the help of the braintrusts of Thesamba.com, Shoptalk.com and NASIOC.com(That’s a Subaru forum…more on that split decision elsewhere.) I am the sole member of Thevan’s mobile pitcrew. I equate owning and maintaining the Volkswagen to the art of bull fighting where its not about who wins the battle, but the aesthetics of how one performs under pressure. Its a form of artistic expression but really what it boils down to is FUN. When Thevan is at the top of its game it provides freedom and adventure of the highest degree, but when it gets in a rut, life with Thevan translates into the life experiences from whence all great art materializes.
There is no doubt Thevan and I have a love hate relationship but love seems to maintain the upper hand. To gaze upon this vehicle from the outside it may not appear like I love it all that much. I am not aesthetically meticulous when it comes to Thevan’s presentation. Currently it has a “sagey” hue of Sears Weatherbeater paint (yes latex) . While behind the hatch (under the hood) lies a 16 valve, 160 horsepower engine that my friend Chris Myles ( a modern day blacksmith who can do most anything with rudimentary tools.)and I plucked from a 2000 Subaru Outback. As such, Thevan’s ability to stay functional is much higher on my priority list than a pure OG Volkwagen. Judging from how many other VW’s of this vintage you actually still see rolling down the highway on their own power in America, its easy to understand the work required to stave off entropy in these classic automobiles . If they’re not a pile of rust next to a barn of similar age, they exist in museums or someones spit shined garage only to be driven once in a blue moon. I drive my Volkswagen everyday. It has functioned as a: pickup truck, rolling studio apartment, playhouse, school bus, cross country road tripper, and spare bedroom just to name a few. Time behind the wheel is always an exercise in faith, regardless of how good I believe the overall health of vehicle to be in. Whether its a expedition to the grocery store or Mexico my toolbox, weighing in at over 50 pounds, remains the best insurance I have for what misfortunes may befall my Volkswagen. What follows is part travel log, part diary, and part therapy. Thevan helps me and my family explore and enjoy the Southwestern United States. It is a region I grew up exploring both from the ground and in the air and one that I never seem to get bored of. Enjoy!