7 – Davis

Written By: Globespotter - Sep• 27•12

We got up in the morning and saw the Bug for the first time in the daylight. I was a bit afraid there would be things that we had not seen at night, but the Bug looked great!

Our plan was to drive to San Francisco, spend the day there (Saturday) and then drive down the Pacific Coast highway to Santa Monica the following day (Sunday). We had to make LA by Sunday night because as a surprise for Sara (who had just graduated from Film School) I had booked a VIP Tour of Universal Studios for Monday morning and it could not be changed.

We had a small detour to make first though.

This is where for some reason I can’t explain, the car took on a special meaning to me, beyond just buying an old car.

I did not know Victor, nor had I managed to get a lot of information about him from Ron other than that he went to UC Davis and had owned the car since it was new.

Maybe the car conveyed to me through the condition it was in that it meant a lot to Victor and that was important to me.

I told Sara we needed to head back east to Davis where Victor had lived and where UC Davis was and where the VW Dealership where the car was originally sold was.

The crazy part is that my plan to go back to Davis must have been hatched long before I even saw the Bug, because I had already researched where the dealership was before we even left Canada.

So we headed east (in the opposite direction to our intended travel route) and drove to Davis California.

Davis is a pretty unique town. It is dominated by the University – UC Davis – the University of California at Davis, and until recently was renowned for the large percentage of residents choosing bicycles as their primary mode of transportation.

We headed to 5100 Chiles Road in Davis – the site of Al Harter Volkswagen.

Victor’s 42 year old Bug had outlasted the dealership which shut down after the death of it’s principal Alvin C. Harter.


The building and parking lot still stands however, so we took the time to stop and take some photos, a special stop at the place where Victor picked up the car brand new on October 6th 1970 – one month and one day after it was built in Germany.

We shot a short video here too, then headed for our next stop – UC Davis.

We stopped of for breakfast at an amazing restaurant called Cindy’s. At night it becomes Kow Tai – a neat concept. If you are in Davis and want a nice healthy breakfast with freshly squeezed California orange juice it is at 4823 Chiles Road.

We stopped for a few photos at UC Davis. We had thought that Victor was a professor there, but it seems like he was a student and very active alumnus throughout his life.

It seemed appropriate to record the Bug back where it had been for so many years for one last time.

We sat there for a few minutes and felt like we had paid appropriate homage to Victor and felt we could move on so we headed on the highway west towards San Francisco.

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