Feeling Groovy in their VW Bus
Article and photos by Lynn Zahorik
You don’t have to be a member of the flower power generation to be in awe of the 1965 Volkswagen (VW) Bus that is cruising the neighborhood. It is a stunning automobile painted in classic turquoise and white and adorned with the traditional silver VW badging on the front. It is outfitted with a vintage gas can, Coca-Cola cooler, Makaha longboard and Reima surfboard. The classic Bus is owned by Abe and Debra Aragon, who moved this spring from their Pueblo home of 40 years to Castle Pines to be closer to their three children and one grandchild.
Sold in America for 41 years, the German made VW Bus celebrated its 70th anniversary this year and is one of the world’s most recognizable vehicles. It’s beloved by surfers, hippies, campers and anyone that appreciates simplicity, efficiency and adventure. “VWs from the ‘60s and ‘70s are iconic, and everyone has a story about one, whether it’s a Bus or a Beetle,” said Aragon.
At the age of 16, Abe got bitten by the Beetle bug when his dad surprised him with a ‘66 VW Beetle. He has owned many different brands of cars since then, but VWs are the family favorite. Abe turned his passion and knowledge of cars into a profitable hobby as he bought, restored and sold vehicles while working full time for a Pueblo electrical company.
Debra and their three children spent many hours working by his side on an assortment of classic vehicles. Over the years, Abe has restored 14 Beetles, four VW Buses, classic trucks, European vehicles, vintage Broncos, a ‘66 Chevy van, a ‘65 Mustang and a ‘75 custom Ford – just to name a few. Abe’s self-taught restoration talents served him well, earning anywhere from $500 to as much as $70,000 on individual car sales. Recently, there has been a resurgence of interest in the classic Buses, driving up their price and value. Interestingly, VW Buses have also become a popular prop for photos at weddings.
Abe knows his VW Bus reminds people of simpler times. “The greatest joy we receive when driving the Bus is to see the smiles it brings to people of all ages,” he said. “Right now, everyone is going through some hard and stressful times. To make them smile and bring them happiness, even if it’s just for a moment, makes it all worthwhile.”
Now retired, the Aragons share their restored vehicles at festivals and car shows and have proudly accepted the “Best of Show” award for their vintage VW Bus. They enjoy camping in the bus and drive it every chance they get. You can imagine them in their groovy ride as they head down the road with the Beach Boys playing, the split front windshield popped open, wearing their shades and the wind in their faces.