Lebec, CA — Several drivers on Southern California’s famous Grapevine stretch of Interstate 5 reported seeing a 1973 Volkswagen Westfalia Van traveling nearly 70mph downhill today. It is unknown if the icon conversion vehicle, known by enthusiasts as the world’s first ‘camper van,” managed to make its way to the bottom of the mountain without, in the words of one eyewitness, “rattling apart.”
“I was making my way up the mountain when my wife yelled at me to look at that VW Van hauling ass down the hill,” said Fresno, CA resident Gabe Caldiez who was traveling to the Glendale Costco to pick up toilet paper. “I didn’t think they could go so fast and not flip over or catch on fire.”
Volkswagen Westfalia Camper was a conversion of a Volkswagen Type 2 (van) known for an underwhelming powertrain, overheating, and frequent breakdowns, usually on California’s Grapevine, typically during heavy traffic. But heck, you can repair it with some tape and a butter knife. Or simply by letting it sit for an hour.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the top uphill speed for a Westfalia was 42mph in 1978. The top downhill speed record was established in 1986 by James L. MacPherson, clocked at an incredible 64mph. Unfortunately, according to Guinness, non-proctored and unsubstantiated records aren’t recorded. However, they’re willing to allow the Westfalia Camper another attempt if its owner wants to try.
The unknown driver of the Westfalia has not come forward to claim Guinness’s offer nor to confirm whether or not they are safe.