Tuesday, September 18, 2012

More Mercs from across the pond (updated)

It in the tourist season, but the campers keep rolling in from Europe.
Recent arrivals include these two Mercs:
1. This Sprinter chassis camper looks more North American in its style, and certainly isn't as rugged looking as many of the expedition type campers we see. However there is lots of checker plate and other European features on the "bimobil" body.
It says "Alemania" on the hood, but I don't think it refers to someone who is mad about beer.

2. I've never seen a Mercedes Vario in North America before, so this was a surprise. Normally used as delivery vans, this one has been very capably transformed. It took some digging to discover the meaning of the name "Fuchur" on the sign. This is the German name for the flying dog Falkor, from the Neverending Story. Despite that there is a a seahorse superimposed on the world map.

3. The rear view reveals Swiss plates and symbols, including I believe, the "Arosa" plate, which is a region in Switzerland, It may also be the van converter's name, but I can find no reference to such a company. Update:This one is on the return leg to Europe, and will be leaving by sea next week.

Added September 19, not a Merc, but it is from Germany:

4. Well travelled Toyota Land Cruiser 4x4 spotted on a city street.
5. This one has a sandwich/canopy type bike carrier under the rear overhang, and a strange bit of artificial greenery on its back window.

1 comment:

  1. 1: In Germany the Mercedes Varios are termed the “BK class”. BK is for “besonders klapprig”. Rickety, ramshackle, rattletrap and decrepit are the English words an internet dictionary brings up for “klapprig”. This is because the Merc’s mirrors are vibrating so you don’t see anything, the gear lever (nearly all German delivery vans to date have stick-shift) vibrates so you rather have to trap it instead of just touch it. And she’s so noisy: it’s like sitting inside a moving pail of screws.
    Nevertheless Varios are popular.
    They are cheap (in the sense of the word), and they are rugged. Some people (like me) still like them because they resemble their predecessor. This one really was a delivery van. Sturdy, reliable and lasting at least thirty years.
    Furthermore, in Europe there was nothing in this classe except for the Fiat Schnellastwagen. The others were either too small, too weak, too heavy, too expensive. But the Fiats were too unreliable and the repair shops were rare, so if one wanted a car like the one depicted one had to take a Vario.
    2: “the flying dog Falkor, from the Neverending Story”. Funny that you call Fuchur/Falkor a flying dog. In the book Fuchur is a dragon. But have you ever seen a dragon with fur? German movie-goers had to live with a dragon with fur, but Falkor seems to have changed species to a flying dog. Probably in order to not break the peace of the audience.