"Romanticized as it has been, the Volkswagen bus had no heat, blew over in the wind and used the driver's front legs as its first line of defense in an accident."

Dear Sirs or Madmen:

Your description of the VW bus was completely accurate, but, alas, pathetically unenlightened. Further contemplation will bring you to these epiphanic conclusions:

A) If a VW bus shifts in the wind, it is simply because you are onthe wrong path, heading in the wrong direction. Think of it not as a potentially lethal driving hazard but rather as a "spiritual GPS."

B) Heat? Who among us has actually known heat? Is not one man's boil another man's frost? Could it be that the sound of one hand clapping is actually a VW driver attempting to at once both shift and survive?

C) Factually, the driver's legs are not the first line of defense.You have overlooked the thick layer of bug guts aerodynamically meshed into a natural and practically impenetrable polymer covering the bus's front. In addition, many buses feature a front-mounted Triplated Independent Repealing Emobilizer (TIRE) combining the science of high-cost air bags and the proveneff ectiveness of amusement-park bumper cars.

Finally and most importantly, remember that every VW bus is surrounded by the plush and cushioning aura of St. Jerry of Garcia, providing divine Truckin' guidance to freaks, Deadheads, 17-year-old wannabe's and balding 40-something used-to-be's.

Bob Hamrick
Balding, frostbitten owner of a goat-vomit green '76 Westfalia

[ As Read on Car Talk ]