Home » This May Be The Greatest Unintended Convergence Of Muppet And Automobile: Cold Start

This May Be The Greatest Unintended Convergence Of Muppet And Automobile: Cold Start

Cs Bertvw Top
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The Volkswagen Type 2 Microbus T2/Bay Window model enjoyed a really long and rewarding life in Brazil and Central and South American countries long after it was gone in America and Europe, replaced by the later Vanagon-style Type 2 and then the later VW Transporters. In Brazil these buses kept going all the way until 2015, when they were the last rear-engined VWs still made. They were a strange combination of T2 and T1 body panels, and had many details unique to them. Like a black painted fresh air intake panel between the front indicators. This panel, incidentally, had the (allegedly) unintended side effect of making these buses, especially when painted yellow, look just like an automotive rendition of noted Muppet Bert, avid bottlecap collector and pigeon fetishist.

It’s also worth noting that Bert is a well-known example of an Order Muppet, a concept I was discussing with my son Otto last night. My Spirit Muppet is Gonzo, a Chaos Muppet, so the Order Muppets have always seemed strange and exotic to me. If the Bert/Microbus resemblance is intentional, I suspect its because VW felt an Order Muppet would be a better association with a commercial vehicle like the Type 2.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

The blacked-out vent panel seems to be called out specifically in this 1975 brochure:

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See the vent panel in that illustration down there? They know what they’re doing.

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These Brazilian buses are fascinating; note how the rear is the older-style 1950-1967 T1 type, with the corner windows and low engine air intake vents, but those larger 1972-and up taillights have been worked into the design via some protruding bodywork off that rounded corner. It appears to be T2 from the B-pillar forward, T1 (with modifications) to the rear.

There was another unique variant of the Type 2 we never got in America in the brochure:

Cs Bertvw 2

While we did get the Type 2 pick-ups before the Chicken Tax clucked its way into being and chased away all the fun, foreign commercial vehicles, we never got the one you see there, the wide-bed version, which had a, as you probably already guessed, wider bed.

Cs Bertvw Pickup

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The bodywork required for the wider bed was pretty minimal; since the Type 2 pickup was always really just a flatbed with folding side and rear panels, VW just made the flatbed floor a bit wider and let the cargo box hang out more over the sides and rear. I guess it was longer, too, not just wider. That, plus the huge storage locker under the bed made this a really useful cargo vehicle.

And yes, in yellow, the front end still looks like Bert.

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Bob Boxbody
Bob Boxbody
15 days ago

I forget what this article is about, because now I can’t stop thinking about who my spirit Muppet might be. Waldorf maybe?

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
15 days ago
Reply to  Bob Boxbody

Forgetful Jones maybe?

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
16 days ago

Which muppet is best?
Statler and Waldorf.
Not debatable.

The Matts
The Matts
16 days ago

While I wholeheartedly agree with your basic sentiment (Statler and Waldorf are the best muppets by a long chalk), semantically I have to take issue. They can’t be the best muppet, singular. Granted, you can’t think of one without the other, making them a single genius comedy unit. But technically there are two muppets.

Hooray for pedantry!

DriveSheSaid
DriveSheSaid
15 days ago

Janice:
“…and I said, ‘Look mother, it’s my life o-kay? And if I want to live on a beach and walk around naked, I–”


Scramblerken
Scramblerken
16 days ago

Lew Zealand is the best

Scramblerken
Scramblerken
6 days ago

Boomerang fish artist.

Chris Stevenson
Chris Stevenson
16 days ago

Now I want one, yellow with upholstery based on Bert’s sweater.

Adrian Clarke
Adrian Clarke
16 days ago

When it comes to muppets I’m Team Larry David.

Hoonicus
Hoonicus
15 days ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

Riiight–Uncle Deadly

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
15 days ago
Reply to  Hoonicus

Nailed it!
And now for another Muppet thought of the “week”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHaQPnrTSA4

Last edited 15 days ago by Phantom Pedal Syndrome
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
11 days ago
Reply to  Adrian Clarke

Even goths understand that muppets are perfection. I am disappoint.

10001010
10001010
16 days ago

My spirit muppet would probably be Fozzy, constantly telling really bad jokes that nobody wants to hear.

Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
16 days ago
Reply to  10001010

Fozzy was doing dad jokes before dad jokes were cool.
They are cool right?

James Carson
James Carson
16 days ago
Reply to  Rad Barchetta

Let me ask my Dad.

DriveSheSaid
DriveSheSaid
15 days ago
Reply to  Rad Barchetta

YES!

BigThingsComin
BigThingsComin
15 days ago
Reply to  Rad Barchetta

My son told me this weekend, there’s a reason Dad Jokes rhymes with Bad Jokes.

Last edited 15 days ago by BigThingsComin
Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
15 days ago
Reply to  BigThingsComin

Interesting. He used a dad joke to criticize dad jokes.

OrigamiSensei
OrigamiSensei
16 days ago
Reply to  10001010

Preach. Pretty certain he’s mine, too.

DriveSheSaid
DriveSheSaid
15 days ago
Reply to  10001010

shit, that’s prob. me as well!

Beer-light Guidance
Beer-light Guidance
16 days ago

I would definitely paint the VW badge orange and the roof black.

Toyec
Toyec
16 days ago

So, first of all thanks for enlightening me on muppet classification I didn’t know I needed. But more importantly, I notice that your Spirit Muppet Gonzo drives a super rare Phase 1 US-model Citroën Mehari in the link you attached and my goodness this choice fits you so perfectly !

Toyec
Toyec
16 days ago

The circle is completed !

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
16 days ago

Faux Chaos Muppet here (Chaos on the outside, but with a hard, rigid, inflexible caramel center. Like Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, we sow chaos throughout the land. But like the good doctor, we do so in an effort to better organize the world.) I love the Muppets, always have. Kermit is my personal Hero.

Beer-light Guidance
Beer-light Guidance
16 days ago
Reply to  MATTinMKE

Commenter at the old site or one of its partners told a story of meeting Kermit and his puppeteer years ago. They described that the conversation was a little odd for about 10 seconds and then they were just talking to Kermit. I never knew I wanted an experience that I had never considered before so much until I read that.

Mark Tucker
Mark Tucker
16 days ago

I just read the linked article, and I think I might be on the fence a bit: I’m a Chaos Muppet who tries very hard to be an Order Muppet and fails – I’m constantly trying to reorganize and tidy things, but I always fail to keep it up, and everything falls into chaos again. I’m a messy cook, and my garage workbench always looks like someone just ransacked it looking for something (someone did; me. Where the hell did I out that tape measure?).

It all works out, though, because my wife is an Order Muppet who fancies herself a Chaos Muppet but isn’t really.

LarsVargas
LarsVargas
16 days ago

This might be the first time a Brazilian looks like something with more hair.

Flyingstitch
Flyingstitch
16 days ago

In and of myself, I’m definitely an Order Muppet. And yet my favorite is Animal. What does this say about me? Something to ponder on this rainy day.

Buzz
Buzz
16 days ago
Reply to  Flyingstitch

Probably something about the grass being greener on the other side, or always wanting what you can’t have.

Rowlf is my spirit Muppet, though I could also see myself as a Statler and/or Waldorf. My wife is a Fozzie. We work well together.

Rollin Hand
Rollin Hand
16 days ago

And the first gen Genesis Coup kind of looks like angry Kermit. Kinda.

Tbird
Tbird
16 days ago

Read the link, definitely an Order Muppet surrounded by chaos.

Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
16 days ago

Now you’ve got me scouring the internet for cars that look like Ernie. Dammit, I had work to do today.

Paul E
Paul E
16 days ago
Reply to  Rad Barchetta

Other than the nose, a first gen Saturn SL with the DRLs on would sorta’ fit the bill, with the ‘eyes’ being so close to center and the front with a wide smile.

Church
Church
16 days ago

Stupid chicken tax.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
16 days ago
Reply to  Church

I’ve about had enough of those damn chickens.

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