Volkswagen Newsroom

This Hummus Shop’s Secret Sauce is in Their Roots — and a 1978 VW Bus

September 19, 2019

When Chefs Nick Wiseman and Ronen Tenne opened their hummus shop Little Sesame in Washington, D.C. in 2015, they wanted their restaurant’s foundation to have a very different philosophy than some of the New York City kitchens they’d cooked in over the years. They wanted to create a place that felt more grounded, that would enable them to build connections, explore new flavors and responsibly source their food, so they built one key ingredient into their business philosophy: travel.

Tenne grew up in Tivon, a small town in Israel outside the port city of Haifa, while Wiseman is a native of D.C. The concept for Little Sesame was a tribute to both their heritages, inviting a city that never stops moving to slow down and experience the vibrant, authentic flavors of Israeli hummus shops. And, when they’re not busy serving crafted hummus bowls, pita wraps and seasonal salatim and mezze, the two frequently venture from D.C. in their robin’s egg blue 1978 Volkswagen Bus to find inspiration for fresh, bold and new flavors across the U.S.

“The road trip concept [for Little Sesame] came when we found out the old pop-up we had was going to close and we had a couple of months before our new shop would open,” said Tenne. “Our concept was to go on the road and trying to do as much collaboration with people who cook in our same style and have the same attitude [towards] food that we have.”

Little Sesame is a plant-centric restaurant, so this summer’s road trip was a journey out West to see where the plants that fuel their business are sourced.

Little Sesame’s 1978 Volkswagen Bus

“We wanted to see where the food we serve is grown, who’s making it and how it’s being made,” Wiseman said. “We wanted to meet [the food], [get] our hands dirty in the soil and learn what it is [like] to farm and bring that produce directly to the city.”

Tenne and Wiseman’s first stop was Clear Lake Organic Farms in Fort Benton, Montana. Run by longtime friend and organic farmer Casey Bailey, this 5,000-acre, sustainability-focused family farm supplies the chickpeas that fuel Little Sesame’s creamy hummus.

“My connection to hummus is mostly eating it for most of my life,” Tenne said. “But always as a chef I think there is a big thing with being able to see the food circle of the product you’re using and understanding that what we use as our main ingredient, is what [Bailey] uses to fix the soil between his crops. Adding this element gives me a new perspective on the beauty of the chickpeas.”

After passing through Portland and Tillamook, Oregon, to host a collaborative dinner with Tusk—a Portland-based restaurant—one of Wiseman and Tenne’s last stops was to spend a day with Life Lab, a nonprofit in Santa Cruz, Calif. For the last 52 years, Life Lab has provided a rich, influential program that uses gardens as classrooms to connect kids with where food comes from and how it enriches our bodies and teaches children tools for developing healthy eating habits at an early age.

Little Sesame’s 1978 Volkswagen Bus

“To land here in this training pool oasis of a space with the kids was so grounding for us,” said Wiseman. “It brought us back to why we do what we do, which is about connecting people to good food, and creating this community of people who really care about good food.”

In total, Wiseman, Tenne and their bright blue VW bus traversed the Great Plains, Badlands, Redwoods and Big Sur on their expedition. They charted more than 4,000 miles through 14 states, hosted six dinners, built two pop-up kitchens, swam in one ocean, five rivers and one lake, and made countless new friends along the way.

“We want future generations to have access to the same thrill of discovery with food that we’ve been so lucky to chase on our own travels,” Wiseman said. “By traveling, we live our mission of creating a community of eaters savoring authentic flavors, craving memorable experiences and working to leave the world a better place.”

 

Preserving a piece of civil rights history: The Jenkins’ Bus

September 18, 2019
The 1966 Volkswagen Type 2 formerly used by civil rights pioneers Esau and Janie B. Jenkins. Photo: Historic Vehicle Association.

Most vehicles that sit outside unattended for four decades aren’t destined to ever move again. But this 1966 Volkswagen Type 2 Deluxe Station Wagon isn’t just any Bus – it’s a piece of civil-rights history, and a memory of a family that spent decades working to make the country a better place.

Esau and Janie B. Jenkins spent several decades fighting to improve the lives of their neighbors on Johns Island, S.C.  From the 1940s through the early 1970s, the Jenkins family built a network of businesses and schools for underserved African American residents that would eventually become a template for the entire civil rights movement across the South. They painted their motto on the tailgate of their Bus: “Love Is Progress; Hate Is Expensive.”

“Long years ago, I asked myself, ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’ And the answer I got was, ‘You are,’” Jenkins, who died in 1972, said in an oral history of the area. “I decided to do anything I can to help people in order to help myself.”

Growing up under the racial Jim Crow laws of the era, Esau Jenkins became convinced at an early age that he needed to tackle the discrimination that touched every part of his community’s life. At the start of the 1940s, only a few thousand African American residents across all of South Carolina were allowed to vote, due to racial literacy exams. On Johns Island, most children quit school after eighth grade, as there was no nearby high school, and families could not afford transportation for their children to Charleston.

Jenkins had found his first business in hauling produce to Charleston, and had started taking his own children to schools there with him, a daily trip that began at 4 a.m. In 1945, Jenkins bought his first full-size bus to begin bringing other children from around the community to Charleston; soon after, he began hauling adults who needed work as well.

The 1966 Volkswagen Type 2 formerly used by civil rights pioneers Esau and Janie B. Jenkins. Photo: Historic Vehicle Association.

At the time, South Carolina’s voting literacy test required an applicant to recite and explain a part of the state constitution; only white judges could decide who passed. Jenkins began using the bus trips to teach his passengers what they needed to know to pass the tests; over the years, those rides led to hundreds of new voters from Johns Island.

In 1948, Esau and Janie helped found The Progressive Club on Johns Island, a co-op that provided programs such as legal and financial assistance, child and adult education, and community workshops. The building held a grocery store, gas station and community center. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, the two worked tirelessly to help offset the economic disadvantages of Jim Crow, opening several businesses, such as a credit union to provide loans for other small businesses.

In the 1950s, the couple partnered with other Johns Island residents to open the first citizenship school – a more focused form of the talks Esau used to give on his bus rides, helping residents overcome illiteracy and learn their civil rights. The methods they developed were later adopted by civil rights leaders who launched similar schools across the South in the 1960s.

Shortly thereafter, the 1966 Volkswagen Type 2 Bus Esau and Janie had last used was parked on Johns Island, next to the original Progressive Club. Four decades of salt air and the occasional hurricane would eat at the Bus and wear down the “Citizens Committee” lettering they had painted on.

Last year, relatives of Esau and Janie Jenkins asked the Historic Vehicle Association for help in preserving a memory of their work. The HVA documents and helps preserve cars with important historical and cultural meaning, and oversees the National Historic Vehicle Register in partnership with the U.S. Department of the Interior, Heritage Documentation Programs and The Library of Congress.

The 1966 Volkswagen Type 2 formerly used by civil rights pioneers Esau and Janie B. Jenkins. It took five hours to move the bus from its resting place in South Carolina. Photo: Historic Vehicle Association.

In March of this year, the HVA and the NB Center for American Automotive Heritage teams spent five hours delicately moving the Bus from its resting place, carefully reinforcing key points to help keep the entire frame from collapsing. From there, the Bus was documented, stabilized with a new substructure and had initial preservation work done by experts at BR Howard.

Last week, the Bus went on display on the National Mall; it’s now undergoing additional preservation with help from Volkswagen of America. Diane Parker, vice president of the HVA, says the goal isn’t to restore the Bus, but to preserve its condition as much as possible to reflect the history it’s been a part of.

“We want to make sure future generations can experience this Bus and the work that the Jenkins family did for civil rights,” she said.

The 1966 Volkswagen Type 2 formerly used by civil rights pioneers Esau and Janie B. Jenkins. Photo: Historic Vehicle Association.

Watch the electric ID.R set a record on one of the most beautiful roads in the world

September 13, 2019

It’s known as “Heaven’s Gate” – the world’s highest naturally formed arch, with an opening some 430 feet tall and 190 feet wide, about 5,000 feet up China’s Tianmen mountain. A hallowed and scenic site for centuries, visitors can reach the gate on a road that ranks among the most scenic, and twisting, of any in the world, with 99 sharp switchbacks.

Earlier this month, the Volkswagen ID.R team went to the Tianmen Mountain Big Gate Road to set the first benchmark there of any kind for a performance car, let alone a 671-hp, all-wheel-drive electric one. With Romain Dumas at the wheel again, the ID.R glided up the 6.78-mile route in 7 minutes, 38.585 seconds.

Professional driver on closed course.

The feat was the latest in a string of record-breaking events for the purpose-built electric race car. In June 2018, Dumas not only won the famous ‘Race to the Clouds’ at Pikes Peak for electric vehicles with the ID.R, but also smashed the all-time record for vehicles using any kind of fuel by a massive 16 seconds. A few weeks later, Dumas undercut the record for electric vehicles at the Goodwood Festival of Speed’s famous hill climb in England with the ID.R.

Three months ago, the ID. R set a new and dominating electric record on the Nürburgring, and a few days later came the all-time record in Goodwood – demonstrating how electric vehicles can meet extreme challenges. Next year, Americans will get their chance to see Volkswagen’s ID. electric vehicle technology up close when the wraps come off the first U.S. version of an ID. production car.

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alice + olivia’s spring collection blooms into view with a Beetle backdrop

September 10, 2019
Modifying vehicles can adversely affect warranty coverage & compliance with required safety & other standards

The fashion world gathers in New York City every September for a week-long reveal of the latest works from top designers, all capturing trends that will shape the industry in the coming year. Attendees put their best, well-heeled foot forward and see what the season ahead will bring.

The brainchild of designer Stacey Bendet, alice + olivia’s Spring 2020 fashion presentation has long shed the stale catwalk approach for a series of nine “vignettes” – colorful, social-media-ready sets ranging from frothy pink flowered swings to a backdrop of neon orange teddy bears. Among a bustling crowd of onlookers and celebrities, Volkswagen further enhanced Bendet’s dream-like vision this year by displaying its Beetle Final Edition, wrapped in alice + olivia’s whimsical hero print for Spring 2020. Guests were able to partake in the set experience and snap pictures inside and around the personality-packed VW Beetle.

“When the colors are right in a space you exhale and tune into your own interior,” Bendet say. “I dream in color and these rooms are fashion dreams come to life.”

Designers Everard Best and Stacey Bendet

Launched in 2002 by Bendet, alice + olivia has built a sizable following for its mix of whimsy and sophistication that’s a strong reflection of its founder’s personality. Its line of clothing and accessories can be found in more than 800 department and specialty stores worldwide and more than 20 stand-alone boutiques.

The collection introduced color block dressing highlighted by dramatic new shapes which included high-waisted trousers, tops with voluminous sleeves, oversized blazers with pleated ruffle details, and dresses that showcased fresh new floral prints and fine embroidery.

The brand also introduced a collaboration with Murder Bravado designer Everard Best, a rising star in the fashion world. Best is known for his hand embroidered, dyed and distressed denim, and previously collaborated with fashion designers Virgil Abloh and Heron Preston.

“With this collaboration, we wanted to bring our vibe and our design DNA to alice + olivia,” Best says. “We applied our signature dying and distressing techniques then exaggerated the length to keep it super fun and over the top.”

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Vintage Warehaus: A true restoration story

August 29, 2019
“Bob” and “Leo,” two camper vans that Bolar has restored with the help of his wife Tasha.

Tim Bolar’s passion for restoring vehicles started where many enthusiasts’ do: fixing up cars with his grandfather as a kid. Born and raised in Iowa, Bolar talks fondly about his childhood memories of going for ice cream runs in his granddad’s Volkswagen Bug and afternoons spent working on his Beetle.

However, Bolar took his passion one step farther and turned it into a successful career path: he has a 9-to-5 job restoring vehicles and a side Volkswagen-inspired business called Vintage Warehaus.

Started last year by Bolar and his wife, Tasha, Vintage Warehaus is a unique concept. The couple sells one-of-a-kind vintage items and antiques out of their bright orange Volkswagen Transporter.

Tim and Tasha in a camper van they restored.

Over the past year, Tim and Tasha, have taken their colorful VW camper, nicknamed “Bob,” to antique shows around the state of Iowa. In between shows, the couple tracks down unique and uncommon furniture and goods that can be repurposed and resold, with the help of Vintage Warehaus. Through the experience, the pair have met numerous VW owners who jump at the opportunity to share their memories of the brand with fellow enthusiasts.

“We are just passionate about bringing older inventory to life again, which applies to both the cars and the antiques that we sell,” Bolar commented.

Before Vintage Warehaus, Bolar owned and restored several Volkswagen vehicles as a hobby, ranging from the Beetle to Rabbit, Jetta vehicles and a 1976 Westfalia bus. The Westfalia bus, dubbed “Leo,” was a complete overhaul of the vehicle.

Today, Bolar’s most recent restoration project is a blue 1984 Rabbit Cabriolet, Wolfsburg Edition. As he thinks about his plans for future cars and goods, he comments, “These projects just find me.”1

Bolar’s current restoration project: 1984 Rabbit Cabriolet, Wolfsburg Edition.

From Beetles to robotics, one teacher’s passion for cool machines

August 21, 2019

Troy Rivers Jr.’s obsession with air-cooled Volkswagen cars dates back to his early teens. While his classmates were saving up for newer models, Rivers was pinching his pennies to be able to purchase a bright green 1969 Baja Volkswagen Beetle.

“I went and looked at it with my mom and fell in love with it,” says Rivers. “It’s a blast to drive.”

He attributes his love of vintage vehicles to his father and grandfather, who enjoyed owning and fixing up classic cars. “Growing up, I just remember being in the back seat of these cool cars,” says Rivers. “I’ve kind of taken the obsession to another level.”

Since then, Rivers’ Baja Beetle has become an important member of the family. It was the car Rivers drove off in after exchanging vows with his wife, Lindsay, and played a starring role in the pregnancy announcement of their son, Colt. “He is definitely going to be car crazy, just like me,” says Rivers.

Troy Rivers Jr. and his beloved 1969 Baja Bettle. Disclaimer: Modifying vehicles can adversely affect warranty coverage & compliance with required safety & other standards.

Over time, Rivers has added more Volkswagen vehicles to the family—his growing collection includes a 1970 Volkswagen Type 2 Bus, a 1973 Volkswagen Thing, and four more vintage Volkswagen Beetle cars.

“The thing that made me go back to the VW family is that they’re a car that everybody can relate to,” says River. “It seems like everybody has a story with them.”

Rivers’ automotive interest blends surprisingly well with another one of his passions: teaching. Initially on a business degree track, Rivers was inspired to switch careers and pursue teaching after seeing how much joy working with children brought his wife. “Initially, I just wanted to make a lot of money,” Rivers says. “Then, one day, something just clicked. I’ve always loved kids, so I decided to be a teacher and I never looked back.”

Currently a third-grade teacher in Loganville, Ga., Rivers uses his automotive know-how to help co-host the school’s robotics club. “I kind of relate it to working on cars,” says Rivers. They “have to be good with following directions, because they have to follow very detailed directions [and] go through hundreds of different steps to build the actual robot.”

This past year, ten of his students were invited to compete on the state level against middle schoolers. “It was very cool,” says Rivers.

In years to come, Rivers plans to continue to share his Volkswagen fervor with his students and son. “Being able to pass on my passion of cars … [and] share that with my son is like nothing else,” Rivers says.

Troy Rivers Jr. with his wife Lindsay and their son Colt. Disclaimer: Modifying vehicles can adversely affect warranty coverage & compliance with required safety & other standards.

A trip down our record-breaking lane.

August 20, 2019

The Volkswagen ID. R electric race car that set a record for climbing Pikes Peak last year now owns two more records. Driver Romain Dumas made the climb at the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed in just 41.18 seconds, breaking a 20-year-old record by half a second.

This comes just one month after the ID. R snagged the record for fastest electric car around the Nürburgring. Dumas made the lap in 6:05.336 minutes beating the previous EV record set in 2017 by 40.564 seconds – and in the process, surpassing every fossil-fuel powered record at the track save one.

But enough about the ID.R, Volkswagen has been breaking records for decades. Here’s a look back at all of the times we’ve changed the game in the auto industry.

Top
produced car.

Volkswagen Beetle No. 15,007,034 rolled off the assembly line in Germany, surpassing Ford’s venerable Model T as the most highly produced car in history.

top-produced-car

longest-drive-large

A 1,900-mile test drive.

Golf I “Alaska-Tierra del Fuego” and a second bright-yellow Golf I, completed what was probably the longest test drive ever taken by a new car, almost 1,900 miles from Fairbanks, Alaska to Ushuaia, Argentina

 

Speed record at Nardò Ring.

The Volkswagen W12 Coupé concept car set the world record at Italy’s Nardò Ring for all speed classes over 24 hours, with an average speed of 200.6 mph.

nardo-ring-large

 

speed-record-large

Speed record
at Bonneville.

Jetta Hybrid set the land speed record at Bonneville with a top speed of 187.147 mph.

Top track speed electronically limited in U.S. Always obey all speed and traffic laws.

Fastest lap at Nürburgring.

VW Golf GTI Clubsport S broke the record for the fastest front-drive car to lap the Nürburgring at 7:49:21 minutes.

nurburgring-large

most-delivered

Most cars
delivered
in 2018.

VW delivered more cars globally than any other automaker in history with 10.83 million units.

Best-selling
midsize car.

At over 30M sold, the Passat is the highest selling midsize car ever.

best-selling-large

Watch the Volkswagen ID. R take on its latest speed challenge – a racing drone

August 16, 2019
Concept vehicle shown. Not available for sale. Specifications may change.

From Pikes Peak to the Nürburgring and Goodwood, Volkswagen’s electric ID. R race car has set records around the world, showing how electric power can transform vehicle performance. Its latest challenge isn’t a famous track, but another type of breakthrough technology – a racing drone.

Launched earlier this decade, drone racing now sports thousands of players worldwide and several professional leagues. All feature tiny, remote-controlled aircraft capable of reaching speeds of 85 mph or more through wild obstacle courses. For this video, a racing drone took on the ID. R through a twisty course set up inside a Volkswagen factory. Take a look at what happens when two pieces of the future come together.

 

 

Reviving auto shop classes for the EV era, one old Volkswagen at a time

August 14, 2019
The class converted a gasoline-powered 1990 Volkswagen Cabriolet to electric power. Disclaimer: Modifying vehicles can adversely affect warranty coverage and compliance with required safety and other standards.

When Ron Grosinger began teaching shop class in 2005 at Memorial High School in West New York, N.J., the program was struggling to survive. In a school facing many challenges, the elective course had dwindled from six teachers to two and rarely offered any hands-on learning, Grosinger says.

As in many schools across the country, the shop program was on the path to being eliminated. Between the extra cost of running capital-intensive classes and a growing focus on college preparation, enrollment in vocational classes has dwindled from prior decades – even with a growing economic need for future mechanics.

To keep the class afloat, Grosinger knew he’d have to get creative to stay relevant. “If you’re teaching students about gasoline cars, that’s basically the equivalent of 8-track players,” says Grosinger.

So, in 2008, he approached the school’s administrators with an innovative idea: he would teach his 27 students, step-by-step, how to convert a gasoline-driven car to electric power.

“With the electric car, I wanted to prove two things,” says Grosinger. “First, [I wanted to prove] that we could convert it. Everyone was telling me at the time that it was impossible when really, we just didn’t have the option yet [on a large scale].

“Second, and most important, I wanted to prove that kids are super capable. You just have to give them a chance.”

Ron Grosinger and one of his students, Isamara Lozano, pose in front of electric-powered 1990 Volkswagen Cabriolet. Disclaimer: Modifying vehicles can adversely affect warranty coverage and compliance with required safety and other standards.

He had recently taken an intensive, two-week EV conversion course in San Diego and believed the new program would help teach students applied science and engineering principles through automotive applications. With backing from the school, he was able to purchase his first conversion vehicle: a 1990 Volkswagen Cabriolet.

Grosinger knew it would serve as the perfect base for this specific build. “Volkswagen vehicles are known for their German engineering and affordability. They’re built with no-nonsense and the parts are readily available,” Grosinger says. “They’re also relatively lightweight, which is great for electric conversion and helps keep the battery costs down for the class. … All the money you put into them is worth it.”

Over time, the students learned how to produce the various mechanical parts in cardboard, then wood, then steel. They welded parts, tackled wiring and learned to solve problems as they arose.

“We completely gutted the car and put it all back together,” says Grosinger.

Ron Grosinger poses with the electric-powered 1990 Volkswagen Cabriolet. Disclaimer: Modifying vehicles can adversely affect warranty coverage and compliance with required safety and other standards.

Within a year, he noticed the student makeup of the class had expanded to advanced math, science, physics and engineering students. Also, there were many more female students. “The girls in my classes are amazing engineers,” says Grosinger. “Through hands-on learning, I hope they are encouraged to maintain and broaden their interest in STEM careers.” His goal is to get the male to female ratio up to 50-50.

Every year since his first year of teaching, Grosinger has upped the ante and challenged his class to take on new projects. In the decade since the program was revamped, enrollment has dramatically increased. The department has now expanded to four teachers and the school added an after-school automotive program.

“Teachers should encourage students to explore new and more efficient ways to move a person from point A to point B, whether that system is a train with solar panels on it, a car with an electric motor in it or retrofitting an existing technology with a different energy source,” says Grosinger. “And don’t come up with the solutions for the students.”

The various automotive build projects have also led to the award of additional grant money that has helped pay for new and improved equipment. Most importantly, several of Grosinger’s students have gone on to work in the automotive field.

Grosinger attributes the popularity and growth of these courses to the promotion of STEM subjects and the infusion of high-tech equipment, like 3D printers, in the programs.

“It’s all about giving students options,” he says.

Lozano, above, hard at work in Grosinger’s EV conversion course.

The USWNT just brought home another championship—and ‘home’ was ready to celebrate

August 13, 2019

As the seconds ticked down in the final moments of the U.S. Women’s National Team 2-0 victory over the Netherlands, preparations were already underway in New York City – preparing a heroes’ welcome fit for a team that captured not only the championship, but the imagination of an entire nation.

For a few hours on a steamy Wednesday morning in July, lower Manhattan transformed into the Canyon of Heroes as fans spilled into the streets with homemade signs and cheered from office high-rises as floats carrying the champions made their way down Broadway under a flurry of ticker tape. It was an inspiring and pivotal moment for soccer in the U.S. — and for female athletes (young and old, amateur and pro) the world over.

us-atlas-hood-2x

world-champions-2x

Memorable?
Undoubtedly.
Once-in-a-lifetime?
Not on our watch.

At Volkswagen, we understand the deep pride people feel for this team. It’s this same pride that inspired us to become the presenting partner of the U.S. men’s, women’s and youth national teams. Because, to us, driving bigger means supporting these teams, and not just on the field. In fact, we even had members from the New York chapter of America SCORES on our parade float.

And we won’t just be there for the fanfare. We’ll be collaborating with U.S. Soccer to help increase grassroots-level support and foster a deeper love for the game. By working toward raising the game’s visibility in the U.S., we’re hoping to help truly make soccer America’s most popular sport. It already has one of the most passionate fan bases, so we’re off to a great start.

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Rudolph Volkswagen of El Paso
Rudolph Volkswagen of El Paso
5505 S Desert Blvd
El Paso, TX, 79932 US
(915) 845-8500
https://di-uploads-development.dealerinspire.com/rudolphvwofelpaso/uploads/2018/09/RudolphOGImage.png
Rudolph Volkswagen of El Paso 31.8570197, -106.5767303.