The acquisition of a vintage 60′s velvet water bed quilt was the inspiration for the interior. The Genie Bottle soon took on a life of its own. It has taken years of work using miles of thread, fabric, tapestries, beads, lights, crystals, tassels, gallons of hot glue, and liquid nails to produce our beautiful Bus. The Genie Bottle is a work of art, but still retains its “VW BUS-NESS” and is a fully stocked, working camper.
2010 marks The Genie Bottle’s 10th Anniversary. Keeping The Genie Bottle looking beautiful is often time consuming. We LOVE to show our Bus at VW shows and still camp out as often as we can. It has become our hobby, therapy, and artistic outlet! Please enjoy the photos and feel free to post your reactions and to post photos of your own Bus, as well!
-Mark & Nancy Wall
Get to Know Us
As a kid, my family traveled Route 66 in a decked-out shiny red and white Westfalia Camper. In 1973, as newlyweds, Nancy and I bought our first VW. It was a one-owner 1962 double Door Delivery Bus. Delivering newspapers on the graveyard shift, I logged over 100,000 miles on that Bus. As our family started growing, we sold our Bus for $1200 to make a down payment on our first home. Over the years we have had a number of air-cooled Bugs, a Rabbit, Jetta and a few Buses. We almost wore out a “VW Manual Repair Guide for the Complete Idiot” rebuilding engines and keeping our VWs alive and well. In 1999, we were looking for a more comfortable camping setup because Nancy had a few auto accident related injuries. Looking back at our VW history, I had an idea. Could we convert an old bus to accommodate a queen size water bed? Due to Nancy’s numerous spinal injuries, riding any distance over the front axle of a running VW bus was impossible. What if we made a bus into a homemade travel trailer and simply towed it wherever we wanted to go camping? (“KUDOS!” and “Respect!” to all VW enthusiasts who still drive and maintain your VWs everyday!!)
On a sunny Albuquerque afternoon, I found a trashed out, beat-up bus sitting on a trailer in front of JP’s VW workshop. It was due to be crushed for scrap that very afternoon. After some haggling, I purchased our early 1961 Westfalia for $113. (I was the high bidder between two of us!) We called it “the little bus that nobody wanted”.
EVERYTHING of value had been crudely ripped out or torn off. It was no more than an empty shell. I gutted the bus, including the rotting 1960′s Chevy truck bucket seats and the vintage 1970′s rust colored shag rug that had been glued to the whole interior. The entire ceiling, wall panels, and doors and been sprayed with expanding foam house insulation which had encapsulated ALL the wiring. It was going to need about a 55 gallon drum of Bondo to fix the body. Using a Sawsall, a sledgehammer, and tin snips, I made room to build a steel frame to hold a water bed. Since we we planning on towing the Bus, we had no need for an engine. So we dropped the top of the engine compartment six inches to make more headroom for the water bed.
We took it on a number of family camp outs and one VW camp outs with JP and friends. Our Bus was rough-looking, but it had all we needed to camp in comfort.
JP encouraged us to bring it to the “2000 Buses and Balloons Show” in Albuquerque, New Mexico. No one had seen anything like it! We left our first VW show with a trophy for best interior and inspiration to continue decorating. Then we hauled our bus to the 2001 “Buses by the Bridge Show” in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. The bus was still rough, but we came away from that show with a trophy for best custom split window and a NAME! She was christened “The Genie Bottle”.