The Beginning


In March 2005 my son Milo and I took the Greyhound from Bellingham, Washington to Richfield, Washington to check out a 1986 VW Vanagon Westfalia Weekender for sale. The van had been originally sold in Kennewick, Washington and had journeyed to Alaska 6 times!

We closed the deal with the van's second owner in a Mexican restaurant in Pasco, spent the night at the Motel 6 and hit the I-90 back to Seattle and home to Crescent Beach, BC. We're not really a car-naming family but Dixie, from Dixie, Washington, was Dixie from that first night

Our first trip, to the Pacific Northwest Historics at Seattle International Raceway, went well.  The second trip saw us going to Cape Lookout, Oregon after the Darrington, Washington Bluegrass Festival. On the way down the coast of Oregon the engine started making tapping noises when the rods weren't loaded and I shut it down at the top of a long, steep climb to prevent throwing a rod through the case.

So we entered the campground on the back of a flatbed tow truck.

We enjoyed our camping reunion with friends from Nelson, BC and Ottawa, Ontario even though we had to push Dixie from campsite to campsite when our reservations changed!

We brought her home with a truck and trailer rented from U-Haul and I started looking for an engine.

I found one over on the Island. A guy there wanted to put a Subaru engine in his '87 Westy and was willing to let me come over and take the 2.1 out of his van.

Milo and I installed that WBX engine out front of the house and it has served us well.  I removed it early in 2010 to install a 2.5 litre SOHC Subaru power plant and that's been a terrific improvement so far!  Much more power yes, but also smoothness, quietness and flexibility.


Dixie at the Stevens Pass Summit

Dixie & Sharon with Mr Canoehead

PNW Historics at Seattle International Raceway

Dixie Breakdown