When I tell people that the crux of our business is based on supplying parts for VW Vanagons - vehicles that have not been in production for close to 20 years - the reaction is often one of skepticism. You may have gotten a similar reaction when trying to justify to a neighbor, coworker, or more likely a spouse the money invested in your prized Vanagon for an engine conversion along with various accessories and upgrades. Truth is, we are both a little nuts, but life would be boring if we were always rational. I have to admit that I feel very fortunate to be able to cover the shop overhead and the employee wages in a place like Santa Cruz (not to mention supporting my lavish lifestyle) all while working at a job that I very much enjoy. But, it is our sense that life in the Vanagon world has just started to get a bit more challenging.
Ready availability of almost all essential parts has been a given, up to this point. Most out of stock items have tended to be non-essential accessories that we import and which periodically suffer from gaps between orders. But, recently we have witnessed a rather significant number of common and important Vanagon part numbers having been deleted from VW's database. As the herd of Vanagons has thinned over the years, aftermarket companies may not step in to fill this void. Some of us vendors will take the initiative to fabricate some of these items, but we are also aware that many resourceful Vanagon owners and shops have done and will continue to do this too.