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Happy Holidays! Shipping is on Schedule - read more....

Happy Holidays!  Shipping is on Schedule - read more....

"We are mothers and fathers. And sons and daughters. Who every day go about our lives with duty, honor and pride. And neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night, nor the winds of change, nor a nation challenged, will stay us from the swift completion of our appointed rounds. Ever."  Yes, holiday schedule, power outages from high winds, sporadic internet access.....the crew at Van-Cafe holds true to that creed and has shipped all orders as of Friday January 2.  Happy New Years!  OK so that might be coined from the Post Office (.......or from an episode of Seinfeld), but we are pleased to let you know if you place orders over this coming weekend or on Monday January 5, that you can rest assured that your orders will ship on Monday as you would normally expect.



I find myself a bit jealous of our comrades in the Southern Hemisphere.  The snow makes for nice picture moments, and it's cozy around the fireplace, but it sure would be nice to throw some burgers and salmon on the barbie and to be enjoying the summer solstice instead of navigating cold weather and short days.  But we'll take what we can get, and holidays and short work weeks are a blessing whenever they fall.  But now January is upon us and it's back to business.  No theme to this month's specials other than they are specials.  We tried to put together a wide sampling of parts so we hopefully have a little something for everyone.  On sale this months we have.....

Fuel system components (fuel pumps, fuel rails, filters, pressure regulators)

Cooling system parts (pipes, thermostat housings, coolant towers, heater tees)

Exhaust parts (mufflers, catalytic converters, manifolds)

Wheels (15" and 16" South African Steel Wheels)

Drive train parts (clutch kits, clutch hydraulics, wheel bearing kits, CV joint kits)

Body parts (chrome bumpers, German mud flaps)

You can either view all sale items from the home page by hitting "Cafe Specials" and then "view all", or each special will show when found by using the catalog by year and model.  After enjoying a little time off for the holidays, there is something comforting about returning to a routine and life getting back to normal.  But of course, the typical Vanagon owner generally has the next adventure in his or her sights on the horizon.  We are here to help with getting the van ready for whatever that adventure may be.

ATTN.....Seattle and Calgary!

ATTN.....Seattle and Calgary!

SEATTLE - 12-12-2014 - Yeah, you better run if you want to catch this train.  We are taking orders through Monday end of day and then will package the pallets on Tuesday.  Great opportunity to get items up to Seattle if they are heavy while Peace Vans and Van-Cafe are covering the shipping.  If you choose to place an order on line that you would like included on the pallet, please put "Seattle Pallets" in the comment section of the order form.  Please read below for more details.

Calgary - 12-12-2014 - Sorry - this one did not gain enough steam - we'll have to try again in the Spring when the snow melts.   

SEATTLE - It was so successful last time that Peace Vans and Van-Cafe are combining to do it again.  We are sending a pallet or two to Seattle on Dec 15 , shipping free of charge.  Peace Vans and Van-Cafe will cover the shipping costs.  We have a number of customers in the Seattle area who have patiently waited for German steel wheels and other heavy items that have now arrived.  Peace Vans has customers who expressed interest in some items in time for Christmas.  Feel free to join in the fun and save a few dollars.  You can make your purchase at Van-Cafe or at Peace Vans - just be sure you make your purchase before Dec 15.

CALGARY - Sorry, not free, but much reduced.  We have found that five customers are needed to make this viable. Three customers have already expressed interest (all wanting wheels).  If we get two more, we'll go for it now.  If not, we may wait until Spring.  When we spread shared shipping costs and brokerage fees among multiple customers, suddenly parts that had been unaffordable due to these added costs, often become affordable.  Please inquire if you have been on the fence on some heavier treats for the van. This is made possible by Autotech Inc in Calgary who partners with us to receive the pallet. (Sorry Calgary, but Seattle got the attached image - next time you get it - and when I looked at images for your skyline, looks like you have something similar to a space needle too.....but I will probably go with a Calgary Stampede image).

Container has landed......

Container has landed......

Update 11-19-14  So....what was in the container?  Mefro Steel wheels 6" wide 15" and 16" diameter - German window rubber (yes!  The good stuff) - body seals - chrome bumpers - German rubber floor mats - manual steering racks - Ronal wheels - German poptop canvas - 2 WD gas tanks - exhaust parts - coolant pipes (including 025.121.081G.SS).  What is not here yet?  Felt Channels 281.837.709 - those are coming by air freight and are due shortly so we can have our vc.minidoorglas kit back in stock.  An order from Classic VW is also due shortly to fill in a few gaps on the Factory VW parts.

Update 11-18-14  Container has arrived!  We need today and tomorrow to digest the massive amount of parts that need to be checked in and shoe horned into our building.  We will then start making contact with all the folks on our various waiting lists (thank you again for being so patient) and get those orders processed first and then we will make all the parts available on the site.  We will be having a pallet going to Peace Vans in Seattle - target date of Dec 15 - for those wanting to save on shipping.  We may also have a pallet going to Calgary (but that one needs a few more people first to confirm we can get enough volume for this time of year when Calgary starts going into hibernation).  A complete list of the items that have arrived will appear on this list tomorrow once they have been checked in.

Update 11-06-14  Cleared customs this week - Woohoo! - AND now there is more - we now hear there is Port Labor issue at Long Beach where our container rests.  No trucks as of the last two days are willing to pick up the container.  We can only hope that over the weekend some calmer heads figure a way to get things moving along  http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-ports-slowdown-20141107-story.html   Worst slwo down at the port in over 10 years - Argh!!

Update 10-31-14 We've gone through the feelings of inconvenience, annoyance, disbelief and now we are at embarrassment.  How can one order have so many delays!!  We placed this order in Germany in late Spring which would normally result in a late Summer delivery - say August.  Delay from suppliers getting parts to the shipper; delay at the container packaging place; delay getting onto a boat; and now finally on U.S. soil for about three weeks currently trying to get it cleared through customs.  We trust it will eventually get here but we have done this many times before and no shipment has ever had this much trouble.  I fully understand this is not just frustrating for us, but so many of our customers have been patiently waiting on items in this container.  We sure are glad that our policy is not to take money up front on items not in stock, but still, we realize that people's projects are on hold.  We will keep you updated.  Hopefully this will clear customs next week - there is no reason that it should be taking this long.   It is like at the airport - some people take off their shoes, walk through the x-ray machine and off they go.  Others get pulled to the side - made to disrobe - get probed - and then when all seems fine get sent off for rendition to some country you've never heard of before.     



Although the vast majority of our parts are supplied to the DIY crowd, we realize that not everyone has the time, tools, or desire to do their stint in the salt mines, slogging through tedious mechanical endeavors. As such, for those who would like some assistance with their repairs and upgrades to improve reliability and comfort, the following is a small smattering of jobs that our shop performs along with corresponding labor charges. (Again - labor charges only)
* Fuel Tank Reseal $200
* Brake Jobs $200 / axle
* Full Tune-Up and Inspection $200
* Windshield Install $80
* Clutch Jobs 2WD/4WD $300/$500
* Propex Heater Install $600
* 3 Window Poptop Canvas Install $500
* Spring/Shock Upgrades 2WD/4WD $250/$350
* Stainless Steel Pipe Upgrade 2WD/4WD $300/$240
For our out of town customers, we take seriously the need to perform our tasks in a timely manner. We are thankful that we are in a town with a variety of attractions and distractions competing for your attention, but we understand your need to get back in your van promptly and back on the road on schedule and will accommodate as best we can. Similarly, we are a small shop with limits to hours in the day and room for parking, so we ask that you do schedule an appointment with some advance notice as drop-in appointments cannot always be indulged.



THEY ARE BACK IN STOCK !!  Although we are very pleased with our new offering of heavy duty bumpers (more squared off version), we have found that there is still a fair amount of demand for our tubular big bumpers. We had taken enough deposits on sets that we did a production run of 16 sets. The cost of making these bumpers has risen (as has everything these days), but we are offering the bumpers at the old price of $995.  Please keep in mind that shipping to you is expensive for the bumpers as they must be freight trucked (estimated shipping charges are detailed on the site). Feel free to make inquiries and we will be more specific on shipping costs.


AND THEN THERE WAS FACEBOOK The young'uns here are telling me it is time to get with the program. Either embrace change and new ways of communicating or be left behind. Hence...Van-Cafe Facebook page has been launched. We realize this will be a way to communicate and share items, stories, and pictures VW related that we hope you find interesting or that you may want to contribute to. We also feel this will be an ideal place to keep you informed on some of these new initiatives such as destinations for our freight ride share program and recipients of our donations. We intend to update you on new items and progress on out of stock items. We will also offer up Facebook specific specials. We look forward to seeing you on our page.

Click here to find us on Facebook!


PARTNERS IN CRIME We wrote a few years back about the healthy developments we were witnessing in the supply of Vanagon parts. Where we first became concerned that parts were becoming obsolete at an alarming rate from both VW and aftermarket suppliers, we were pleased to see that VW understood the staying power of the Vanagon and decided it was worth their while to put many parts back in production. In instances where other holes developed, we found that individual businesses, and in some cases owners of the vehicles out of necessity, found ways to either remake certain parts and, in many cases, improve on the original design in the process. If you have ideas, initiative and the means to fill needs that you are aware of, we invite you to start a conversation with us to partner to sell the product. We will never expect or ask for an exclusive arrangement. We view it best that you control your product and how you want to sell it and the more avenues that products are available, the better for all.  



For a change of pace .... You will probably be noticing that we've switched to a different cookie distributor for our shipped orders. This was not an easy decision. In the news we hear on a regular basis about how overweight people are getting and so we had a moment of concern for our customers. Were/are we contributing to their ill health? Tipping the scales for folks who are hyper-glycemic over to diabetes? Then we thought, nah. They're grownups, they can decide if they want a cookie or not.

But then there's all the genetically modified food debates and the realization that maybe we don't know exactly what all IS in our food? But there is this spiffy new application for your iphone that allows you to scan an item at the grocery store and have it tell you instantly if that company uses or is owned by a company that is a GMO baddie? Ruh roh, the cookies we were shipping appeared on that list!!

So then we thought 'We'll kill two birds with one stone! We'll buy/support a local business here in Santa Cruz, especially one that does not use GMO ingredients. Brilliant!" Many extra calories were gained doing "research", political debates rose and fell, tearful goodbyes were said to the last of the previous cookies, and lo the decision to go with Pacific Cookie Company cookies was made.

Actually, the whole debate started when the local Costco stopped carrying the first and the decision to go with the second seemed like a no brainer. We hope you enjoy the new treat. We will miss the curious stares at the Costco when we roll the dolly full of Famous Amos cookies through the store.

The added bonus is the variety of flavors. Now after four months we have sampled Chocolate Chip, Dr. Midnight, Peanut Butter, and Oatmeal Raisin and we are going with Mint Chocolate this month. Looks like you need to spread out your purchases and get an order once a month :)



Thanks for participating in August/September Raffle. In case you had not read the details in the August mailer, you were automatically entered if you placed an order or entered if you simply requested it. The following 10 lucky customers are winners of $100 worth of Van-Cafe loot and the grand prize winner walks away with $500 of Van-Cafe booty.



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