Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Adventures of Greenbrier, Volume 1 ; 90 pages of history

So here is a very belated post of the diary/ photo-journal that was passed on to me from the previous owner, who bought the Greenbrier from the grandson of the original owner. Of all the classic cars I've owned, this is by far the most intimate history any of them have had that has been passed on with the car. It's a bit surreal to me to be allowed in to the story/ stories of this Greenbrier and how personal some of the stories are. I haven't had a chance to read all 90 pages of it as I've been traveling for Christmas the past two weeks, but I'm thoroughly looking forward to reading more during my layover tomorrow in Denver.

What I have read is inspiring to me to see how this Greenbrier was a way for being with family and creating memories, and a tool for exploring their curiosities. In addition to that, I love reading the process of them selecting the Greenbrier over a VW, and how Ken and June methodically customized it to meet their needs... more than once.



  1. Absolutely astounding..I hung on every page. It reminded me a lot of our family camping adventures when I was a kid. Everytime the author wrote "Steve, do you remember when..." I kept thinking, how on earth could the grandson part with not only the vehicle but his grandfathers diary of their life with their beloved Greenbrier - so sad! Jason, I hope you'll fill us in on that part of the story too. Thanks again for posting so much already!

  2. Fascinating account. I've only read the first 20 pages or so. Interesting comments on construction, especially with regards to a rear seat!

    Steve (no relation to their son)

  3. Hey fellas, thanks for the comments!
    @Phil H, you hit the nail on the head with the "Steve, do you remember when..." comment. I feel fortunate to be able to read such a rich history of this vehicle, but given how personal it is, I feel I'm peeking through a window that maybe I shouldn't be. I can't imagine parting with the diary of my grandparents. I'm very sentimental though, so getting rid of anything that has any inkling of personal family history and is easy to store or sit on a shelf seems crazy! But, it's inspired Meagan and I to carry on with the story of Greenbrier.

    @Steve, I'm currently working on a rear seat configuration that is simple, period correct, doesn't alter the current cabinets installed, and can be easily removed for campfire seating and not impair the current sleeping configuration.
    The main purpose for some rear seats?... So we have a spot for friends and family to sit when we tour about. I’m currently drawing up plans and 3D model of what I’m thinking which I’ll post next week probably, still a few things to work through.

    Thanks for participating in our little blog.


  4. Hi Jason,
    Did you meet the grandson, Steve? Is that who you bought it from? Are Ken and June still with us?
    As a side note, I have started using google maps a lot for my job. I found Ken's sunset picture of his campsite on San Juan Island particularly intriguing and being that Ken was so specific in his details, I plugged the location into google maps. Lo and behold, one of the pictures of that campground on google maps looks like the very tree he and June camped under 40 years ago. Considering his reference to travelling before many interstates were built I found this amazing.

  5. Hi Phil,
    No I didn't meet the grandson. The gentleman we bought the camper from, Mark, bought it from Steve, the grandson, about a year ago. Mark [the guy in one of the pictures] is who we bought it from, who had similar intentions to camp and explore in it. After a couple of failed attempts to getaway, he realized him and his wife would probably never follow-through in the adventures. That and he has plenty of other vehicles to keep him busy.
    He saw the charm and story in this vehicle, just too many other things going on to give it the proper attention it needs.

    Do you have a link to the Google Maps link for the San Juan Island campsite? I'd love to see it!

    Thanks again for participating in our little blog!

  6. On page 62 Ken has a sunset picture of the camper which he says is at San Juan County Park on San Juan Island overlooking Smallpox Bay with Vancouver Island in the background. I put that description into google maps, which then expanded to "San Juan County Park, 50 San Juan Park Road, Friday Harbor, WA 98250-8549, United States". If you move the yellow street view guy over the map of the park you will see some blue dots representing still photos of various places in the park. A couple have very similar stands of trees to those in Ken's photo.
    You're so lucky the third owner kept everything together and didn't monkey around with Greenbrier. I know its coincidental that both you and Ken are architects. Ironically, so is my sister - small world.

  7. My girlfriend and I purchased this van from the original owners son. I put quite a bit of work into it.. including removing the fuel tank to have it cleaned and repaired. That was a big job! It is a great old van and I do really miss it! We are glad to see that it has found a good home. We had reluctantly sold it to a local fellow and his wife.. I see he passed it on.
    I spent quite a bit of tome at the original owners house on Vashon Island talking to him about his adventure a kid in this van and all about its history. Pretty neat.. :)