When you see Danny Gogue next to his 1960 Volkswagen Type 2 Double Cab all is right with the world. They belong to each other. You could see them on opposite sides of the parking lot and easily connect the dots between car and owner. We did. When we saw his Double Cab at our recent Caffeine & Gasoline® event we just knew.
Danny says his last name is pronounced “Go-gwee” and we feel where he’s coming from considering we work at the oft-mispronounced “Gree-ohs” Garage.
Danny is a veteran, having served our country for more than 20 years… 13 and a half years in the Navy followed up by eight in the Coast Guard. Danny served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, but says his most meaningful and rewarding service was in the Guard in 2005 where he supported initial recovery efforts during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He was posted on the front lines in downtown New Orleans where his unit provided generators to power a local medical clinic that served as a major lifeline for the injured.
This air-cooled feel good story starts with a 1966 Bus in 2014. Danny was working at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton. “They had a riff at the shipyard where they let you off for about a month and I spent the time in my garage restoring the bus. But you gotta love them. I liked it, it was really nice, but I didn’t love it. So I ended up selling it. I was asking 30 grand. This guy in the middle of Kansas contacted me and said, ‘I have a Double Cab want to trade?’ When I saw the pictures I knew. I didn’t want to tip him off. I said, ‘hey give me $11,000 cash and we’ll swap them out.’ The Double was rough but I was hooked.”
“The Double Cab was straight but had different shades of red, some off colors of red, some faded red. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on it. My painter, MC Gamble out of Lacey, said ‘let me do my magic on it.’ I call the results my “fauxtina.” We went with three colors of single stage paint so it could blend in and out and look weathered. No clear was used since we wanted to keep it worn-looking. This way you don’t have to be that careful driving the vehicle but still have a cool look. The Double Cab had Safari windows on the windshield and the rear glass which Danny calls instant air conditioning and a number of other stylish touches, like the period correct roof rack.
After the paint, Danny installed a Freeway Flyer transmission to increase the old Dub’s road tripping ability and a new engine. It is a 1,835 cc masterpiece that runs dual Weber carbs, a Mag Spark distributor, 75-amp alternator, a stand-alone oil cooler for added long-cruise reliability, and a Vintage Speed one-piece exhaust system. “This is an aggressive piece,” quips Danny, “It’s got a little sound to it. It’s not your standard muffler set-up.”
The Volkswagen rolls drop spindles in front and adjustable spring plates in the rear which Danny says is good for a 2 ½ inch drop. Rolling stock consists of CIP1 Super Speed wheels which are retro replicas of a Halibrand design. They are offered in all the strange VW and Porsche bolt patterns and three finishes, Gun Metal, Sand Brushed, and chrome. Danny runs 17-inch Sand Brushed CIP1’s.
The Double Cab gets plenty of double looks. “It’s definitely different,” says a prideful Danny. “You think about today’s four-door or crew cab pickups and realize this is from 1960. Way before that, way before its time. Pretty cool, pretty innovative. I’m really enjoying it, just rolling with it. I have been sharing it with friends in my car club when I was still building it.”
Danny runs with Kahiko Kula car club, a very prestigious and influential VW club that is celebrating its 10-year anniversary in 2017. Kahiko Kula, started by six Hawaiians, means, fittingly enough old school in Hawaiian. Danny, who has roots in Guam, is one of the first 10 members. “You and your car have to have that aloha islander vibe. Our club is based on the island cultures. It’s all about the cars and food… we got a grille the size of a bus and it gets a workout. The club is like a family, they call it ‘ohana’.”
The Urban Dictionary defines ohana as “nobody gets left behind. It can also refer to a close group of friends or class that resembles a family.” The club has upwards of 100 members today and they are a force in the local car show scene.
“We have been bringing our VWs to classic car shows and breaking barriers,” says Danny. “I was told 10 or 15 years ago you wouldn’t see VWs at Goodguys shows. A lot of these kind of classic car shows have categories and trophies for old school VWs now and car collectors are paying six figures for pristine 23-window buses. It’s crazy.”
Danny drives his Double Cab every time the sun comes out, which isn’t as often as you think in western Washington. He works at Bangor submarine base near Silverdale and says has great, safe parking so if the sun pokes though he reaches for the keys… Danny admits the VW is not a daily driver but says he does put about 10,000 miles a year on it.
Danny has been a VW guy since ’99 and it all started with a 1967 Bug. Danny has owned nine air-cooled VWs including two buses, a ’60 and a ’66. Currently, Danny has a three-horse stable: the Double Cab, a 1969 convertible Bug, and a 1957 ragtop project. He reports the ’69 vert is a driver like the Double Cab and the ’57 is in pieces mid build.
Danny spends a lot of time hoping the sun comes out and when it disappoints him he goes to Plan B, breaks out the wrenches, and toils away on the oval-window ragtop. In our books he’s a winner either way.
Have fun in your garage!