Alaska Air recovers, restores old VW 'truck' from Fairbanks

July 3, 2012 

The restored "Spirit Wagon" at Sea-Tac Airport.


A 1960 Volkswagen Transporter pickup that once saw duty at the Fairbanks airport servicing Alaska Airlines planes has been restored and is being used by the Seattle-based company in parades and other promotional events. The airline recovered the VW after an employee spotted it parked on a beach in Florida, reports the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Kevin James, a maintenance supervisor who restores cars in his spare time ... tracked down the truck using a Volkswagen fan website and then asked airline's marketing department if they'd be interested in using the truck if he bought it. Instead, they sent James to Florida to buy it for the airline, picking up the $8,500 purchase price and setting a $4,000 budget for restoration.

Records show that Alaska's truck traveled from Germany to Delaware in 1960 and ended up as one of Alaska's five company trucks in Fairbanks. After seeing a picture of the truck on the airline's Facebook page, a former owner who lives in Battle Ground, Wash., confirmed much of the car's history, adding that he had pulled out a generator that was once used to recharge planes on the tarmac.

Read more at the P-I: 1960 Volkswagen truck back in service for Alaska Air

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