New Book Explains Love Affair Between Owners And Their ‘Bulli’, Including An MLB Star Who Lives In His VW
People get attached to cars. Not just a specific make and model but one specific car. Sometimes that car obsession turns into a culture.
What started out as a practical vehicle has turned into a cult favorite worldwide. Whether it’s a hippie vehicle, work machine, camper van, family car or sought-after collector’s item, the Bulli — Volkswagen Transporter T6, has always been a one-of-a-kind love with its owners.
Bulli Love is an exceptionally produced collector’s book by Edwin Baaske featuring beautiful photographs of various Bulli models and their devoted owners, as well as the heartwarming stories that accompany each vehicle.
One such story is the semi-nomadic life of Daniel Norris, a modern day explorer with more than a few million dollars in the bank thanks to an 8 month a year gig with the Toronto Blue Jays. If you’re unfamiliar, here’s Daniel’s story straight from the pages of Bulli Love.
In professional baseball, very young men can become very rich very quickly. In 2011, Daniel Norris was just 18 years old, and he showed great talent as a High School pitcher. One morning he looked at his bank balance and saw a number in the millions.
The Toronto Blue Jays had paid him two million dollars under a player’s contract to pitch for their farm club.Like many other baseball professionals who become instant millionaires, Norris treated himself to a German car. His fellow players would choose a Porsche 911 or Mercedes AMG. But Daniel Norris picked an old Volkswagen.
As a boy in Johnson City, Tennessee, he dreamed of owning a VW Westfalia camper, and now his dream has come true with a beige-coloured bus he bought for 10,000 dollars. Daniel named his VW “Shaggy” – the name of the sleuth from the Scooby Doo cartoon series. Norris says that the camper helps him to keep his feet on the ground. And that isn’t just a cliché for curious journalists who ask him about his “mountain man” lifestyle.
Every year since signing with the Blue Jays, Norris has driven his Westfalia the 1,100 kilometres from Tennessee to the team’s training camp in Dunedin, Florida. The reporters sensed the next big deal in baseball and made a big fuss. And this made the story of the young athlete’s hippie-like lifestyle all the more interesting. Photos of him with the camper gave him an “anti-star” image. Especially the photo in which he appears to be shaving his beard with an axe. Crazy but true: Norris achieved fame with his anti-star image. But even now, he still has his wheels and his feet on the ground.
While his teammates took up residence in rented apartments, Norris camped in the VW and limited his monthly budget to 800 dollars. After training, he didn’t sit down at a table in a restaurant. Instead he climbed into his Westfalia at his parking space at a Walmart where he fried a chicken fillet in a pan then sat down to read with a cup of home-brewed coffee.
Norris is thankful that he has come so far. He is young, and he follows his own path. Regardless of how high and far he goes in his career – “Shaggy” will always be there. daniel norris accepts the hype about him. The bus gives Daniel Norris an escape from the star hype and a chance to value the simple things in life. In nature there are just him, the bus and his axe.
For more great stories, get Bulli Love right now.