Monday, April 2, 2018

Meet Bertie - My 1972 Volkswagen Panel Bus & Soon To Be Mobile Tattoo Studio!

Go On, Create Your Own Mobile Business!
Pic © Daniel Donahue
There comes a time when you have to decide whether your are just going to sit back and dream of changing your life for the better or are you going to make those dreams a reality. I have been debating what to do with my own aspirations for a while now and have been inspired by an array of entrepreneurs who have come up with unique and creative ways of making a business that works for them. Whilst I don't have a place to work out of just yet, Todd Beck's one man studio continues to draw in clients, new and old alike. I can see why, his place is a reflection of him. It even has that tattoo parlour smell that is akin to feeling warm and homely. I have never left Todd's parlour feeling anything other than zen. After all, who doesn't want to feel safe and comfortable during a tattoo visit?

Whilst there is room in the house that we purchased recently to create a tattoo studio similar to Todd's, the city of Sherbrooke acted like right little bureaucratic pricks and raised his taxes for converting his garage into a business. There is also space inside our new house but honestly, I am not keen on complete strangers coming into my home whilst my family are there. In any case, I want to do something different that could work in conjunction with new and old Tattoo shops. Cue The Field Museum's Tatto VW Bus!

Pic © Daniel Donahue

Pic © Daniel Donahue

Pic © Daniel Donahue

Pic © Daniel Donahue
Whilst the bus itself was a promotion tool for the museum inevitably there are many people who have created mobile tattoo shops out of all sorts of vehicles. I even looked at a 1961 MCI MC-2 Challenger with skyview windows city bus but had to ask myself, what am I trying to accomplish here? Driving a city bus seems excessive in and around the Eastern Townships. The Field Museum's Tattoo VW Bus actually fits the bill quite nicely. Small, compact, able to be stored when not in use, it was like an epiphany. The best part was I knew exactly where I could buy a VW Panel Bus right here in the Eastern Townships.

Meet Bertie - My 1972 VW Panel Bus

Nothing That A Little Spit Polish Won't Clear Up!

Beneath The Junk Is A Blank Slate!

Begging For A Two Tone Paint Job!

Side Entrance For Those Discerning Clients
Looking To Avoid The Need For A Tetanus Shot!
Take a moment, sit back and squint your eyes a little and you will see that behind 46 years of neglect and dirt lies a little diamond in the rough. Whilst the panel vans are considered third most desirable by enthusiasts, the aim here isn't to restore it to resell it anyways. As a mobile tattoo shop, it may help jump start phase one of my larger business plan - a plan that includes attending motorcycle and music events with this little bus. Rest assured ladies and gentleman, the bus will be built to accommodate not only tattoo equipment but the products necessary to ensure a safe and sterilized environment! When not on the road, it will be parked in our garden where folks can drop by and get a tattoo whilst enjoying the novelty of our little tattoo bus. Understandably, this may not be an option that appeals to everyone. However, it does mean that I can drive directly to your place to do your tattoo! Whatever the case may be, let's all agree that if nothing else, at the end of the day Bertie will be a great conversation piece.


  1. Cool idea... the VW bus is iconic.. Restoring and giving a new purpose is great!