Every trip from Njili airport to our Kinshasa home, I have a rush of sweetest memories. Through the eye- smarting diesel fumes of Masina , the view is VW buses zipping through the traffic or hawking for passengers on the side of the road. One of those 4-wheel classics just might be the shiney box my father drove in the 1960s making us the first family on that block of suburban Buffalo, New York, to dump chrome fins for toaster-chic efficiency. VW boxes eventually junked in the G7 were reborn in Kinshasa, now perhaps the global capital for VW recycling.
Michel, a Kin-chauffeur who knows everything automotive about Kinshasa, tells me there are now a minimum of 1000 reborn VW buses in KIN. Their second life is as taxi in Kin’s borough of Masina.
Kinshasa has, of course, the premier operating theater for complete VW make-over. Michel made sure I saw it.