The quiet times
From 1973 to1992 the Bulli spends its time in the collections of various VW enthusiasts. The last owner tries to the sell the vehicle via a magazine run by the ‘Brezelfenstervereinigung e.V.’ fan club. At the first attempt, however, without success. From today’s perspective almost unimaginable, demand back then for a used ‘commercial vehicle’ of this sort is not that great. Only after multiple ads are placed (as was still usual at that time without photo and with just three lines of text) does Dane Tonny L. become aware of it later in the year. He calls up the seller and, after learning on the phone that the vehicle has the lowest chassis number known at that time in the Bulli scene, buys it there an then.
The Bulli becomes Sofie – Rejuvenation marks the start of a second adolescence
In 1992, at the proud old age of 42 and with less than 100,000 kilometres on the clock, she is taken on the back of a breakdown truck to Denmark. As being off the road for 19 years does no vehicle any good, the essential parts first get replaced so that the Bulli can be driven again. Tonny is immediately sure that he’ll be keeping the vehicle for a long time and gives the van a name: with a nod to the first T1 ever delivered to Denmark, he christens his prize possession ‘Sofie’, which was the name of that first vehicle too.
In early 2000, he begins a costly and time-consuming programme of full restoration, which ends in spring 2003 with a test drive to the VW meet in Bad Camberg. It was not by a long way to be the Dane’s last journey with Sofie. Together they covered over 20,000 kilometres driving around Europe, often to Bulli meets where Sofie is always the highlight and generally wins the ‘Most Beautiful Bulli’ prize. She is always the oldest in any case.