January 29, 2012

Volkyland - A Volkswagen Museum in Puerto Rico

If your passions include air-cooled Volkswagens, Volkyland should definitively be in your bucket list! Tucked away in the Southwestern coast of the island of Puerto Rico, this museum is positive proof of the enduring popularity of this timeless classic. From an early KDF and WW2 military vehicles to Mexican Ultima Edicion (Last Edition) Beetles with Cabrios, Type 3s, Microbuses and everything else in between, this is a pretty sizeable collection of air-cooled Volkswagens. A product of Dr. Norman Gonzalez's true passion for the brand.


I visited on a weekday and was rewarded with a very relaxing one-on-one tour of the collection. The scenic drive across the mountains from San Juan to the town of Yauco is always a treat as well. Located on the Km 12.3 of PR-121 just out side of the municipality of Yauco, the place was pretty easy to find. Just look for the blue Volky sitting on a post. There are plenty of signs along the way from the freeway.


A place like this is hard to miss especially when you are welcomed with a sign like this. Inside the lobby ,you will find a wide array of VW collectibles of all kinds. Everything from small diecast cars to ceramics and other curiosities.



Once you get past the doors into the museum, you will find yourself in Volky heaven - Puertorrican style! The walls are nicely decorated to recall traditional Puertorrican colonial architecture. From old San Juan Spanish buildings to the famous Ponce fire station. A nice touch that adds character to the large industrial building. Cars are somewhat organized by vintage. Start you visit at the Shell gas station complete with vintage pumps, a Hebmuller replica and VW-themed golf carts.


To the left hand side of the building we found the largest gathering of well preserved split-windows and ovals I have ever seen. There is everything from a war time KDF to a nicely equipped late 50's along this row. The interiors of some of the cars are just amazing.











The central gallery is a potpourri of Beetles spanning the 60's, 70's and even a Ultima Edicion (Last Edition mexican Beetle). Some special interest vehicles include another very well executed Hebmuller replica, a customized "swamp" Beetle, a low and mean custom coupe, a Brazilian Puma, and a row of nicely preserved Cabrios.

Beautiful Red Hebmuller replica sit next to Mexican Harvest Moon Beige Ultima Edicion.

Mexican-built Ultima Edicion was the last hurrah for the humble Volky.

This customized early Bug looks perfect for travelling the Florida swamps (it's original intended purpose).

Hebmuller-style custom hardtop got a low, mean look, Brazilian Puma brings up the rear...

A nice array of Cabrios rounds up the central court.


The right-hand side of the museum is the home for a variety of interesting cars including military vehicles, Type 3s and Karmann Ghias.

Military-grade Kübelwagen replica sit across to 2 Special Edition Mexican Beetles...

Kubelwagen and 1945 military occupation era Beetle are two of my favorites of the military collection.

Type 34 Karmann Ghia. My favorite Karmann-built car. Just like the one I photographed last year.


A trio of Type 3's sit quietly behind some Porsches on the Southwest corner of the main gallery. The collection includes a the more common station wagon, a Fastback and a more rare Notchback sedan.





The back end of the building is microbus heaven. The collection includes a fire truck, several buses including a 21 window and several 11 window examples as well as a beautiful pickup finished in a handsome shade of Red. There is also an ambulance that I expect will be the topic of a future post. A couple of smart-looking Type 181s (Safari, Thing, Trekker in some markets) sit across from the buses. A school bus-themed microbus and custom-built flatbed wrecker rounds up the group.








With my tour of the main building complete, we jumped into one of the golf carts for a tour of the grounds and most importantly, the warehouse. A building that has a few hidden treasures as well some unusual VW-based vehicles. There are a few bugs that have not found their way to the main building. Next to an original Willys Jeep sits a VW-based Jeep. A very rare (for us in the U.S. anyway) VW Brasilia, sits on the back of the building waiting for it's moment in the Sun.




Car Crazy TV produced a segment where you can see more about this amazing place. Check it out:



02/13/12 Update - I have added more photos of a few of my favorites under separate posts:


5 comments:

  1. Niceeee, a real passion for Volky's. A nice place in my hometown.

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  2. I live in Ponce,Puerto Rico and I just watched a segment on this on "Desde Mi Pueblo", a tv program that showcases different towns in Puerto Rico and what they have for people to visit. I decided to go to this website and I cannot wait to make a trip to Yauco to visit this museum. Awesome!!

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    Replies
    1. It is a pretty cool place and the people are great. Estoy seguro que lo disfrutaras!

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  3. I went last year and it was close. No information was posted to call.

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