"you're engaging in the world in a very intimate way , without any schedule... and just have that sense of 'I can do anything I want, and I can go anywhere I want to go, I can stay for as long as I want.' It's just... it's freedom."
MORE ABOUT SCOTT
Scott Quinnett, owner, Dragonflyvans
Creator and owner of Dragonflyvans, Scott Quinnett has been driving VWs since he was able to drive. His first affair with VWs was not a van, bus, or camper, but a two-door hatchback VW GTI. There is a story behind why Scott gave up a hot GTI and got into a Vanagon that involves youth, lack of judgement, and his father’s car insurance... but that’s another story.
Scott bought his first Vanagon around 1990. It was a 1981 air-cooled seven-passenger Vanagon L. Because of its two-tone brown-colored paint job and dark brown interior, he named it the Maple Bar. Everyone seemed to “get it” when they read its name along the side of the van. This is where his love affair with the Volkswagen Vanagon began.
Scott enjoys outdoor life and the Vanagon became the medium by which he could get out of the city and off the pavement to create good times. Camping on the beach at a surf break, sleeping in ski area parking lots, or road tripping from Alaska to Baja, Scott has spent years getting to know what these vehicles and what they offer those with a touch of wanderlust.
After earning a degree in child psychology with a minor in philosophy from the University of Alaska at Anchorage, he spent several years counseling youth in crisis. Important work? “Absolutely,” he says, but adds that, “The job taxes one’s personal psychology.”
Ending one career, he found himself with tools in his hands as an Audi technician at a Volkswagon/Audi dealership in Seattle, Washington. Scott spent nearly eight years at the dealership, never deviating from his love for the VW Vanagon. He had repowered them with stronger engines, built show vans, and championed them to his community, touting that only a VW Vanagon can provide the ultimate outdoor camping experience.
One day at work he got a phone call from the folks at GoWesty Camper products in California. He was invited to come down and visit to see their operation. Once there, he was offered a position with their company as it seemed a good fit everyone. He was offered his "dream job" working with Vanagons.
Not long after the move to California Scott and his wife became pregnant with their first child, and he realized that his new job was not going to provide what was necessary to raise a family. With a loan from his father, he packed up and moved back to Seattle to open Dragonflyvans and become is own boss. He would specialize in repair and custom shop work for Vanagons only. It wasn't long before Scott was booked several weeks out for repair and refurbishing work. Soon, it was evident he needed to either hire help or change directions. Time to put on the thinking cap.
By this time, Scott had been driving Vanagons for nearly twenty years. Time and time again he’d watched people get into a Vanagon to see their faces light up. He could see a spark in their eyes as their imaginations kicked into overtime. "Nearly everyone is impacted when they get into a Vanagon," he says. “It’s a no-miss positive experience.”
Scott had put many of his friends in Vanagons over the years and believed deeply that what he was observing in people as they drove a Vanagon for the first time was something special, something unique. It occurred to him that the profound psychological impact these vehicles have on almost everyone should be, and could be, shared. But how? Enter Dragonflyvans Rental Service.
Since Volkswagen is no longer building these vehicles, the only way to share the Vanagon experience would be to rent his Volkswagen Westfalias to the public. At this writing (2015), Dragonflyvans has been in operation for seven years. Operating first out of the Northwest and now Missoula, Montana, the travel and camping season is shorter, but business is brisk.
Scott explains that while it is challenging to keep 30-year-old classic camping vehicles on the road and especially with first-time operators driving in summer heat at elevation, he says, “It’s all worth it.” He adds, “While I am not going to get rich doing this, our customers will fondly remember their adventures in a Dragonflyvan for a lifetime, and that’s enough for me. Rolling tree forts are always a good idea for any age.”