Stormville, New York: Volkswagen Rock (Gone)

Atop a roadside cliff, a rock painted in the 1970s to resemble a little car. Gone by late 2016.

I-84 West, just East of the rest stop immediately before the Taconic Parkway Exit. It's near the very top of the rock cliff -- look carefully and you'll see it.

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Volkswagen Rock

On a prominent rock outcropping just alongside the right-hand side of the road, sits the famous "Volkswagen Rock," which has been there at least since my first trip to Vassar College in 1980. Campus legend held that it was painted by one of the first male students to attend my alma mater, formerly an all-women's school, but I was never able to confirm that. At any rate, someone in days of yore noticed a rounded boulder shaped something like a Volkswagen Bug and carefully picked out the form in red, white, black and silver paint. Despite its nickname, the car is not a Bug but a small, red, two-seater sports car, (think "Speed Racer") with a white, numbered patch on the door, a pair of white stripes on the hood, a silver windshield, silver hubcaps and of course, black tires. Periodically, when the paint would begin to fade, persons unknown would reascend the cliff and refresh the paint -- always in the original colors. A truly inspired bit of graffiti, a 55 MPH (all right, I'll be honest, a 70 MPH) glimpse of Volkswagen Rock never failed to warm my heart.

[Laura Appelbaum, 09/07/2000]

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