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posted on July 21st, 2016

Dany P. is an actor and filmmaker, but he’s also an avid car lover. He’s owned over 70 cars in his lifetime, including several BMWs, a Porsche 911 (his childhood dream car), and a whole host of Volkswagens, including his orange Westfalia, Jeannine, which he’s renting on Turo.

Dany bought Jeannine back in 2008 on eBay because he was looking for a car to use in his film, 2 Frogs in the West. Why the orange Westfalia? The film is about a girl who ends up on a road trip from Whistler, BC all the way down the west coast and into Mexico. Dany explained that people in Canada associate the Westfalia with traveling, plus “orange and blue are complimentary colors, so it looks great on film,” he adds.

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Jeannine gets her name from his film and is named after a main character’s mother, which is also Dany’s mother’s name. The Westfalia was originally called Bartha, and he knew he needed to change it because it sounded clunkier than she deserved. “It seems like everyone with a Westfalia names their van,” he muses, a sign of the great affection many Westfalia owners feel for their cars, including Dany who exclaims emphatically, “I’ve had lots of cars in my life, but I plan to die with this car, I’m going to keep it until I’m dead.”

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Though Turo only recently launched in Canada this April, Dany is not a newcomer to the sharing economy. He nearly went bankrupt after financing and marketing his own film (though it won him four film festival prizes) and he was able to financially recover by renting his home on Airbnb. After that, Dany started following the sharing economy closely, even setting up Google alerts to learn about new ways to share, which was how he was introduced to Turo.

When Turo came to Canada, Dany was already insured by belairdirect, one of Turo’s primary Canadian insurers, and from the start, he planned to rent out Jeannine. “People always want to take the van out in the summer; they love the Westfalia. But they’re rare cars and I wouldn’t let them rent it from me because of the insurance issues.” With the insurance angle handled, Dany has sent Jeannine to the garage for her close-up — “I want her perfect for Turo,” he says. One of Dany’s favorite trips with Jeannine was a scuba diving excursion in the Ontario Lakes with a friend. “Every time you drive her, you get people smiling and waving at you, for some reason the car makes people happy.” Which might explain the Westfalia hype.

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If you’ve been looking for a Volkswagen Westfalia to take on a blissful summer adventure in Quebec, Jeannine could be the one.

Kamala Puligandla is a writer and an editorial assistant at Turo. She is always on the hunt for a strange story, a great snack, and the perfect outdoor spot to consume them.