My '71 VW Bus and '67 Beetle Restoration

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous' started by F1wanabe, Jun 4, 2017.

  1. F1wanabe

    F1wanabe Administrator

    Posts:
    12,334
    Likes:
    10,680
    Points:
    133
    20161120_220145.png
    That picture up there was taken 32 years ago. Me and my high school friends cut out of school on one of our final days of senior year. We had been putting these two buses to good use on weekends ('nuff said) and we wanted to memorialize those days with one final picture. That was my bus on the left and I'm the one with the hat on. My friend Rich owned the bus on the right. He was a guitar player, hence the girls on his bus, haha.
    Last year I was asked by a high school friend to "Bus sit" a 1979 VW Westfalia Camper while he was living overseas for work. WOW, what an opportunity! I was soon thrown into a state of nostalgia by taking care of it. Washing it, driving it, just having it in the driveway took me back to high school. Since I am turning 50, I decided that, if I didn't do it now, I won't, so I started combing The Samba website searching for that one bus that made an impression on me. I found it and in my color!

    20170604_185333.jpg
    I wanted a camper for day trips but didn't want the weight and drag of a full Westy "Pop Top". So I found this Westy "Tin Top" out in California that looked great for the price. (I did not pay what the ad says :D.) The biggest issue with 40 year old VW buses is rust, so a California Bus with little or no rust, shipped to PA, would cost me much less in the long run. After my Paypal transaction and 2 weeks of waiting, I had my 1971 VW Westfalia "Tin Top" bus from California!
    Attach7163_20170215_162039.jpg
    20170224_182038.jpg
    It arrived at night which made me nervous since I wouldn't be able to take a good look at it, but after crawling around under it while it was still on the transporter with a flashlight, I knew I had something special. After 4 months of work, the bus is structurally and mechanically ready for action!
    PicsArt_06-04-06.38.53.jpg
    One area of rust to be taken care of...

    20170414_165624.jpg
    My 1971 Westy and my friends 1979 Westy meet for the first time...

    16640559_10209932843695733_3007997498706858123_n.jpg 20170604_192851.jpg 20170520_131247.jpg
    20170604_192755.jpg
    New Interior!

    18765687_10210872022294611_2006626748659806038_n.jpg
    Lunch in the bus...

    20170603_185437.jpg
    Any place we go feels extra special in the bus. This is downtown Easton...

    The best part has been having my wife working with me on the bus- she actually decorated the interior! In the fall, I'll get final paint and trim done and we'll tour the east coast.
    As of now, we've begun to attend get togethers and have met great people, but also important for me is being able to preserve such an important part of my youth!

    OK, now back to planes. But first, a week with Jay and his family in the UK! We plan of doing as much flying as possible and may post video as well!
     

    Attached Files:

    Sterling101, Shannon, EricR and 7 others like this.
  2. SukhoiLover

    SukhoiLover Ace Pilot

    Posts:
    301
    Likes:
    877
    Points:
    93
    Yehaa--Aircooled 4-ever!

    ('69 Square 4-speed and '69 Square auto.)
     
    Wildthing and F1wanabe like this.
  3. F1wanabe

    F1wanabe Administrator

    Posts:
    12,334
    Likes:
    10,680
    Points:
    133
    Oh, my sister drove a Squareback 4 speed, don't remember the year. That was like a sports car with that type 3 engine!
     
    SukhoiLover and Wildthing like this.
  4. TomMonton

    TomMonton Administrator

    Posts:
    3,358
    Likes:
    6,253
    Points:
    133
    Wow.... you've really come a long way including the interior. Very nice Greg.

    Nostalgia.. the perfect definition too.

    True story: a buddy of a buddy in my high school years had an L.P. player suspended on a macrame hanger in a micro bus similar to yours.

    When we cruised into another "place" to shack again we would have to secure vehicle and move over to 8- track tapes.
     
    F1wanabe, Wildthing and Airflow like this.
  5. Airflow

    Airflow Top Gun

    Congratulations greg!! a bit of nostalgia, not many left here in Sweden, most of them disappeared in a cloud of rust 25 years ago...lol
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2017
    F1wanabe and Wildthing like this.
  6. FlyteTime

    FlyteTime Ace Pilot

    Posts:
    777
    Likes:
    2,239
    Points:
    93
    That is spectacular! I know y'all are very proud of your work. I love the VW Bus pillow and rug! Have fun cruisin' the highways. You guys are gonna be :cool:.
     
    F1wanabe and Wildthing like this.
  7. F1wanabe

    F1wanabe Administrator

    Posts:
    12,334
    Likes:
    10,680
    Points:
    133
    Haha, that's awesome - I would have loved to see that Tom! A previous owner had put an 8 track into the dash of this bus so there's a huge gaping hole in it. I used a radio adapter with a slot under it to close up the hole but I've got another dashboard I'll put in at some point.

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
     
    Wildthing likes this.
  8. Airforce101

    Airforce101 Top Gun

    Posts:
    1,241
    Likes:
    863
    Points:
    113
    Awesome, Greg! And great being able to share the experience with Mrs F1. Good times, man, good times...

    I strongly agree on the "one life, live it" phylosophy. In fact, you see those words across many a Land Rover Defender's windshield. So, that's why I decided to buy one about 3 yrs ago!

    It's not without its faults and I have had to weld the chassis here and there, but that's part of the fun. The kids love being taken to school in it and even though it may not be the most economically viable investment (road tax and gas prices are sky high around here), I don't regret buying it.

    Every time I drive it, it puts a smile on my face.

    One life, live it. Go, little bus, go...!
     
  9. Nightswatch

    Nightswatch Top Gun

    Posts:
    1,382
    Likes:
    2,576
    Points:
    113
    awesome you need to get some eyes for windows to finish it off :) cars van.jpg
     
  10. F1wanabe

    F1wanabe Administrator

    Posts:
    12,334
    Likes:
    10,680
    Points:
    133
    That's and amazing vehicle, post a picture!

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
     
    SukhoiLover, Airflow and Wildthing like this.
  11. F1wanabe

    F1wanabe Administrator

    Posts:
    12,334
    Likes:
    10,680
    Points:
    133
    Hehehe.... [​IMG]

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
     
  12. Airforce101

    Airforce101 Top Gun

    Posts:
    1,241
    Likes:
    863
    Points:
    113
    Thanks, but I won't post a pic. This thread is about your awesome lil' bus, not about my ol' rustbucket.

    All I wanted to say is that I fully subscribe to that carpe diem adagium and I think it's great you "took the plunge" the way you did.

    And have you thought about how many parkjets fit inside that "little" bus of yours!? :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2017
  13. F1wanabe

    F1wanabe Administrator

    Posts:
    12,334
    Likes:
    10,680
    Points:
    133
    Haha, actually I have thought about how many would fit in it because I may take it down to the next JettaManDan fly in! Your Carpe Diem point is right on target and I appreciate your support, Airforce!

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
     
  14. JettaManDan

    JettaManDan Administrator

    Posts:
    11,473
    Likes:
    5,754
    Points:
    133
    you say when you want to come down and i'll put the event together!
     
  15. F1wanabe

    F1wanabe Administrator

    Posts:
    12,334
    Likes:
    10,680
    Points:
    133
    After a great summer of aircooled vw adventures, I've got the bus pretty good to go. Last touches will be seat covers and curtains, then a paint job.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    After sourcing a sink unit and redoing the flooring the stock curtains and stock upholstery will bring her back to 1971! But the best part is that half way through the summer, my wife caught the aircooled vw "bug" so to speak. A Java Green 1967 Bug, that is. She researched years and features and found this more rare 1967 Java Green beetle with sunroof...
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    We just got her back from getting a fresh paint job and interior is next. As they say, happy wife happy life, but in this case we're pretty happy all around! Looking forward to a great season of vw shows and trips around the area. [​IMG]

    Sent from my SM-N950U using Tapatalk
     
  16. bogusbandit56

    bogusbandit56 Top Gun

    Posts:
    8,545
    Likes:
    19,173
    Points:
    133
    Hi Greg, back in the eighties my partner and I had a Bug and VW bus.
    We toured all round Scotland in it and I have many happy memories of that time.
    I spent ages rebuilding the engine in the Beetle and removed the body to weld the chassis and inner wings. Unfortunately Megan got caught in the snow whilst driving the Beetle and completely spun off the road and end in a brick wall.
    The car was a write off but Megan was not hurt at all.
    I hope you don`t suffer the same fate. They say a bag of concrete or a sack of spuds in the front helps in the snow.:)
     
  17. F1wanabe

    F1wanabe Administrator

    Posts:
    12,334
    Likes:
    10,680
    Points:
    133
    If you have any pictures from that time I'd love to see them. My wife and I collect vintage pictures of VWs. We meet so many people who all have fond memories of their classic VW's! The funny thing is, they are fond memories DESPITE some kind of tragedy like spinning off the road (glad to hear Megan was safe!) or engines catching fire, walking for 10 miles after a break down, etc. The nice thing about the bus and beetle is rear end traction for snow and with the bus, the ground clearance is the same or higher than a jeep wrangler! You're right about the weight in the front- I just saw a picture on the internet in fact...
    mjozoneman067.jpg
    Thanks for sharing your story, Bogusbandit56!
     
  18. bogusbandit56

    bogusbandit56 Top Gun

    Posts:
    8,545
    Likes:
    19,173
    Points:
    133
    Unfortunately most our pictures are on slides, but I f I find some photos I will post.
    Hey Greg, does this mean you and Jay are like the Klitschko brothers now, both boxer mad:D? The other funny thing about the Beetle is the washer bottle working off the spare wheel. If you forget to keep it pumped up you can end up with two flats when you get a puncture:D
    upload_2018-2-25_15-7-51.jpeg
     
    F1wanabe and SukhoiLover like this.
  19. bogusbandit56

    bogusbandit56 Top Gun

    Posts:
    8,545
    Likes:
    19,173
    Points:
    133
    Trouble is when we split she kept the van and the photos:D
     
    F1wanabe and SukhoiLover like this.
  20. F1wanabe

    F1wanabe Administrator

    Posts:
    12,334
    Likes:
    10,680
    Points:
    133
    Oh no! That must have been painful for the loss of the bus alone;)! And yes, we are boxerbrothers but n=his boxer is different than my boxer! We seem to be on the same page! Look what I received in the mail yesterday to complete the trunk area, haha. I got this from a used parts place in VA.
    20180225_110453.jpg
    20180225_104944.jpg
     
    SukhoiLover and bogusbandit56 like this.

Share This Page

string(1) "1"