|My bus ...|
|This is my Windsurfing ride. Its a 1965 VW "Kombi", which is basically the down and dirty bare bones model of the well known "microbus." It was originally all green, but after a few other re-paints (it was blue at one point) the last owner painted it the classic green/white combo. Its a stock color scheme for that year (but not for this model) so I'm keeping it for now, because it just looks so nice.|
|The older buses (pre 1967)
had the front windshield with the split window (the
windshield is in two pieces with a metal post in the
middle.) For this they are affectionately referred to as
|After about 9 months of
searching for the right model and condition, I picked
this one up (believe it or not, 20 minutes from me) in
August 2006. I've been working on it pretty regularly
since then to get lots of things fixed on it. But it runs
which is the main thing.
I got it essentially instead of getting a trailer for all my windsurfing gear. My other car (a 2004 VW New Beetle convertible turbo) needed a custom hitch to pull a trailer (and would have been awful at it) and then a trailer would have been at least $1000. For about the same price (ok a little more) I can instead carry my stuff in style.
|It had what was left of a
"camper" interior. When the VW buses came out,
you could get aftermarket interiors for the Kombis put
in. So the idea was, if you didn't want the standard
interior (seated like 8 people) you could get the Kombi,
which had the windows (except not the last two) and then
fit it out with an after market interior.
What you see stored in here are:
- 4 boards (two on the roof rack)
- 8 sails
- 6 masts
- 3 booms
- 3 mast extensions
- 2 mast bases
- 2 Wetsuits, Drysuit
- Helmet, life vest, safety pack, booties, gloves, etc. etc.
And of course the requisite spare car parts and tools. No old VW is complete without its spare parts and the tools you need to replace them!
. I also took off the rack basket on the roof to allow me to pull the bus into the garage with the boards on top, but if I had that basket up there, I could move a mountain.
|That back seat folds out into a little bed, actually. But when its folded up, you can seat up to three in the back seat even with all the stuff listed. Empty there's plenty of room left after all my gear to change in/out of a wetsuit or dry suit out of the weather, and one of my projects is to install a little DC fridge for "apres" beverages for times like this:.|
|One of the first things I
did was give it a complete overhaul of the front end
electrical system. Previous owners had customized the
wiring to the point that I had no way of figuring out
what was wrong when things didn't work right (like
signals, or headlights, or flashers!) So I basically
stripped it all apart and re-wired it per the official
|I also installed a vintage
AM radio (Sapphire I) with a neat little device custom
installed to it in the back end to allow me to hook my
iPod directly to it (see here)
|In the first few months I
had it I had to learn all about how to fix the rear
Reduction Boxes (a secondary extension of the standard VW
transmission of the day, added to buses to reduce the
gear ratios to allow the same transmission in a Bug to
work in a Bus that would be hauling 8 people or larger
loads.) I actually managed the repair and it has held up.
I also replaced most of the shifting rod system, and it
now shifts like a dream. Considering the biggest thing I
worked on prior to this was my ride on mower, I think did
The bus still has work to do on it. My next mission is to do something about the steering. To call it sloppy is kind. The wheel has about 20 degrees of play in it and it heaves every so often one side or the other.
After that, I have a few body rust issues I will need to deal with sooner or later. And I would love to restore the front cab to at least look like its new, with new reproduction stock seats & door panels.
And in between all these projects, I slowly fix one little thing after another, as there is always something on a 40 year old car that needs fixin'!
Got the new plates today... it'll only really make sense to a 70's Genesis fan. And for them, it would help to know that my HS yearbook quote was:
"Evil Kneivel, you go nothin' on me! Here I go!" ;-)
The interior is shaping up. Front seats re-upholstered, doors re-painted, replaced the driver's door for its busted hinge. Next is repainting the dash tray, touch up paint on the dash and painting the chassis rods. Also going to replace those front grey panels with wood matching the doors and re-paint the metal down there.
Check out the dash ornament ;-)
The Bus is now an "Award Winning" Bus! Won "Pick of the Week" at the local Greater New Haven Cruiser's 'Cruise Nite', Sept. 22, 2007