Tag Archives: bus
"Difficult, you bet! Determ ined, you bet! In over m y head, Absolutely.... lol Tree fell on m y Pace Arrow Eleganza that I was restoring while living in as my home.... Insurance company announced It was totaled. Just in case you are wondering, yes I was inside it when it happened! Thought the end had com e!!!! There I found m yself having to find another hom e & of corse It would have to be a project to be able to afford it. I found myself scanning eBay and the PERFECT solution was suddenly right in front of me!!!! A 1947 GMC PD3751 6-71 Greyhound Bus!!!! What a Beauty!.... What Classy Lines!.... What a life long Project this is going to be just finding parts! Having No Fear, or just plain ol Crazy, I used the insurance money for the down payment and got a loan for the remainder. Took over a month to get her from Wisconsin to Virginia, but I'm sitting in her typing this right now :) "Her name is "Thunder" She was brought back to life and converted about 10 years ago by a previous owner so the inside is still pretty darn good and the person I got her from only had her about a year. The outside needs a lot of TLC to bring her back to glory so there is plenty of work to be done, specialty tools to be bought, parts to find, Parts to Make, body work, paint, electrical solutions to figure out.... The list goes on & on! Bungies holding luggage com partm ents closed, Big roof dents, Scrapes, Puncture holes both sides, chrome work etc. Difficult, You Bet! Determined, you bet! In over my head, Absolutely! Now I just hope lucky as well ;) Many Thanks for Being There Eastwood! GtrPknToolToatinMama & Thunder"
I'm ready to vote:
It has been a while since my 1966 VW Bus project was introduced on the blog. House projects, other VW projects, and a 1 year old and a 3 year old have caused my progress on the Bus to be slower than I expected. During this time, I've been accumulating parts and repair panels in anticipation of working on it. Now that the other projects are out of the way, I'm back to working on the Bus.
One of the first things I wanted to tackle was stripping the paint from the lower half of the Bus to see what was hiding under the paint. To strip paint, you have several options: media blasting, mechanical removal, or chemical removal. With the large flat panels, I didn't want to chance warpage with media blasting, and chemical removal can be a bit messy, so I opted for mechanical removal using my angle grinder and these Poly-X stripping discs. Be sure to use the proper safety equipment when stripping paint like this, as dust will be in the air (respirator, faceshield, ear plugs, gloves). The Bus had 4 layers of paint and these strippings discs quickly removed the paint and body filler. I was able to strip the whole bus to bare metal, from the beltline down, in an afternoon using 3 discs.
I knew there was some body filler in spots, but didn't expect to find as much filler as was hiding under the paint. There was some minor damage under the filler, but it seems like whoever did the bodywork went a little overboard with filler. I also found a fiberglass patch in the rear apron covering up a hacked cutout to allow use of a two tip VW Bug muffler. I'll be showing how to create and weld in a patch for that repair in the near future. Now that I know what I am working with, I'll be able to properly address the damage. Stay tuned for more progress.
How far would you go to save a rare classic you love? I've gone to pretty great lengths to obtain a car, or even parts for a car. I remember climbing piles of cars just to get a tiny little interior piece and thinking "man this would suck if these cars fell". Needless to say, in the heat of the moment we don't always use our better judgement!
Some may remember the early VW Rabbit pictured above that I obtained this past fall. It was saved from a 40 foot high scrap pile and had to be lifted off with a crane! Now it is sitting safely in my garage rolling, stopping, rot free, and almost ready to run! My friends and family all think I'm crazy, but there is just something about saving a car that was so close to death. I'd almost prefer to own a project that has an interesting back story, over one that is slightly cleaner but just bought off of Ebay!
After reading a blog entry by the guys over at Rod Authority about a remarkable junkyard that was forced to close in Switzerland. I was given a suggestion on Youtube to watch another video by a German fellow that saved an early "Barn Door" VW Bus high up in the mountains. The video starts off like a few "woods-find" videos, deep in the woods, and digging it out of the ground. That alone is pretty cool, but as the video continues, you see they are in the mountains (note the ski lifts in the background), and a helicopter flies in to help. I'll leave the rest of the video for you to watch. But I can assure you there is some great shots in this video!
Nick is known around the office as "The Bug Guy". He has had his hands on more VW Bugs than many twice his age! Now that Nick's family is growing with the addition of another little one, he began searching for something that he can take the entire family to shows in (and still have elbow room!). So he looked to the VW Beetle's larger brother, the VW "Type 2" or as we all know them as, a VW Bus. He really preferred the early split window versions, but the prices for even rotted out carcasses were scary! Until one day, a local VW club member posted up on Facebook that he had one for sale in decent shape; and for a very reasonable price. Who says Facebook isn't good for anything!
Once Nick got ahold of the owner, he got the same old story "used to drive it, was great, then I parked it to restore, and never got around to it". Many years later parts for the bus were scattered among the owners friends and family, and the rolling bus was left to sit in his woods. Once Nick negotiated a price and sorted out what parts he actually DID have (how do you lose an engine .. I mean really!), he drug her home.
She is a 1966 "Kombi". From the numbers Nick stated it originally was white on top and white on the bottom. This thing was painted at some point and the red is now quite pink!
After getting it home, Nick couldn't resist buffing a section of the faded "pink" paint, and to his surprise; it actually rubbed out quite well! He plans to take care of the mechanical maintenance it needs, fix the previous owners shade-tree repairs, install a bug engine he has laying around, and lower it a bit for next season. The paint will get rubbed out, and proudly display it's Patina for now.
As with any project, it could go astray, and a full on restoration could occur.. but for now we are just excited to see Nick rolling into our next Eastwood Summer Classic with this and his family! We will keep you updated as he progresses!