Aircooled pre 67 campout!
All info here
Finally managed to finish off our latest roadtrip.. have a look in the Roadtrip menu..
Found in Norway and now receiving a restoration. The bus is in really good shape for it’s age and the owner hope’s to have it ready by the summer.
At the end of June I organized a VW HIghroof gathering, the idea was a back to basic campout with a focus on the highroof. The goal was to get as many together in one field. Despite the number of owners putting their name down in joining us for the weekend, many send their cat.. I’m guessing the few hours rain we had was enough to keep them home.
Chantal and Matt’s beautiful farm is situated in the countryside on the outskirts of Maidenhead. It is the perfect setting for a relaxing weekend.
The program for the weekend was simple, come down, park up and enjoy
Nibbles and a lot of fun..
Not quite the turn out as hoped for.
Matt gettin’ dirty with the venison🙂
Yep, caught with an axe.. not really😛
A generous and lovely spread..
Throwing and watching the glider.
We had rain saturday afternoon but were well prepared so the party continued..
and more chillin
The campfire was massive.
In the weeds..
Ssssht barndoor a sleep..
From Left to right:
Antony Bentley’s ’65 Panelvan, Matt & Chantall’s ’67 Clino mobil, my ’63 Portuguese 9 window & ’65 Portuguese 13 window, Lee’s ’64 Panelvan.
( the ’63 is now owned by Mike and Charlie Rutherford.)
Thanks all for coming down, hopefully again in 2016!
Special thanks to Mike Jonhson for the pictures.
At the end of 2013 I was chatting with a good friend over in Portugal who mentioned he’d be looking at selling his Beetle as he could do with the funds. I’ve never really been a huge fan of the beetle but the early beetle does have some nice lines and with the smaller rear window (oval) it does look kind of cute.. Anyway I told my friend I wasn’t in the position to buy a car and certainly not looking in buying a Beetle until he mentioned he’d be happy to let it go to a good home for a fair price. Fast forward and we’re March this year when we struck the deal. Another few months later and the Beetle get’s delivered at a friend in Belgium. In June I take off to Belgium and finally get to see what I’ve bought🙂
The beetle is in reasonable condition for it’s age..
It has a nice history .. which I’m sure many of you have heard of .. It’s been around on social media a few times but it’s not completely true.. Remember the story where a retired couple from New York bought a property with a few acres and a so called abandoned barn in Portugal.. Well the story is fake but the barn and the 200 cars are not!
The owner was a car dealer in the 70’s & 80’s and decided to keep some of the more interesting cars that came his way. He kept storing the cars in the barn until it got full then he simply soldered the doors shut and the vehicles have been sitting there collecting dust for years. The barn had some very special cars in it and this Beetle was part of that collection. To cut a long story short my friend Matt bought the car who’d been sitting for some 30 years. It was originally black but had a poor respray. It was in pretty reasonable condition and was missing the semaphores and heart tail lights which Matt replaced with the correct ones.. He patched up some bad areas, took the engine partially apart, overhauled the brakes gave it a quick respray and put an MOT on it only for it to land on his drive and never drive it.. I had a good nose round it..
I know the indicators are not original but I quiet like them and they’re period..
Having never had a beetle nor shown interest in them I had quiet a few people telling me about the special rear lights..
Matt stressed the car had been sitting for over a year, well .. basically since the MOT, so it needed some TLC and a new battery before I could start driving it.. I fitted the new battery, checked the oil (it was still fluid😛 ), emptied the petrol tank of all dust, poored new fuel in it and about 30 seconds after I first turned the key she was alive.. I did a test-drive round the block and it felt pretty good all together except for the car steering to the right a little when hitting the brake.. I took the risk and drove to the MOT station hoping the brake issue would resolve itself as Matt said it was all overhauled and I thought it might’ve been seized and would come loose after using it a few times.. The result from the MOT test wasn’t good.. at all.. Tyres (on the edge), brakes (more then 50% difference .. ooops😉 ), hole in the bottom sill etc etc etc.. Only the brakes and a hole needed to be fixed to have it pass the MOT.. With little time and hardly any tools I set about and dismantled the front left hub to find the piston in the brake cylinder had seized.. a bit of massaging, some oil and an hour later the brake issue was sorted.. I bled the brakes twice and it now stopped perfect. The next day I literally patched the hole with a plate ( as said by the MOT man) in the rain outside under an umbrella in about 10 mins.. it’s probably the worst job I’ve ever done😀 The guy at the MOT station was well impressed with the front brakes, they were now perfect and it received an MOT.. Happy days!
The next few days were spend on partying and recovering from a hangover and then it was back to the UK..
After more then a year… jeesszzzz..
2014 has been a very very busy year, a new job, a new house and lots of other things that have kept me away of writing the blog..
Oh and we’ve done a very cool trip again too🙂
Anyway enough to post but just need to find the time.
Stay tuned for lots of updates!!
To all of you!
I’m not a Christmas person myself but that doesn’t mean I wish all of you have a great time over the festive period!!
I’ve always been a fan of the smaller retailer, the non commercial indie who still brings to the market honest products for reasonable prices..
Simon Butland aka ‘Butty’ drives a VW splitscreen bus for quite some years, he’s soon found out that some parts could use improvement and started engineering bits a few years back.. Friends and fellow bus drivers from in the scene have closely watched his progress and have given feedback to Simon so he could adjust and improve.. today we know him also as ‘Butty’s bits’ !!
So.. a few months back when I was on a stroll at the ‘Skeg Vegas’, show I walked past Simon and his ‘bits’😉 we started talking and he asked me whether I’d seen his throttle kit.. He explained me his personal experience from the original kit and how he used that to develop/engineer his improved kit. Simon then gave me a kit and asked me to test it and give him my thoughts of the product..
So fast forward a couple of weeks and I find myself laying underneath Stella having a good look what my original kit looked like. To be honest I always thought the sloppy pedal was just part of driving a bus and never really thought about making it better, after all I’ve always got where I wanted to go.. But, I’m open to improvement and it’s little things like these that make me very curious.
I was surprised that my under cab area still looked reasonable well, I cleaned/protected this before I did everything under the cargo area and it shows only a bit of surface rust peeking through.
Right so the throttle kit.. well … errrmm… It seems that I’m missing the little spring that keeps the connector rod in place.. ooops .. maybe this was a sign that a replacement was needed!
The kit from ‘Butty’s bits’ looks great, it’s made out of stainless steel and uses small ball bearings. That in it’s own is a great improvement as with the original kit the movement in the joint is simply the rod going through a hole..
Further more with the kit comes a rubber seal that goes on the cab floor (not shown in the picture), a return spring and a stainless steel cable tie (not shown in the picture) ..
I removed the original kit from my bus and this gives you a good opportunity to compare the original vs Butty’s..
As I mentioned the ball bearings are a great improvement, as you can see for yourself in the picture below, the hole where the rod was circling round has worn out and become oval instead of round!
Fitting the kit is not a hard job.
You take out the old kit by unscrewing the small nut and bolt in the U-shaped bracket. Remove the springs that hold the rod, remove the throttle cable and it’s out!
Before you put the new kit in place it’s best you make sure that you clean the area inside the U-shaped bracket. It might have collected crap over the years and this will affect installing the new kit. Once all clean, install the new kit. This might be a bit fiddly with the washers but shouldn’t take you too long. Fit the rubber gaitor. Next job is to attach the rod to the pedal but you will need to trim a little off the side of your pedal (see picture below), a dremel or similar tool is ideal.
The last thing to do is fit the spring. With the kit comes a cable tie that you can wrap around the box section but I choose to drill a tiny (2mm) hole on the lip just above the box section so it’s secured. (see picture below)
View from the cab..
Simon mentioned to get more throttle travel you can remove the lip on the top of your pedal.. ( I bent it ages ago😉 )
So having this kit fitted for the past few months, I have noticed a big difference. There’s no more sloppy feel in the pedal (there’s some left but that’s down to a worn connection where the pedal is held with a pin to the floor), there’s more of a modern and sturdy feel to it, no more squeaking noises and a fast returning pedal.. all together a great bit of kit!
I vote for little products like these and look forward to the next little improvement from Butty’s bits!!