Nr 4 .. A ’65 Highroof .. The Ultimate Campervan

Now that the Westfalia was sold it was time to focus on finding the right VW highroof. Not a n easy job as I was already searching  for about 9 months. Although I’d seen a few they were either way too expensive, too far away or needed too much work.

Until.. on a late wednesday evening I received a phone call from Maurice from Kieft en Klok in Holland who knew I was looking for a highroof.. He got hold of one but it wasn’t nearby .. It was located in Portugal.. A few minutes later I received an email with a few pictures, it was the same highroof that I spotted a few months earlier but the combination of the added windows and price made me turn it down. Half an hour later I was back on the phone with Maurice going through the details, he said I wasn’t the only one he knew who was after a Highroof but he was willing to give me priority! With my negative experience of my first purchase in mind I wasn’t keen on buying a bus on pictures especially as I wasn’t dure of the windows. . But it was because Maurice convinced me it was a good project and made me a great deal + delivery on my doorstep..  I couldn’t resist and so I became the new owner of the Highroof.

Building my Ultimate Campervan was something which was on my mind for a long time and because this bus was a project which needed some work I knew that I could build it fully customized to my spec.!! The windows were actually an added bonus so it seems  😉 .

The bus was found in Portugal. It had been sitting for about 30 yrs in a yard together with other VW’s. The history of my bus goes that it was used by a company that used it to transport their laborers from one place to another. That also explains why I had 3 instead of 2 seat rows in the back!

These pictures were send to me and had to give me an impression of where I was about to spent my money on.. 😉

You can clearly see that the bus had been stored with only the nose sticking out of the shelter as that was the rustiest part on the bus.

A 13 window Highroof!! I never saw it and wasn’t keen on it in the beginning ..

Almost all busses in Portugal started their lives as commercials (panel vans) due to the Portugese laws back in the ’60’s  by a dictator. However the conversion of theses windows were done in a very professional way!

This set of seats were made by VW Portugal.

A few weeks later the Highroof arrived at my mechanics garage.

It looked just like it was described on the phone!!

As I expected the bottom nose was toast and had to be replaced.

As well as the L & R side of the cab floor.

A very dusty engine was pulled.

Apart from collecting years of dust the engine bay was in quite good condition!

The bottom nose, inner and outer valance were cut out..

The long rocker was also cut and the inner rocker was found still useable, so I repaired it.

A new piece was welded in..

Small rust repairs were needed and so rust was cut out and replaced with fresh metal.

Bottom of the cargo doors were also repaired.

Bringing the nose back in shape 🙂

Test fitting a replacement panel, the fit was terrible!!

And so I had to chop it up in pieces.. :-S

It all turned out great!

Solid cab floor again.

Bought an old school Bekowa roof rack from the 50’s era.

Then it was time to move it onto to the ramp and get it technically sound..

Brake lines, cylinders, pads were all replaced with new items as well as the suspension..

Because the bus was going to be lowered, we got rid of the original gearbox and instead we used a Vw Type 3 gearbox with long axles and tubes aka a straight axle conversion..

Finally she was back on her wheels and running again after 30yrs !!

Unfortunately happiness didn’t last long as the gearbox made a “rattling” sound. It was then opened up, fully inspected and the synchromesh were replaced.

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