Spent some time today making up the repair panels for the bottom of the passenger side A pillar. Fortunately there was enough of the original left for me to take some measurements from. The repair panels are in three sections - two sections form the a pillar itself and another makes the bracket that attaches to the inner lower nose panel.
Hi all,as some of you know, I've been flat out doing a 57 panel patina monster for the last 18 months so I figure its time to share the highs and lows.So here goes..
The bus is a 1957 Dove Blue panel that was advertised on DSK in July 2011.It looked good,the usual rust,but for me it ticked the major box,ORIGINAL PAINT!! Turns out that the guy who was selling it had bought it from the first owner,he'd done nothing with it except drag it home so I like to think I'm the second owner or at least the second driver.
I spoke with a fellow bus enthusiast just prior to Xmas as he had some Belly pans for sale over on DSK, I need a set of these for when I get around to doing the splitty as I am planning to convert it to a double door. The reason for the belly pans is that the bus is left hand drive, and so to make it practical for use as a family wagon, it needs to have cargo doors on the kerb side, as adding in an extra set of doors seems the simplest way to go. Unfortuately the double doors weaken the structure and so the belly pans are used to add in the additional strength.
1963 15 Window Deluxe Microbus – Iron Horse
During the mid year school holidays in 2007 we were in the Barossa Valley and I got talking to an older gent who told me he had a kombi in a shed on a remote property so we swapped phone numbers….
After quite a few calls we arranged to meet and at this stage I didn't even know what I was going to look at as he didn't know what type of kombi it was, just that it had 'windows down the side'
Looking back it's hard to remember how I ended up looking for another splitty, I used to own one a few years back and always missed it after selling it. I think i was looking for something on ebay and stumbled across this bus by accident. After looking through about a hundred photos on photobucket I decided that it was too much money and too much work.
But the problem is... once that idea takes hold...
Anyhows, I ended up looking to South Africa for a bus. i figured they're right hand drive, in a warm climate, and a bunch cheaper.
Finding a bus there is pretty easy - just go to gumtree and browse the classifieds (don't bother visiting any South African forums - they don't like seeing busses leave the country and you will likely get flamed or worse). I found a nice looking roadworthy and restored bus for about AU$8K. After getting quotes for shipping and speaking with a past client of the seller here in Aus I was ready to go. Unfortunately, as it took me so long to get everything sorted the bus sold the day before I was ready to buy it. :( Ahh well - wasn't meant to be I guess.
So then I get to thinking about the 15 window again. My old bus was a nice looking cal look 11 window, but after spending a lot of time in it I decided that a 13 / 15 window was the way to go, and best of all it was a walkthrogh - just like my old '71 westphalia I toured around Europe in. The more I thought about it - the more I had to at least go and have a look...
So, I went and visited the owner, took a look at the bus, bartered a bit and left owning yet another project.
And that's pretty much how things have been since last December.
The bus is a left hooker, but came with a RHD beam and dash, it needs a lot of work and rust repairs to the floors, as well as patching up speaker holes and dents. I will probably get a second set of cargo doors put in to turn it into a double door - mostly as it will get used as a family wagon. It's been dropped on lowered spindles and a straight axle kit - and this is probably how I will leave it.
I will keep you all posted on the progress.