2nd blog – date: December 13th, 2017
With Eve we bought a 50 year old bus from another country. Now we want to describe the condition of the bus and tell you what work it will need to get it licensed for the traffic here in Austria.
Some parts that definitely need to replaced are the US head lights. We have to change them to the european version with a H4 halogen lamp. Of course the taillights also have to be changed. The US-version of the rear light combines break light and indicator and has a fully red glass. The new one will have a separated orange area for the indicator signals and a red one for the brake lights. Another thing that definitely will be removed is the odometer. Eve still has it’s original odometer that shows speed in „MPH“ (miles per hour) – here we do need the version with KM/H.
The areas that we will take care off:
Firstly i have to say that we will not do a complete restoration as the bus is very solid. Even though our VW bus is already more than 50 years old, the body is in good shape. One reason for that is the dry climate in California, where the vehicle spent all of its last 5 decades. Now i want to describe the areas that we will work on during the next few months – let’s hope that no bad surprises will show up!
In the photo above you can see the dashboard. we will remove the shelf beneath it, to sand it. Afterwards it will be painted and built in again. The picture also shows the steering wheel. It is very used – that’s why a new one will be bought and installed. The horn button is very damaged and the horn signal doesn’t work at the moment. That’s another project we will take on. In the left corner of the picture you can also see the water container for the windshield wipers. As it consists of plastic, the container did not outlast the years. We will buy a new one with a new pump system.
In the driver cabin we will also take a look at the electric wires. New cables are on our list. A disadvantage of the mostly sunny weather in California is, that the sealings (windows, lights, doors, …) are not serving their purpose anymore – they are porous as you might recognize in the photo below.
Eve arrived in a very original and complete condition. But as it’s a 50 year old vehicle, you can clearly see that people used it and lived in it. So we will substitute many old small parts like the handles, chrome trims and so on. Just like the sealings, the interior panels also didn’t have the best look. As some of you might know, the aeropapyrus interior was not very long lasting.
The original seat benches did still exist. But the last owner told us about their bad condition and thats why he assigned a dutch company to do a new upholstery. As the original aeropapyrus fabrics are not available anymore, they decided to choose colors and materials that come pretty close to the original. As that was quite difficult, the blue shade on the benches is a hue, that will match with the original seablue color – that we might paint again on the outside one day (has no priority). If you take a look at the right corner you can still see the old, deceased interior covers at the back of the driver seat. The side interior panels already have been removed. Luckily, we are in contact with the company in the Netherlands that did the upholstery job. They will send us the same fabrics that they used for the seats – so we can do the rest of the interior panels in the same colors.
Until now, we didn’t see a sign of welding. But of course now we will have to weld. On the outer corners of the driver cabins floor, there are some small rust holes – luckily they aren’t very big. You wouldn’t loose a coin as it can’t fall through. The passenger areas, right half (where the loading doors are) will also need a new metal panel. Additionally the front doors will need some attention on the lower edges, before the will be fitted in the frame again so they close correctly – without any gaps. All in all we hope that the welding work will we done very fast without any big surprises. On the first picture below, you can spot the original sea blue color that still waits underneath the newer grey paint. Of course we are also looking for the correct fuel cap.
The good thing is, that the engine has been rebuilt back in 2008 or 2009. It fires up immediately and runs great. We definitely will change all the tubes in the engine area. Too often we have seen images of classic Volkswagen cars that burnt down on the side of the street.
At the moment we are on the hunt for spare parts and all kind of informations that will help us. Nevertheless we are looking forward to start the work – because we hope to make Eve roadworthy again as soon as possible! Will be a challenge against the time if we want to finish still in 2018!
Alex, Sascha & Eve.