Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Interior progress on the '68 Riviera

I've started working on the interior of the '68. I painted the driver's area, cleaned up and reinstalled the dash, and I removed the headliner so I can paint the ceiling. I also found some great interior panels and a rubber mat at the pick n pull in Antelope. This is the first time they've had a bus in about two years. Luckily, it had some parts that I desperately needed. My friend Eric Zitzman sold me a really nice rear bench seat, while my buddy Bob Frith gave me a middle seat frame and decent steering wheel. It pays to have friends who have old VWs. When you give away parts, they tend to come back to you in multitude.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Making some progress

It's going awfully slow, these days. I haven't had a lot of time to work on the bus. Here is a picture of the front end as it is almost finished. Almost time to move on to another section.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

It's been a long time...

It's been over a year since I blogged on Tinkerbell. The sad thing is that she's been gone for quite a while. Since that, I restored a 1974 Westfalia, sold it to a nice gentleman in the UK, and have started on another project. So far this one doesn't have a name, but I'm sure that he/she will as its personality develops. I'm not sure what it will look like when it is finished. There is always a tug of war between my Kim and me with every bus. Kim likes custom interiors with freaky paint. I like to go more stock.

Either way, this will not be completely stock. It started its life as a 1969 non-walkthrough, small poptop Riviera. Since the Wesfalia interior is easier to find (and more desirable) than the Riviera, I will probably go with that if I decide to do a camping interior. Let's see what happens as we progress.

I've started the project by ripping out the old metal from the front. It was dented and rusted beyond repair. I found some donor sheet metal from my friend, Corey. He had an old bus with some good parts, but more importantly, a new repop lower front end for an early baywindow bus. Here are a couple of pictures of my progress.

This is the front end after I cut out the front end sheet metal.

Starting to weld the front back together. These are pieces from the donor bus and the new lower sheet metal.

I ground down the welds and am starting to smooth and fill with bondo. Quite frankly, I wish I had removed the entire front end. It would have been easier to weld, clean, and line up the pieces if it were on a bench rather than on the bus. Oh well, live and learn.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tink's continued problems

Without going into too much detail, Tink is out of commission again. This time it's not a huge fix. The recurring theme is that I can't find the time to get it done. One of her wheel cylinders is leaking brake fluid. That's one part of a bus that can't be neglected. No stop, no good. I'm sure I'll find some time in early April because I don't want to miss another festival/campout. Two day town is less than a month away, and the weather is beautiful. I hope all had fun at Lake DeValle last weekend. I'll keep you posted on the progress.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Camping season is upon us

Make it stop. Make it stop. Keep it coming. I don't really know what I want. Yes I do. I want to go camping. With the warm weather that we've been having here in Northern California, I have been getting e-mails, phone calls, and posts about camping trips almost every weekend. I have to say, I am feeling a little overwhelmed. The family would love to go to all of them. However, some weekends there are multiple campouts and get-to-gethers. Not sure why I hyphenated that but it makes it seem more "bus-ish"

There really is no feeling like the one I get the night before a bus trip. I get to pull out all the gear - way too much to list. I make a check list and check it twice like a springtime Santa. That never prevents me from forgetting some essential item. It is always okay because someone somewhere has whatever we need. They are always easy to spot in any campground. It is usually a family with a couple of kids and a mom with everything in the campsite organized. Perhaps she has a lazy susan full of spices that you should never bring camping . Maybe she has carefully placed a first aid kit with a big poster board emblazoned with a giant red cross on a clothes line strung between two trees. Whatever it might be, ask her. She'll have it and be happy to share it. The one drawback: You will have to listen to a monologue about how she never forgets to bring everything she might need + a million more things she won't. I can't imagine what it is like to pack up that family's vehicle for a weekend trip.

Okay, forgive my rant. Here are some dates that are set in stone:

March 20-22 - Spring Equinox GTG Lake DeValle- Livermore
March 27-29 - Peter's Birthday in SLO (brother in law, not PJ Alau)
April 24 - 26 Two Day Town music festival. It's my first time, but looks like fun.
For details click here
May 15 - 17 - First annual bus city hosted by Brett, EP, and Big Blue

I hope to see old friends and make some new ones. Happy Camping

Monday, March 9, 2009

My First Foray

As I enter the blogosphere, I have to ask myself one question: "Does the world have room for another blog?" The answer is simple. I don't care. We all feel the need to document our lives. We love to tell stories and give our opinions. If you've found this, then I guess you love our family or VW buses. Either way, welcome.

If you aren't a VW owner, then perhaps you don't understand why anyone would dedicate so much time, money, and effort to an inanimate object. Sure, it's not fast, sleek, extremely valuable, or even beautiful to an untrained eye. But to someone who "gets it," it is so much more. Buses are a symbol of a simpler time. They bring families, friends, and strangers together. Whether it is a simple wave as one drives a bus down the street, a camping trip with old friends, or a conversation in a parking lot about an old uncle who had one of those "vans", people love the camaraderie that accompanies a VW bus.

So welcome to Tinkerbell's page. Feel free to post, ask questions, or just send some love her way. Happy blogging and reading.