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.