Saturday, September 29, 2007

Big Blue gets his wheels...

Friday, September 28, 2007

The Best Laid Plans

Yesterday, I had intended to pull off quite a complicated plan to get Big Blue up to Paul at Valley Wagon Works in San Rafael from where it sits in Redwood City (about a 45-mile journey). I was to bring EP to work, go get the 4 fresh tires and then go to work until noon (that part went according to plan). Then, I was to go get EP at about 11:45, go to see Gary at the Budget Truck in San Rafael, pick up a truck and head to Redwood City and pick up a trailer there. It began to look like I would be at work late (I was, until 1:00am), so I decided to get the truck at about 11:00am, then go get EP and give her the MINI. When I got the Budget Truck, everything was fine until we realized that you are not supposed to pull a rear-wheel drive car on a car dolly (see pic below). So we called all over looking for a full-size trailer. There were none to be had in the entire area. So I scraped the plan and had a gyro instead.

Not sure what the plan will be but I am heading down to Redwood City early Saturday morning to put on the tires, take the last remaining tire off and change the oil. If it seems safe enough to drive, I'll be north-bound in Big Blue. If not, flatbed towing here we come!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

4 wheels, a truck and a car tote...

Today I picked up the 4 freshly powder-coated and clean-looking wheels from Poly Engineering in Richmond at lunch. I ran them to Cain's Tires in San Rafael to have them put 4 new tires and valve stems on. Tomorrow, we go get Big Blue and bring it to Sausalito. I'll have pictures of the move up Thursday night...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A few pictures of other vans like ours

While our is not quite to this stage yet, here are a few other vans that ours will be similar to. Also, these are some good pictures that will show what our new windows will look like...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Joulosie Windows on their way...

The Joulosie Windows - camper style windows that louver out, are on their way in FedEx. We'll see if they make it here in one piece. They are coming from Alabama? Something like that. Then, when they get here, we'll see if they will actually work in our van.

Here's another piece of memorabilia I found in the van. This shows the camper package that was added on to the van at some point...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

lunchtime at the DMV

$171 later and Big Blue is legally ours, along with the special plates. Good stuff...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Waiting on the Wheels

Well, not much going on with Big Blue as we wait on the wheels to be painted. I took them to Poly Engineering in to have them bead-blasted and powder coated "Sky White". That's going to take 5-10 business days, so there's not much we can do in the meantime. I am trying to order a pair of Joulosie Windows to replace small ones that are on the bus now. I'm not entirely sure that these windows will work but the price seems right and these are the windows that EP and I experienced in Rell. See the picture below to see what I am talking about.

Also, I took this as a chance to go through more of the stuff. A copy of John Muir's HOW TO KEEP YOUR VOLKSWAGEN ALIVE came in the back of Big Blue, but it is covered in mold and pages are stuck together. Todd and Erica bought us a new copy yesterday as a gift so EP is coming back from New York with it on Wednesday. So I am scanning some of the cooler art in the place and saving some for our table project, which I will talk more about later, but then I am going to throw it in the trash. I know, it hurts, but you can hardly even read it and this book has been in print for years.

That's all for a few days until we get the wheels back...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The wasps of Redwood City...

are remarkable! After a blast of 14 ounces of RAID Wasp and Hornet Killer on Saturday (delivered with precision from at least 14 feet away) I arrived today to see that, while many of them perished in the bombing, many had somehow made it through my "Shock and Awe"-style attack.

So after applying a coat of wax to Big Blue (It's going to need at least 1 more), I went back to Target, armed myself with 2 more cans (28 more ounces!), and in a Quentin Tarantino-style move, took both bottles to them at once. I also noticed that they had taken an interest in the pop-top since the bombing, so while keeping a keen eye out for the little killers, I aimed at both the remaining next on the spare tire mount, and the front of the camper top.

Other than the continued wasp killing, not much happened on Big Blue today. I did get Wheel Work in San Rafael to take the old crappy tires (a blend of name brands) off the wheels to prep them for painting. Only when I got home did I realize that the valve stems were still on (and they were made in Germany - could they have lasted 39 years?), so I had to sit out on the deck of the houseboat and hack away at them with a hammer and a pair of pliers.

Here is a picture of the wasp nest on the spare tire mount...

These guys removed the wheels:

The wasps of Redwood City need a new home...

because Big Blue's spare tire is gone! Along with 3 other tires. Today I spent some time cleaning Big Blue, and took 4 of the 5 wheels back with me. This week I am going to have them powder coated and have 4 new tires put on. Right now Big Blue is resting on 3 jack stands and it's front left tire. I am really hoping we don't have an earthquake. If you look close, you can see the color difference between the body, which I wiped down today, and the front door, which still sports the dusty white film (maybe from the salt water of the bay?) that had taken over Big Blue's blueness...

Friday, September 14, 2007

Big Blue Gets his own Blog

Welcome to the Big Blue Blog. The website that will keep track of the history and restoration of Big Blue, our 1968 Camper Van. Here are some original post on our other blog,

VW history #1

Big Blu is officially ours

1st VW info hunt.

Big Blu

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