Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The BSSP air-cooled club...

There is a guy I work with, Shawn, who has a '69 Karmann Ghia. He NEVER drives it to work. Well, a few weeks ago, he did. So the BSSP air-cooled club was, finally, in full effect!

Not a donor for the nose, but...

I was looking at this for the nose, but have tracked down a "mint" one up near Sacramento. But this is a '68, and for $200, there are some interesting parts as this bus was a "deluxe". Notice the chrome trim around the windows. Also, the arm rest on the driver's door. I haven't bought it, but, man, it is tempting to do so. The best part is, whatever I don't want, which is the body, I can leave there...

Interesting way to solve the emblem or spare tire debate.

Only 1968s had that style door handle. Pretty cool chrome trim on the driver's window.

Uncracked dash and a few extra hubcaps.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Big Blue's Guts!

Perhaps if Monty reads this, he can clarify for me, but in going through Big Blue's records, it looks like he got a new engine at mile 125081. If that is correct, then the engine inside Blue right now has about 135,000 miles on it.

Here are some pictures on Blue's guts. Notice that there is no firewall between the engine and the gas tank... '68s didn't have them.

Note at the bottom, a temp reader instead of a dipstick (the red wire on the lower right).

An after-market oil cooler Monty added. Right now, it isn't working. The added external Fram filter is the source of one of Blue's oil leaks.

Better shot of the oil temp reader - a VDO set up - and you can see the single Solex carb sitting on top.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Restoration update #2

Last weekend I drove Big Blue over to Dubwerkz in Livermore. It was about an hour away so it was good to get Big Blue to stretch his legs. Driving with my left hand bandaged wasn't too bad either. The guys at Dubwerkz were cool, if not impressed with the amount of rust under Blue's front lip. John - the guy I have been talking to there has been working on VWs since he bought one and rebuilt it when he was 15. They are currently building a car that will be in the TV show "Pinks".

I'll let you guys know the details when he gets back with me.

On the way home, Blue and I did a little tour of his history. We stopped at the house of M Edwin Riddle, Blue's first owner. I had thought about knocking, but what are the chances that they know someone who lived there 40 years ago and what are the chances of getting shot? We also stopped by 750 A Street, which was where Humphrey Motors was back in 1968 when Blue was sold new. Oddly, I think the street addresses have changed since then as there is now a West A and East A Street. Not sure I ended up in the right place.

Big Blue back where he started in 1968.

I am pretty sure the addresses have changed since 1968, but this may have been where Humphrey Motors was.

We also stopped by 9829 Bigge Avenue in Oakland, where Monty added the Riviera top at ASI in 1981.
Just outside the Oakland Airport is where Big Blue's top was put on by ASI in 1981.

Alas, the historical run must have been too exciting for Blue, who began leaking oil from his driver's side the following day. So now Blue is back in the skilled hands of Paul of Valley Wagonworks. I hadn't seen Paul since we first dropped off Blue in October - it was good catching up with him.

Today, I headed back to Joe Garcia's to snap some pics of the '68 parts bus he has for sale. I am going to call him shorty when I get done with this and tell him I'll take it. Let the fun begin!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Old window work on Big Blue

Some interesting shots from when I was removing and cleaning Blue's windows about 2 months ago...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sunday Night Beach Run

After Dallas lost on Sunday, we celebrated by heading to the beach. You can find out more details here.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Big Blue's Patron Saints - good people who bought portions of big blue off our wedding registry

So, the thing about Big Blue is that he was a wedding gift. We created a webpage that people could buy parts of a "bus" for us. When we got back from our honeymoon, we began the hunt for the bus. So, since they are a part of Big Blue, here is a list of Big Blue's Patron Saints...

  • Rebecca Prusinowski
  • Scott and Barb Lines
  • Kristen and Chris Conn
  • UP! (Andy Bertagnoli)
  • Ralph Doyle and Karin Ahlberg
  • David Byslma
  • Glenda and Jon Van Emst
  • Tracy and Peter Nielsen
  • Brett and Kristi Waterfield
  • Andy and Jaylene Ruth
  • Kristine Von Maur and Dustin Borg
They know how much it means to us, but it is worth repeating; Thank you!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Restoration update

A 1971 Adventure Wagon that may donate it's front end to Big Blue.

Yesterday I intended to replace all the seals on the taillights and turn signals but both sets turned out to be shoddy (never buying from West Coast Metric again). Alas, they go back to the company and Big Blue sits as he always has. I'll try Wolfsburg West's seals next...

Before the holiday break, I took Big Blue to Concord, CA, to get a quote from LaVere's Restoration who deals specifically in VWs. The shop was quite awesome and it was great to see so many VWs in one spot (I must have looked at 14 different buses and bugs). The quote came in at around $2500 for all the front end work - and that's leaving it in primer! They don't do their own body work there (thanks for the tip, Mike!) so this weekend I am bringing it to Dub Werkz, a vw place in Livermore that does their own body work to see if it is cheaper to cut out the middle man.

Also, had the good fortune of meeting up with Joe Garcia - a VW nut over in San Pablo. The guy's got a '68 parts bus and a '71 (pictured at the top), which maybe could be restored, probably not. Also has a few pre-67 panel trucks including a 1957. Pretty cool guy and I am trying to figure out a way to get the parts off the '68 and scrap the body. I'm going to try to get the nose to transplant onto Big Blue.

That's it for now. I'll post a picture of the restored bumpers on Big Blue as soon as I can...

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Big Blue weathers the storm...

We had quite a storm hit Sausalito this last Friday. We lost power, wrecked the gangplank on our floating home and almost flooded Blue! Here is a pic taken with my phone of the sole parking lot dweller - the water got over the hub cabs, but not inside the vehicle (except the doors leaked). Fired him up yesterday and he ran and drove without concern...

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Big Blue's long lost twin brother?

Not sure the odds, but Greg R of Chico, CA found this blog and found us on The Samba and contacted me to say he too has a 1968 VW panel that is Neptune Blue that has a California Road Runner Camper conversion. Man, the odds. The only differences I can see by the pictures are:

1. Our ASI top that was put on in the early 80s
2. He has a double sliding door
3. Different color seat material

The windows, layout and everything else (except he has less rust than Big Blue) seems to be the same. Trying to organize a little side by side photo shoot later this spring.

Here's Greg's '68:

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Back home!

Got home from a vacation last night to find a late model westy parked next to Blue. Need to find out which neighbor it is....

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