Well over two years ago I bought a 1967 VW westfallia camper. I am still workign on it, slowly but
I am not sure why but a few years back I started obsessing about buying and restoring a VW camper. My parents had one when I was a kid, they drove it all over the place and it seamed to be the most practical and fun thing on wheels. I have to admit that it is not as much fun as I remember when I was little.
Anyway it is fun to drive and its much better than a tent for camping out on the prairie. One of the things that terrified me about camping on the prairie was the cows. Yes there are cows on the prairie. And bulls. But the bulls don’t scare me, I leave them alone they leave me alone, and there are never more than one. However once you wake up in the middle of the night to take a leak and find your camp site is surrounded by maybe 40 cows you really have to stop and think, would a cow even notice if it stepped on my tent? Or would it panic and start dancing around trying to untangle its leg from yards of Rip stop nylon? 600 lbs of dancing hoofed animal haunted my dreams.
Now I camp in the bus, no worries about cows, or red ants, or sudden thunder storms. With the pop-up turret I can even stand up and change my cloths inside! What a deal.
Next there is the issue of driving to the camp site. My favorite place to camp on the prairie is the “North site” its about 40 miles away, 30 of which is a two lane highway with a speed limit of 75mph.
There is almost something zen like about driving with the “VW cruise control” going 55mph in a 75 zone. Its like your doing your best and everyone knows it. They cut you slack when they come up from behind, they know that tailgating you will do no good. Its like when your going down a country road and you see a tractor on the road. Its not going to do any good to honk, or get angry. They are going to go 20mph and there is nothing your going to do about it. I like playing fast music while driving to the prairie, like almost anything by Oingo Boingo.
*VW cruise control: Foot on the gas all the way to the floor. In my bus thats 55 on a flat smooth road with no wind.
Well here are some progress photos on the interior restoration of the HPM.
The inside was in pretty good shape but it did need some work, the previous owner put a lot of carpet and wood pannelling. Some of the back and deck had to be sanded down to the metal and bondoed to fill holes that were drilled through the floor to mount a table and seats. There was also conciderable evidence of coke spills that had turned to carmel. But after a lot of cleaning and sanding I was able to coat everything with a good thick coat of soundproofing and rust sealing rubber.
Then I found some funky carpeting and some burch pannelling and viola, the inside is presentable.
Next step is some cabinetry.
Cabinetry was made out of 3/4″ furnature grade birch plywood. The hardest part was to match all the cruved parts of the bus.
Then a back seat was added. Nope its not a regulation seat for passengers. More like a place to sitdown and eat a meal or load a rocket motor.
This weekend I worked on the driver and passenger doors.
The doors were covered with a rather ugly wood pannelling.
It turned out to be a much larger inprovement than I thought. Then I did the passenger door.
Now the headliner is next. But will have to wait for another day.