Righteous Kombis Blog
So the final layers of 2 Pac have been laid down and buffed back to a nice sheen. Middle windows have been fitted with nice new sliding glass, and the rest of the glass has been fitted. This is the fun part of the rebuild, except when you come across a sliding door seal that has been put in upside down... hmpf!
We have a couple of nice basket weave seats that slot perfectly into the driver/passenger positions, as well as a nice set of cream/grey doorcards that tone down the interior for a nice balance to the flipper blue and cream paint job.
We are still sourcing a good set of tyres that will look good with the dress rims.The engine is getting a tune up, and we're doing a final check on the electrics, but it looks like Betty Blue will be ready for next week! I think at this stage we're going to leave the back untouched, as everyone wants to do something different! Build a bed, rock n roll seat, cargo area?
Whatever happens I'm sure she'll find a good home.
I bought this Kombi from Jared 6 months ago, and since then, it has been gathering dust in the workshop,... until now. It was sprayed JET BLACK - inside and out. With black carpet lining in the front and back + drak grey door cards. It has been lowered to achieve a more aggressive stance and paired with a twin exhaust on a well tuned 1800 motor.
We had some initial thoughts that we might brighten up the engine a bit more and simply leave it as is... and maybe call her Black Betty. But as with every project we start, once you start sanding a little bit, the Kombi slowly reveals her secrets.
Overall the body condition looked pretty good, but there were LOTS of little dings, bumps, scratches and areas that felt a bit too bumpy for my liking. All the usual areas had suffered - bottom of the doors, sills, rear quarters, dog legs and the bottom of the windscreen. Fred Flintstone would have loved the floor under the drivers feet!
As we started the repairs, less and less black paint was left behind. In fact the more you work on each Kombi, the more they start to talk to you. Each stage we worked on revealed a lovely original powder blue, that on researching Kombis and colours is called Flipper Blue. My wife said, "that's a crowd pleaser!", but I reckon it will look drop dead gorgeous when she's finished.
So the final repairs are now completed, and the undercoat has been applied - at last! We hope to apply the dupont 2 Pac by Friday and start the refit by next week. The roof and window line will be a nice Dupont 2Pac off white, and the bottom will be Dupont 2 Pac Flipper Blue. As for a name, Betty Blue sounds pretty good! Will throw up some more photos when we're done!
When we started this project, I made sure that we took lots of photos of the original body and its overall condition. I am still blown away by the work that was done and the finished product. Our client wanted the car completed before christmas, but a project this big involved so many people:
- - auto electrics
- - mechanics
- - supply of ADR compliant rock n roll bed + all new seatbelts
- - all new rubbers, seals
- - custom 2 tone door cards & panels
- - upholsterers x 2
- - panel beating, respray and fitout
- - final sign off from an engineer on the rear seating
- - blue slip inspection
Overall the job took close to 4 months, in tandem with some other projects we were working on. Many lessons were learnt along the way, which (I hope) will hasten the timeline for our next project.
For a Kombi like this you can comfortably expect to pay around $30,000 as there is not just the cost, but a lot of project management that goes into this. It really depends on the starting condition of the vehicle we are given - in most cases we want to start with an excellent body with little or no rust.
Am I saying this will win a trophy? Maybe, maybe not - there are still some areas that are open for improvement, such as the 1600 engine - which was left largely in tact. No Bling!
I could keep rambling, but I will let the photos tell the story. The new owners are going to take some professional shots around its new home in Sydney. Personally we are really excited that we got to work on such an outstanding project, and look forward to seeing him on the road - Maybe at Valla?
3 Months ago, we purchased 10 Kombis from Steve Muller of Kombi Rescue in Sydney. One of these was a 77 Deluxe microbus that had some panel damage to the front nose cone, but was in otherwise very good condition - a little surface rust here and there, but not a bad prospect.
He is a certified 8 seater, with only 138,000 original kms on the original 2 litre engine. The original VW clock still works, and the seats were all original and in excellent condition. When we tried to start the engine it fired up first time, but each of those wheels were locked on tight.
You can see from the photos below, we still had a lot of work ahead of us, including the repairs on the front nose cone, the rear wheel arch, and some minor rust that was affecting the steps. There was also a little surface rust on the roof.
Hence we began removing all the fittings, bumpers, rubber and glass, in order to start digging deeper - The question on everyone's lips is, "What else will we find?"
Aside from the rear wheel arches, the rear quarter was also suffering from more than a bit of surface rust! This means stripping back to bare metal, cutting out the worst sections and treating the remainder - Once the final coat was applied it was quite a transformation!
Alas, once we got to the roof, that surface rust was much worse than we thought! Seems like a good rule of thumb is that if youy see rust then times it by 4. Again this resulted in the roof being taken back to bare metal, and,.. yup you guessed it - rust treatment, primer, undercoat and the final 2 pac is applied!
So what about that nose cone?
I have a few magicians that are quite handy with a slide hammer and a welder. These lads have been able to recover the front nose cone from the mangled piece of steel to the now handsome and well defined brow of Harold!
All surface areas rubbed down, primed, undercoated and sprayed with Dupont 2Pac.
Back floor areas cleaned, rust treated, and sprayed with black stoneguard.
Drivers floor area cleaned, rust treated, and sprayed with black stoneguard.
Entire roof stripped back to bare metal, primed, undercoated, and resprayed.
New seals and rubbers throughout.
4 original opening qtr windows - rust treated, and reinstalled.
Damage to front nose cone, and rear quarter has been welded and restored.
Back cargo area resprayed.
Engine tuned and has brand new battery.
This is now a gentleman's car that will get you and your friends to the ball in style.We have listed him for sale on the website, and hope to see him find a loving home and crusing the tarmac with his solid 2 litre engine.
All of our cars come with a detailed photo essay that shows the work we have undertaken at each stage. No nasty surprises, and a finish to last - all new window seals, lights and a Blue Slip so you can get 12 months rego from the date of sale.
Ahhh the sweet smell of the final 2 Pak being applied!
After almost 2 months of sanding, grinding, welding and preparations, we are now getting the final coats of paint onto our - as yet unnamed - 72 Lowlight.
I snuck these photos out of the workshop once the guys had finished for the day....
We are even getting stuck into the fibreglass poptop, which had a few cracks and a busted hatch. Next week it's off to the upholsterer for new poptop canvas, door cards, and headlining down to the window line.
If you ever wondered why some Kombis cost wellllll over $20,000 this is the reason why.
What starts out as a seemingly easy task can quickly build into a VERY large job.
Take our humble VW Kombi - 72 Lowlight Camper for instance. This was one of the very good condition vehicles that was acquired from Steve Muller earlier this year. Our client had a definite requirement for the lowlight model, with a relaxed two tone palete of cream and turquoise.
On first examination, the body looked to be in great condition, but as you start peeling back the layers, you find all sorts of history buried beneath 40 years of paint and previous repairs. The insert for the gas bottle had to go, in addition to the water tank below. We knew about the floor, but the worst thing is when you find INCHES THICK bog that has started to crack and let the rust get in - why oh why - the humanity!! Thankfully Trevor made short work of it - beating some sections out and welding where there was no going back, but let me explain that there is over 70 hours work + external contractors just getting to this stage!!
The next hurdle was the mechanics - a collapsed rear bearing, new brakes, CV joint, ball joints, and some serious work to get our 1600 drive train looking healthy. And its now getting verrry close to Christmas....
Our seats have been at the upholstery getting broken springs repaired, and new foam, underlays and covers - Again the theme runs through, with the 2 tone cream and turquoise piping and GT stripes. Add to this a fully ADR compliant rock n roll bed in the back with matching cushions. Finished in the nick of time!
But here the story sours as we simply cannot get the 2 Pack paint applied with time to spare for the final upholstery work on the headlining. We have left you with the following photos as a teaser to show the blank canvas before we commence the final refit in mid January. Lots of shiny stainless parts are getting ready to meet their dad!
Stay tuned for the next instalment!
Merry Christmas & I hope Santa brings what you want.
Now this is a project we can really sink our teeth into!
I'm glad we took lots of before photos, because the finished result is going to blow your socks off!
This is the result of 60 hours work - Deconstruct, Sanding, Cutting, Welding, Rust treatment and Filling. The white highfill coat is then applied to help identify any small dents or blemishes that need further work.
The finished product will be a 2 tone - Cream and Turquoise with LOTS of stainless steel fittings and a beach themed fitout, including full re-upholstery and an ADR approved Rock N Roll bed in the rear.
More to come...
This 72 lowlight camper was one of many that were stored in a barn by Steve Muller of Kombi Rescue in Sydney. When we started the dismantle, I was shocked to see just how good the body was. The roof gutters, steps, sills and all the usual scary bits are in fantastic condition - some surface rust in the floor pans, but it doesn't get better than this!
In this case we are working with a client to design an object of beauty. This means a complete respray with 2 tone colours, an interior refit, including new seats and a simple, full width fold out bed. However it will be the finishing touches that give this honest camper the sparkle and the spring in her step.
At this stage, we thought it might be nice just to see some of the "Before shots". I cannot wait to get started and will be posting a few progress photos on the facebook account. She will be ready before Christmas, so who knows what Santa might bring this year?!
This month we moved into our purpose built yard, with a shed that allows mechanical repair of 3 Kombis, and a high end spray booth, with dry air inputs, filters and heavy duty compressor. This means that we are no longer at the mercy of the weather (and Trev can leave his tools lying around).
As a bonus, we also have a yard out the front that can park up to 20 vehicles that have either been completed or yet to commence their resto. We are still getting organised, and will advise our new location in the coming weeks - sorry we're a bit embarrased by the mess!
There is also a great VW mechanic located 5 doors down the road, so we can hopefully get better service and turnaround times.
In a rather strange co-incidence, we also took delivery of 9 Kombis that had been stored in a barn by Steve Muller of Kombi Rescue in Sydney. I keep calling them "Muller's Secret Stash"! This collection includes a few rare gems that are in incredibly good condition! You might recognise some of these looking a little bit fresher after their holiday at the Righteous Kombis spa!
The hardest decision now is which one to start on next???
We received a invitation to attend the christening of Byron (baby boy!) The invite was really nice, but the stamp really caught my eye!
To borrow from the description on the Australia Post website:
Australians and the road trip go hand in hand. On this large island continent, where long strips of bitumen connect towns and cities, a road trip is not only a rite of passage but a necessity. It has also become a familiar experience for many Australians on their overseas odysseys.
The road trip of today has its roots in the distant past, although taking to the tarmac in the 21st century doesn't look much like its predecessors. The "grand tour" of the 17th and 18th centuries was an educative tour of Europe for young gents from the ruling class, and, in preceding centuries, the pilgrimage was fuelled by religious observance rather than scholarly and cultural needs. Wayfarers of today are inspired by a lust for learning, adventure and freedom, and simply for fun. All said and done, then, the road trip is arguably still a pilgrimage of sorts, even if secular.
For many trippers, it is as much about the journey as it is the destination. This stamp issue adopts a light-hearted approach to travelling through remarkable landscapes and calling at some landmark attractions....
If that doesn't make you want to load up the Kombi and go, then there is something missing in your life!
Join our Facebook Page to receive exclusive updates & discounts!
Recent blog posts
- Betty Blue
- Black Betty... No Wait! How about Betty Blue?
- The Eagle has landed - VW Kombi 72 Lowlight
- Harold, the VW Kombi Microbus
- Oh So Sweet - At last the paint goes on!
- 72 VW Lowlight Kombi Camper project
- 72 VW Lowlight Kombi Camper - Starting to take Shape
- 72 Lowlight Bus - The Before Photos
- New Premises for VW Kombi Restorations!
- Australia Post is getting in on the act - VW Kombi Stamps!