The Big Red One

I actually had a few free moments on Sunday to meander out into the garage and investigate projects I could tackle.  Ended up changing the oil, mostly because the oil plate was leaking, not because the oil really needed a change.  The leak was due to a stripped nut on the oil plate; the second such issue I have run into on this bus.  One of the POs seems to have had a knack for over tightening the oil plate nuts.  In preparation for this project, I finally bought a torque wrench rated in in/lbs for such finicky nuts as these so, hopefully, this will prevent stripped threads from reoccurring in the future.

I also got a chance to investigate my dash and VDO gauge lights, which haven’t really worked well since we got Moby.  Turns out the VDO lights were never hooked up; that got fixed quickly.  I am guessing that the light to the right of the speedometer and the parking light indicator light are burned out; they have juice, but do not light.  Have not had time to dig around for spare bulbs yet but hopefully will do so Thursday.  It is also possible the little metal grounding tabs on the plastic light bulb holder are not creating a solid ground, but if I am going to contort myself in order to reach up under the dash, I might as well have the spare bulbs on hand at the time!

It was nice to get back to working on our bus and it was such a beautiful day that it did not really matter what I did or accomplished with Moby.  We also have two upcoming camping trips to prepare for, so getting these little items crossed off the list helps (I still need to tackle the window regulator issue!).  This past weekend also marked the end of the first year we had her!!

I thought I would continue posting pictures of previous VWs I’ve owned with these shots of my second VW (first bus).  She was a red 1971 Westfalia, produced November 26, 1970 and delivered to the USA on December 7, 1970.  The delivery date always struck me as something special about her.  My father spotted her some time in the mid 1980’s sitting at a Princeton NJ VW dealership and figured a pop-top camper would be more useful than the tin-top camper we owned at the time.  This bus was perfect inside and out!!  Absolutely beautiful!!! She served our family well for many years, but eventually her engine died.  And so she sat outside of our garage for years (you can spot her in the first picture of the The baton is passed…. post).  Once I had the beetle running, my attentions gradually shifted towards another project and the red 71 was sitting directly in my crosshairs!

After sitting for some time, the paint had become severely oxidized and some rust began to surface.  But the interior still looked like it was brand new!  My goal was restore the bus to her original glory.  I got pretty close, but she was destroyed in an accident a little over 4 years after I put her back on the road.  That is another story for another post and I am sure there will be a few others involving the Big Red One!  But for now, here she is when I first put her on the road.

Right after her first run! I spent many hours polishing, buffing, and waxing that paint. It always looked much better in pictures than in person.

Camping in VA, not too far from where we live now.

So ingrained are VWs in my family, that my sister wanted me to drive her to her wedding. We had spent many hours as children traveling together in that bus!


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