My story starts with the end of another restoration project.
After years of restoration work on my 1974 TR6 I found I had done everything I could do to restore my English beauty.
Once done I would take the car to shows, hang out with similar enthusiasts and have fun, but I found a bit of air leaking out of the balloon.
Feeling the most enjoyable part for me was the journey, not necessarily the destination of my restoration project, I decided to put the car up for sale. After a 100 plus emails, a few weeks later I was loading the " coolest car on the planet " on a truck destined for Calgary. My wife cried, I sighed and was ready to execute the chapter in my car hobby.
I had a mental list of potential projects in my mind.
I wanted a challenge that not only satisfied the mechanic in me, but also had the potential to do more than just shine. I wanted to cruise around, I wanted to go to the beach or a park, I wanted to go on picnics, as fun as car shows are thought I'd rather enjoy some of the great outdoors, instead of hanging out in a parking lot. At the top of my list was a VW Bus, you know like the one Pete had, that guy in high school. That car was cool! It had a little refrigerator, a stove, a sink, curtains, a fold out bed, I was a picnic on wheels. So I started my search, and as these things go, what do you know, It found me!
A 1973 Bus that had been in a makeshift storage shed for 27 years, it was a mess, perfect!
I went out talked with old timer, he was alway going to fix it up but never got around to it, we struck a deal and I towed it home. As one would expect almost everything on it was rotten, rusted, gunked up and almost every void or crevice in the motor bay was filled with nut shells. I think an entire community of squirrels must have enjoyed this shelter for almost 3 decades.
I proceeded to dismantle everything, of course pulling the engine out first, tearing it down, inspecting and evaluating what was salvageable, replacing gaskets, seals, everything rubber or plastic, scraping and painting, I was like a pig in a wallow.
After a year of this pursuit I had still not ever started or driven this vehicle to know what I had, I reached a day when I thought its time to start it up and see.
I had my wife take a video of this wake up call for VanWinkle. You can find it on YouTube, just google VanWinkle VW under the video tab.
I choose the name VanWinkle, after the Rip VanWinkle story of the guy that takes an extended nap only to find he had slept for many years.
Well my VanWinkle woke up and has been happily taking us to picnic spots ever since!