View original topic: The story about my PG/SG -55 Page: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next
Demian_S Mon Dec 30, 2013 4:28 pm


Itīs time for me to share the story about my -55 Standard Microbus.

It all began last automn. We were a couple of friends struggeling to get our barndoors ready in time for Hessisch.

But with just 9 month left to Hessisch I had a big problem. It was
possible to get my -53 panelvan out on the road, but it wasnīt possible to
take my family with me in the panelvan for a two week trip.
I also have a -54 deluxe and a 10w -50, but there was no chance to get
those out on the road in nine months.

But I got lucky. My friend, Gustaf, had found out about a -53 panelvan.
He was going to take a look at it and I followed him on the trip.

Anders, the owner of the panelvan, had been into the vw scene since the
80's and had a big barn with lot of nice cars.
I actually already visited him 16 years earlier to purchase a lowlight
ghia. But at that time I was new into the vw scene, and I was only 19 years old, so I donīt remember much.
But I remembered that he had some rusty buses outside his barn. And the buses were still there.
My friend Gustaf was going to take a look at one of them, a -53 panelvan.

But there was also this -55 microbus. Itīs been sitting outside his barn
since the late 80's and outside another barn since the mid 60's. At the
end of the 80's this bus was too rusty to restore, so he just kept it for
spare parts.

Anders and Gustaf did make a deal on the panelvan och we went back home.

But I coulnīt get the -55 of my mind. Maybe this was the solution
to my problems. It was goingt to be possible to get this one on the road to Hessisch.
It was a window bus, so I could bring my family with me. It also had some nice interior bits, that I could use for my deluxe.

So I called Anders and we had a deal :)

But there was another problem. My barn was already full with cars, so I
had nor space neither that much money. I had to let my baywindow
double cab go. Ok, it was just a baywindow, but I had spend more than 200 hours on it, and I really liked that bus.

I sold it to a friend a couple of days later.

Now it was time to pick up the barndoor buses!!!

When I was back home, I realized it was a good project.

As I was looking at my new bus, this little spot caught my attention, so I
started to look what colors there were underneath.

My bus was repainted several times during itīs lifetime. It was probably
delivered in primer. And got a light beige/ivory first paint inside and
outside. Then it probably was part of an accident as the right front door
was replaced. My guess is, it was repainted in Palm green/Sandgreen at that time.
Later it was painted yellow over green, and the next time they painted the whole bus green.

I really didnīt have the time to strip layers of paint of my bus. Iīve done it
before and itīs a hard job, but I was really excited to see if I was
possible to get the bus back in itīs PG/SG glory.

I started with the body at the first of january. So I had about 5
month to get it on the road.

My second boy was one year old at that time, so my plan was to stay home from work the whole winter and take care of the boy while my girlfriend was working.
And while he was sleeping dinner, I could spend some time working on the barndoor. My plan was to spend 2 hours every single day in the garage, working on the bus.

It was about 5 month left to Hessisch, so 2 hours each and every day would make about 300 hours in total. I thought it was no problem, as the plan was to do a quick fix on the bus.
But as I started working on the barndoor, I realized that it wasnīt possible to do a quick fix. It was to rusty, so I had to replace the whole chassi.

But as I have some other barndoor project cars, I almost had all the
panels and chassi parts at home.

Time flew by and now it was in the end of March.

To be countinued....

busben Mon Dec 30, 2013 4:39 pm

Hi Demian :-) Good to read the story on your bus dude. Didn't realise you had to strip all that paint. I like to prioritise my work too :-) Look forward to the next instalment.

Rich's 50 Mon Dec 30, 2013 6:41 pm

Very cool story and thanks for sharing, these topics make me more into restoring these vw's

Ian 68 Mon Dec 30, 2013 7:12 pm

Thats a great story, looking forward to reading more.

BulletBus Tue Dec 31, 2013 5:34 am

Crazy I tell ya. I think my favorite part is the idea of a couple guys in Sweden that have a few barndoors just hanging around. You know my friend has a few, I have a few. You know? Normal. :lol:

TurboedWestie Wed Jan 01, 2014 4:46 am

Cool saw this bus at EBI and loved the roof :D good to see the story behind it 8)

Scotty Wed Jan 01, 2014 8:38 am

Superb story, and great work!

Demian_S Thu Jan 02, 2014 9:29 am

Thank all of you!!

The story continues...

So, it was in the end of March. There was absolutly no chance to get the bus on the road to Hessisch, so I decided to do a very proper job with the cargo area and to do a quick fix with the rest. Itīs easy to go back and fix the rest later on.
My friends were also struggling with their buses, way ahead of me, but there was no chance I was going to Hessisch with another car than a barndoor :?

So I finished the left side of the bus and did a quick job on the rest.

I manage to get the MOT the same time as Masen and his -53. And finally I
got a licenceplate.

But there was still a long time to get it ready for the trip. I had to
put in a 1600 engine, a type 3 tranny, type 1 spindels and built an
interior, and besides that a whole lot of minor work.

My girlfriend found a old sofa in a secondhand store. I was perfect for my
barndoor. It had westfalia style colors and the size was almost perfect to
fit in a bus.
And my boys already enjoyed it.

But time flew by, and I worked almost all my time with the bus.
We had all booked the ferry from Gothenburg, Sweden to Denmark, and my
friends with finished buses drove off the day before, as there was seven
hours drive to get there. My family left earlier, knowing that I had to
work on the bus constantly in order to finish in time.

So I was still at home working on my bus Monday, while the others had
started their trip. The ferry was leaving 15.00 on Tuesday, meaning that I
had to leave home at latest 8.00 in the morning.

It was 4 pm and suddenly a barndoor singel cab turned up. It was Bengt,
one of the two owners of the swedish -50 barndoor being restored.
He knew my situation and did a almost 2 hours one way drive to help me
with the final work of the bus. So I REALLY appreciate his unexpected
visit. I owe him a big one.

He stayed until 12 oīclock and I realized that there was no chance for me
toget some sleep. I had to work the whole night...
It was very frustrating not having the time to fix the paint of the bus. I
hate driving around in a bus with all those big primer areas.

I had already boughtPG/SG paint, and at 3am I almost start blending in the primed areas of the bus.
But I realised I had more important work to do, the shocks e.g. where more important.

At 6 am I was finally ready to start the trip to Europe. I ate some
breakfast and took a shower, and packed my stuf for the trip. 7.30 I
went of.

It was a strange feeling leaving home. I had a 3600km (2200 miles) long
trip ahead of me and I only had a 10km (6 miles) test drive. And the bus
has been sitting outside since the mid 60's.

I had been working really hard for the last 24 hours, so I was a little
worried about my 7 hours drive. But I was high on adrenaline, getting the bus on the road, so there were no problem.

The bus drove wounderful with those type 1 spindels. The result of putting
type 1 spindels on a lowered bus is more caster. There were no problem
passing big trucks with one hand on the steering wheel by 110 km/h (70

After two hours drive, I hook up with two friends in a -54 singel cab.
They were also on the way to the ferry to hook up with the others who left
on Monday.

Then I was going to pick up my family in Gothenburg, but my GPS Navigator didnīt find the way. So we almost missed the ferry. I was the last car
driving on board with only one minute left... But I did it....

In Denmark, we went to Lokken.

We stayed at a camping for the night, and all of us were very happy. We had planned this trip for a long time, and all of us had worked very hard to get the cars on the road.
Stefan, with the split beetle got his car back on the road just a few days earlier. It had also been off the road since the mid 60īs.
Brors singel cab had been off the road for about 8 years and the same with Jocke and Dennis baywindow.
Gustafs barndoor had been sitting still since the mid 60īs. It was great finally go to bed after being awake for 40 hours.

The next day we took the wonderful beachroad to the next village.

Barndoor Mafia Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:02 am

Cool story and awesome bus!!! And great pictures.

djfordmanjack Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:03 am

epic post on an even wilder story ! Great ! 8)

low54 Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:16 pm

Great story Demian 8)

50 split Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:17 pm

Nice pictures from the beach of Lökken!

Scotty Fri Jan 03, 2014 1:51 am

I had no dea you were working on your bus right until the last minute. Well done for getting it ready to go on your amazing trip!

Ian 68 Fri Jan 03, 2014 3:52 am

Some real dedication shown to get it done on time, well done to you !

Great set of photo's as well, thanks for sharing.


fuchs lee Fri Jan 03, 2014 7:26 am

that's a great looking ride. I really love that roof! 8)

j.pickens Fri Jan 03, 2014 8:05 pm

Thanks for sharing, I can't wait for more updates on your Barndoor.

I'd also like to see more details on that couch. Do you have photos of it installed?

brad2thabone Fri Jan 03, 2014 9:00 pm

j.pickens wrote: Thanks for sharing, I can't wait for more updates on your Barndoor.

I'd also like to see more details on that couch. Do you have photos of it installed?

X2 lets see some pics of that sweet couch, in the bus!

Demian_S Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:15 am

Thanks for all kind comments!!

Oh, sorry. I have no pictures.

I finished the interior a few hours before I left home, and the bus was always packed with stuff, so there was no opportunity to take a good picture.

I replaced it with my original interior when I was back home, so I canīt take a picture now.

Demian_S Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:34 am

fuchs lee wrote: that's a great looking ride. I really love that roof! 8)


But I donīt really like the roof. I did not have the time to strip off the color. I just kept the moss to camouflage the green color. The roof isnīt palm green as the rest of the bus.
Iīm a patina guy, but the moss make the bus into a rat ride. Thatīs a big difference :)

But maybe I'll keep the moss for a while. There are so many people loving it.

I also like moss on cars. Itīs nice to look at, but I donīt like it on my cars.

Demian_S Sun Jan 05, 2014 3:39 am

The story about the bus will countinue, but it take some time to write in a different language...

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