View original topic: 1952 RHD Panelvan Jigsaw Puzzle
peejaay_vw Wed Jul 03, 2019 4:35 pm

firstly i would like to say hello, for this is my very first post on this website, although i know a couple of the users of this site through other social media and face to face contacts, i look forward to building new friendships and parts contacts.

secondly, i will apologise in advance as this thread may become slow time to time due to work commitments, and lack of space means that i will put this van away time to time but i promise to update no matter how little of an update it may be!

anyways, shall we get to the thread? i'm sure i've bored you now and you're probably itching to scroll down to the pictures right?

so here is how i seen the bus in question, via social media- facebook, on the barndoor division page, being sold alongside a 51 which is now owned by chris hill of sublime classic restorations.

now this is where i will introduce and welcome the very well known Dai Watkins, or streetwagens as his username is on here, me and dai have known each other for approximately 17 years, for i was just a young seven year old in the local Volkswagen club, with a little digital camera for ever taking pictures of every outing the club did, and Dai was a good friend of my father.
of recent years me and dai have become very good personal friends and Dai has helped me endlessly for helping me out in many ways with advice and parts sourcing and so on, so cheers for your friendship dude! but anyways fast forward to the point of purchasing this bus, me and Dai came to conversation regarding the 52 after a passing comment that if i was ever to own a barndoor it would ideally be right hand drive, would HAVE to be a panel van and my ideal year would be 52 or earlier. we both decided that this was an ideal project for me and so i asked Dai if he could participate into helping me work out the logistics and if he could speak to the guy and sort out the deal on my behalf, being after all, he is the barndoor guru and i was just enthusiastic and clueless! anyways, unfortunately the offer that i had made was 'outbid' and as i knew what my limit was, it was time to give up and move on, after all i still had my 74 bay panel to get on with!

A few weeks went by and Dai messaged me asking if i was still keen on the 52, and that the 'outbidder' could no longer commit with the purchase so the ball was back in my court, and of course, with zero money, zero space and zero idea wether i did want it now that the idea had left my head, i agreed! can you tell i hang around with him alot? haha! :lol: :lol:

a few pictures later of the 'panelvan' and a bank transfer later and it was mine! heres the moment i truly fell in love with it!

we were supposed to pick it up from ben-pon barndoor gathering 2018 but unfortunately to unforeseen circumstances, the van could not be transported there and so with that out the window, and things going on back at home both for myself and Dai, the trip to pon was left, and planning ahead commenced. Dai has played more of a role in this van that i ever could, and i cannot thank him enough for this, making it ten times harder being as its in multiple pieces and therefor being a little harder to work out how to do what with it. anyways lucky for me busben was able to do a little detour for us, im going to use the word us as i feel Dai deserves to be a part ownership into this van at the moment with me being clueless and leaving it all to him, afterall i was just simply clueless in how all of this works! anyways back on track pete! right yes so busben went and collected the van for me, and it was these next following pictures that helped me sort of get an idea for how the van would look built, although its still a load of parts ratchet strapped, i am enthusiastic and can vision a biro drawing to a finished product so its ok! anyways, ben, if you're reading this, dude, thankyou so much, i havent had your contact number so couldnt message you myself and as your a ghost with social media, here is your thanks, directly from me, i know ive sent them indirectly but dude, thankyou so much!

with the 52 loaded it made its way to my newely found swedish friend gustaff, who has already helped me out in the past by sourcing me a 62 bug pan for my previous build, but thats totally postponed and forgotten about now that ive gone and gotten this much cooler project! haha! again gustaff i know i have thanked you via instagram but here is another thankyou, the whole logistics of moving this van and getting it to me here in the uk couldnt have been done so easily with out you playing your part in looking after my jigsaw puzzle!

one thing that was missing from the pile however, when it was delivered, was my decklid, as too was chris hills from his bus, not really sure what the score was there but contact was made and we managed to get them back to us here in the uk thanks to graham from FBI-VW who kindly made a detour whilst on a swedish trip himself, me and graham have formed a really good friendship of recent years, ive known about him a long time but never interacted with him, but he is one of the most genuine people ive come across and has done nothing but endlessly try to help me out with all forms of beetle and van parts, so id like to just drop in a cheeky sales pitch that if you are in the market for rust free vw parts its definately worth dropping him a call to see what he can do for you!

right back to the story, its dragging on a bit, i do apologise!

moving on a year later, my van has been covered in inches and inches of Swedish snow in the garden of gustaffs place, and still no real idea of when i was going to get the van, not that i was worried but i felt guilty taking space of someones property that ive not even met in person! anyways the snow has passed and busben was doing yet another swedish run, alongside mark from type29 so with Dai planting a little seed and seeing if they could squeeze my 52 in any way shape or form into the journey home, it was a matter of a waiting game, what makes the game more interesting, is Dai didnt tell me that he was trying to sort it coming home to me but said the simple 'for the next 24 hours dont spend any money'

my reply? 'what are we going to be buying now!'
i went to sleep that night, a broken and confused man, not knowing what i was saving money for, not that i had any anyways, but more so what does he know about that i dont, we'd talked about so many cars that week, 67 push button crew cabs, oval bugs for donor cuts, american cars that didnt run, saabs, you name it, we probably spoke about it during many cups of tea's at Dais parents place! anyways after being up every couple of hours thinking i knew what it was for, it still hadnt crossed my mind that it would be the transportation to get my 52 back to the uk, and after seeing dai the following day, id lost track of how many hours i had left till i could transfer him funds to participate in some stupid car buying idea that of course id go along with! with a cup of tea following another cup of tea, and my constant need to know, dai wasnt letting anything on to me, until, a few hours later i said to him 'how many hours left?'

NONE' he replied, the text he was waiting for had come back a few hours earlier than expected and it was ben and mark saying if i was 100% sure that they could cut my 52 in half, they could get it home for me!

CUT IT!! CUT IT!!! CUT IT!! as if one more cut was going to hurt it eh? :shock:

here is a brief idea of where said cut would be.

and here is the 52 now somewhat fitting in the back of T5 number one!

and finally, its last final move before finally reaching me, is from T5 number one (marks van) to T5 number 2 (Dais van) so firstly empty marks, its like the for sale advert pictures all over again :roll:

and other than finally making it back to me, its not much to report right now as i'm going to bed! but i will indeed update you with more pictures as soon as daylight appears, but just to end this thread, have a cheeky mock up picture i did of the rear end just to get me excited for the build!

a huge huge huge thankyou goes to Dai, Ben, Mark, Gustaff and Graham for making this all happen for me! my first split, and the very specs i said i would love to own as a passing comment! sweet!

nzvwfan Thu Jul 04, 2019 12:30 am

Great read and looking forward to this unfolding

TRS63 Thu Jul 04, 2019 5:05 am

Great,another Crazy barndoor project, and one that will surely turn great judging by who is involved 8)

Hellberg Thu Jul 04, 2019 7:55 am

congratulations! Dai and Ben are experts cutting up barndoors and getting them to fit inside a T5 :lol: :lol:

Can't wait to see this one rolling on the streets again =D>

chris67bug Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:43 pm

Great story, will look forward to see this develop. Any ideas what way you want to do the bus? Leave the outside original paint or new paint? Lowered or stock height?

djfordmanjack Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:44 am

THAT is exactly how we like them old buses ! :D
way cool project, especially for a younger guy!

Well for the pictures and transportation issues.... :lol: .... with guys like Dai, Mark and Ben involved and a few more crazy Swedes,
who'd have expected less insanity? :wink:

looking forward to your updates and build, good luck !

peejaay_vw Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:39 am

Hello gentlemen, thankyou very much for reading my thread, I'm glad you managed to get to the end, and I appreciate your replies.

Firstly I totally agree, everyone involved with this project, are now great friends of mine, Im most certainly the youngest out of the bunch at 24years old, but I'm most certainly not scared of a big task, I've been involved in a few bits and pieces over the past 2years with dai, and I've already built a barndoor chassis from scratch understanding the important of saving every last original item that can be repaired or used and in the past 2years I've gone from being a late bay kinda guy to absolutely loving the pre55 scene! I never wanted a split until I sat in dais blue 50! Oh how different they are to say a '65

To answer the question in relation to what I plan with this bus, its always been a fixed plan, it will be lowered using bug running gear, narrowed beam, and maybe a simple 2way manual air set up, but more in favour of static, and will be running a set of the BTR wheels. I've always wanted them on every aircooled I've owned so it makes sense to put my favourite wheels on my favourite bus as my 74 bay panel will be running 16inch bbs wheels.... Eventually.

Painting this just isn't an option I bought the van because of how crazy and unique it is, and to paint it or beat it all straight just doesn't work for me, it's one of those busses that scream a story and by god does it look cool on the mock up!

I've actually sorted out my trade with Rick at schofield for my business so the 52 has actually started having metalwork purchased, starting with the top hats and I beams and inner sills, I'm in the process of having my centre rails made up at the local metal suppliersand I'm just waiting on the next time I order up some parts for customer vehicles that I have.

Oh and just to help my enthusiasm along with the end product I had to buy self a set of these yellow headlight lenses, thanks to JDF!

johnny d Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:19 am

That looks like a very cool project! Canīt wait to see any progress here. :D

chris67bug Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:12 pm

Delighted to hear your plans. A BD panel van is in my opinion the coolest of all. Leaving the original paint will tell the full story of its revival! Look forward to seeing the progress, And full respect for the previous chassis build. It is on my long to do list! some day!

Hellberg Thu Jul 11, 2019 2:38 pm

I'm 23 :lol:

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