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The Wonder Bus part deux
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BarrieLynn
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Joined: November 23, 2016
Posts: 21
Location: Reno, NV
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 15, 2017 9:02 pm    Post subject: The Wonder Bus part deux Reply with quote

I've gotten quite a few messages asking for an update on the Wonder Bus since I made a big long post in May and then pretty much fell off the face of the earth. In case you missed the original post, here it is:

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=678300&highlight=

There is a great video of me chasing my 59 SWR Double Door walk thru across the Nevada desert on the back of a trailer. I recommend watching that, but to sum up the rest of the post and get you up to speed, I couldn't get my bus started (it was the points, oops), Embarassed I was reprimanded for calling my original gray door panels "grody", scolded for wanting to get rid of (as opposed to storing) my original 36 hp motor with 56K original miles, and most of all, I was told by several concerned citizens to get my bus out of the elements and into a garage before it was stolen. Well, I finally did it.

I have been working crazy hours and weeks for the past 2 1/2 months, but I finally am getting caught up. Now my keyboard is on the fritz and the letters f and h don't always work. I have to pound on them, and then when they finally work there's like ten of them. If something I type doesn't make sense, it's probably because it is missing one of those letters or has too many. I am sure you can figure it out.

You may recall, the only garage on my property that would fit the Wonder Bus was being rented by a tenant. There is a duplex with a garage on the back of my property that is newer than my 1925 house (that has a ridiculously tiny garage). I finally got that tenant out and seized the garage like the pirate landlord that I am. The only problem is, I need the income from that unit to pay the mortgage, so it has been an interesting process trying to reconfigure the apartment without the garage attached to it. I sealed off/sheet rocked over the door leading from the apartment into the garage. I had to run 220 and plumbing for the washer/dryer into the apartment since the laundry hookups were in MY garage. I had to cut in a new front door since the main entrance to the apartment was through the garage man door. It has been an expensive and time consuming process just getting everything separated and now I will have the pay the electric bill for the apartment since I can't add a separate meter.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


It is all worth it though. The garage is a huge single car garage with an entire peg board wall for all my tools. I am getting the lighting dialed in, (motion sensor LEDs from Costco) and I will eventually add a utility sink where I took out the washer hookups. I have massive amounts of wall space in these nifty bulbed out alcoves, so I'm sure I will be storing all the seasonal items since my husband has taken over the tiny garage in our backyard and mine has a lot more room. The garage is insulated and extremely cool right now. I'm not sure how cold it gets in the winter though. The only thing I can't figure out is why I didn't take this garage over fifteen years ago when I bought this property?! It's amazing!

I finally had some time to do a little tinkering today and decided to play around with trying to get some of the awkward rattle canned touch up spots off my otherwise rad OG SWR sun oxidized patina. The spots are random and unfortunate.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I was convinced there was an old ghost logo under the spots on the upper rear panels since the Wonder Bus started her life as a panel van, probably a delivery van, and then had Campmobile style windows added later. I was wrong. Embarassed

I used 1500 grit wet sand paper and got some pretty good results taking off the newer touch up spray to reveal some nice authentic gray primer patches. The first photo below shows the nose with the darker spot on the right (passenger's side) under the window sanded out. You can see the before pics above. I'm just tinkering for now, trying different things to see what works. I like the natural faded primer spots much better than the darker touch up spots.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I've been thinking I need some bigger side mirrors since visibility out the tiny back window is very limited, and when those little side mirrors are shaking, I can't see shit. When I got the Wonder Bus, she came with some great artifacts found by the previous owner inside the bus which was reportedly rescued from a lean-to in a heavily wooded area in North Carolina and had been sitting for 44 years (1969-2103). The most recent registration sticker, still on the window (1968/69) and the most recent oil change sticker from Gulf Oil, still stuck inside the driver's door (1/30/69) confirmed the story. One of the artifacts was an original black and white Polaroid of the bus when she was young and pretty, and before the side windows were cut in. This photo shows her with big goofy rectangular side mirrors. When I got the bus, those very mirrors, now rusty and broken, were in a box inside the bus along with all the other artifacts.
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Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


They need a little work, but I'm thinking of putting them back on. Anyone ever seen mirrors like these before? They seem to have been specifically designed for a bus. Note the different angles on the driver's/ passenger's mirrors.
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Eric&Barb
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Joined: September 19, 2004
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Location: Olympia Wash Rinse & Repeat
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:48 am    Post subject: Re: The Wonder Bus part deux Reply with quote

Before you put a lot of work into the mirrors, you should mount the drive side one and test it. While we have never seen that particular mirror, the upper pivot joint looks just like a modern repro of the Elephant mirrors. Problem with the repro mirrors is that joint does not keep the mirror from vibrating at higher speeds. So much so that one can not see anything out the mirror.

One way to help cut down on the blind side of the bus is to turn the interior mirror, so you view is out thru the passenger door window. Then angle the outside mirrors outward a bit more so the view is not right down the side of the bus. To see down the side of the bus you lean slightly to one side or the other to view that.
With the mirrors set that way you reduce the blind side to less than a bicycle length, and can see more outward into the next lanes on either side.

Even then you will be better off finding pull thru parking spots so you do not have to back out. If you do have to use a parking spot you can not pull thru, back into to it so you pull out forward. The rare times we have to back out, the passenger hops out and stops traffic.
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Last edited by Eric&Barb on Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:54 am; edited 1 time in total
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Erik G
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:53 am    Post subject: Re: The Wonder Bus part deux Reply with quote

awesome update!
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easy e
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 12:47 pm    Post subject: Re: The Wonder Bus part deux Reply with quote

Way to handle garage business... and excellent update. Cool
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DubStyle
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 3:32 pm    Post subject: Re: The Wonder Bus part deux Reply with quote

I had these mirrors on my old DC when I bought it. I liked them, but I like the stoutness of the arms most. Here is a picture of my DC with them. They give you a lot of viewing area on a bus. With a spacer, you can get those arms to hold onto a stock round mirror too.

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Rounds on those arms
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volksaddict
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 6:10 pm    Post subject: Re: The Wonder Bus part deux Reply with quote

Quote:
I finally got that tenant out and seized the garage like the pirate landlord that I am

Yes! Very Happy
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TDCTDI
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 7:33 pm    Post subject: Re: The Wonder Bus part deux Reply with quote

Cool story but why start a new thread?
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BarrieLynn
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2020 9:12 am    Post subject: Re: The Wonder Bus part deux Reply with quote

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A lot has happened since my last post, including the wallpapering of the garage I stole from my tenant. I added doors that emit nice light which is great as the roll up door is north facing. There is a new tenant there now, and she never even knew the garage was part of her unit, so all is well.
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AS350driver
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2020 1:15 pm    Post subject: Re: The Wonder Bus part deux Reply with quote

Please... tell us you kept that original engine and transaxle. Hopefully that rear seat and all the other artifacts as well!!

Even if you threw that motor in a dumpster at midnight on the other side of town....tell us you *kept* it, like they told Jimmy Durante his Aunt Belle said it “don’t make any difference“.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=w00Kab17aeI
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vwuberalles
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2020 12:07 pm    Post subject: Re: The Wonder Bus part deux Reply with quote

that wallpaper is great!
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