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My Custom '88 Vanagon, "Big Red"
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madmax25
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Joined: March 04, 2007
Posts: 204
Location: Kansas City MO
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 4:29 pm    Post subject: My Custom '88 Vanagon, "Big Red" Reply with quote

Behold my beloved bus.

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My parents bought this van new the year I came into this world. It was the trusty family hauler throughout my childhood, until it was parked forlornly around 2001 with 160k and a busted head.
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Enter High School. As a project while taking auto shop, I did a partial top end rebuild and brought her back to life. For the last 6 years since then, I've been replacing worn parts and fixing her as needed, as well as doing a lot of custom painting and part swapping to give her a classic surf bus vibe. I put a bamboo floor in the passenger space a few years ago and am currently working on a birch headliner.

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To date, I've turned just about every nut on it. I have learned so much about cars from working on the van, much of that knowledge from the great members here.
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Big Red isn't perfect. The paint isn't show quality. The interior needs a lot more work. I've certainly done a few things to the car that purists would scowl at, but it has been a creative journey and worthwhile learning experience. Isn't that what VWs are all about?
I've put so much love into this machine (and a fair amount of blood and knuckle skin), I've also been so frustrated I've considered pushing it off a cliff at times. But it still puts a smile on my face every time I get in and start her up.
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_________________
-Elliot

'88 Vanagon GL "Big Red"
'90 Westy
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tkelley
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Joined: January 10, 2006
Posts: 1594
Location: Where Pterodactyls crash and burn...
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 9:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't tell anyone.....but, kinda like it. Shocked


I started this whole vw addiction with an 81' ac vanagon. Original yellow and cream.

I've owned all sorts of acvw's since...but sometimes (very seldom)
I kinda, sort-of, in a odd kinda way.....miss it(?)


Please don't tell anyone... Laughing




Tom
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When the sun doesn't rise, we'll replace it
with an H-bomb explosion or a painted jail cell...
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madmax25
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Joined: March 04, 2007
Posts: 204
Location: Kansas City MO
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I actually haven't yet ventured into ACVW territory yet. I know it will come, I would love to get an old bug or bus at some point for another project. But I figure the only thing separating it from a true bus is the pesky radiator.
In my mind she is a bus. It has been beaten to a pulp on this site the definition of "bus" and "van" and "transporter", and I have decided that it's quirky enough, I sit over the wheels, the flat four is in the back...it's a bus.

I started out on this site loving the splitties and bays and wishing that I had one. I was young and had this, plus I grew up in it, so it had a lot of sentimental value. Some time after I painted it I decided that I love the van for what it is. I have made it my own. I don't mind that occasionally she may spring a coolant leak. Everyone I know still sprouts conversation about that Volkswagen I have and every bus and bug that their uncle or whomever had, and I get waves from other two tone buses, so I'm content.
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-Elliot

'88 Vanagon GL "Big Red"
'90 Westy
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