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Unearthing of Mole, a 1960 SO23
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Dewayne Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:52 pm    Post subject: Unearthing of Mole, a 1960 SO23 Reply with quote

Sometime in 1983 a 1960 SO23 that I shall call Mole, took it’s last drive and began a new life with the purpose of providing shelter from severe storms, especially tornadoes, in eastern Oklahoma. Buried in the red dirt south of Stidham by a resourceful gentleman for 30+ years, it would be 25 years before Mole would be seen by a hunter who recognized the outline of an early Volkswagen Bus. It so happened that this hunter was the employer of one of our Samba family, Adam, aka Okie Adam.
Upon hearing of this bus, Adam, like any responsible Sambaista, and a friend went to find it.


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Again recognizing the familiar roofline, Adam approached the owner and asked about the status of the bus. No, the bus wasn’t for sale... it was a shelter, after all!

Years passed by and again Adam went to check on the bus. However this time the owner was nowhere to be found. He had passed away. Adam tried in vain to establish the new owners, only to leave notes and talk to neighbors who were less than enthusiastic about talking to a stranger.

So more years went by. This is when I enter the picture. As some of you may have noticed, I have been trying to trade my ’64 DC for a Westy in the Samba Classifieds for some time now. While many nice offers where made, none were the exactly what I was looking for. So I put it up for sale. During this time, Adam, bless his heart, brought this bus to my attention several times. But I wasn’t looking for a project. So months went by before I finally agreed to go look at the bus with him.

What we found made me rethink my refusal of a project. So, based on the sparse information Adam had on the possible owner, I made it my mission to find them. And find them I did. We talked on the phone and I made my offer. He accepted. Adam and I met him at the property of his now deceased brother and made a more thorough inspection of the bus.

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Now it was time to organize a work party to rescue the Mole. By the way, I refer to the bus as the Mole because we had to destroy the home of the mole in the extraction. He wasn’t happy…. So through our VW friends and their friends we rounded up a party of 12 hard working individuals that I will be forever indebted. This is what the true VW community is all about: helping each other in our quest to honor these fine cars. I hope this spirit never dies. It sure hasn’t in Oklahoma and Kansas!

On Saturday the 14th, we all met at the location of the bus at 9am and got to work. By 2:30 we were loaded up and ready to head home. I have to give great credit to Adam and Danielle, Kyle, Rick, Eric, Taylor, Waldo, John and Debby, David, Randy and of course Mr. Henley the former owner. Great things happen with great people! Thanks for indulging in my story and enjoy the pictures of the unearthing of Mole.

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Dewayne Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 4:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Unearthing of Mole, a 1960 SO23 Reply with quote

The crew:
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Top Row:
John and Debby, Waldo, Adam, Me, Taylor, Mr. Henley (former owner)
Bottom Row:
Randy, David, Eric, Kyle
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Unearthing of Mole, a 1960 SO23 Reply with quote

I'm speechless!!! Applause
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velvetgreen
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Unearthing of Mole, a 1960 SO23 Reply with quote

Fantastic story- really like reading about these rescue efforts- sheet metal looks surprisingly good given how long it has been sunk in the dirt!

Looks fwd to reading more about this!!
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Sumguy
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Unearthing of Mole, a 1960 SO23 Reply with quote

Amazing find and great story!!!
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srfndoc
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Unearthing of Mole, a 1960 SO23 Reply with quote

What a rescue! That thing looks surprisingly dry for being buried like it was.

Can't wait for more updates.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Unearthing of Mole, a 1960 SO23 Reply with quote

That pass side looks allot like the patina on my old so23 from east okie.
Cool Story!!
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billybob57
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Unearthing of Mole, a 1960 SO23 Reply with quote

Very Nice Dig out and story. Good Luck with the resto! Applause
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Okie Adam
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Unearthing of Mole, a 1960 SO23 Reply with quote

Okies ain't scared! I'm proud that I got to be a part of the dig out!
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Derek Cobb
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Unearthing of Mole, a 1960 SO23 Reply with quote

Are you planning to restore it or preserve it? Either way it's a great story!
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Dewayne Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Unearthing of Mole, a 1960 SO23 Reply with quote

Plan on getting it back on the road... Not sure how far the 'restoration' will go until I get further into it....
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Unearthing of Mole, a 1960 SO23 Reply with quote

Wow!, now that's a hell of a story and an epic extraction, nice work all of you! And the bus looks remarkably good after 35 years with a foot (or 3) in the grave.

Looking forward to seeing progress on this bus, things can only go "up" from here Razz
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 5:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Unearthing of Mole, a 1960 SO23 Reply with quote

You are going to need to make out of long thin piping a way to wash out each of the underside frame members, rockers, etc., to get out any dirt/crud that has gotten into those.
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Unearthing of Mole, a 1960 SO23 Reply with quote

Looks like they cut out the torsion housing. do you have a donor for that? I may have a spare after I go pick up a parts bus in a couple weeks
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:10 pm    Post subject: Re: Unearthing of Mole, a 1960 SO23 Reply with quote

i was reading and looking at pictures and was thinking " the first thing i would do would be to bring it to one of those spray wand car wash places." And then i saw you did!! Cool find! I will be following your journey getting it road worthy!!
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:23 pm    Post subject: Re: Unearthing of Mole, a 1960 SO23 Reply with quote

Very Happy
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emzee503
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 6:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Unearthing of Mole, a 1960 SO23 Reply with quote

love seeing rescues like this Applause
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Unearthing of Mole, a 1960 SO23 Reply with quote

Awesome!
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Unearthing of Mole, a 1960 SO23 Reply with quote

Amazing condition for being buried like it was. Awesome find!
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2018 7:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Unearthing of Mole, a 1960 SO23 Reply with quote

EmpiGT... yes they cut out the torsion housing along with about two feet of frame. I have already located and acquired a donor, but thanks for the offer! I will be doing a lot of searching and purchasing in the future for sure....
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"My ex-wife had a hint of a beard and she looked like a manly-girl... that made no difference..."

Drive 'em if ya got 'em, and don't brag if you didn't do the work yourself...

59 Euro Ragtop Beetle
60 SO23
68 BMW R60 (VW Powered)
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