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My 65' 21 Window "Barn Find"
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id'r
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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 9:15 pm    Post subject: My 65' 21 Window "Barn Find" Reply with quote

Hey, might as well be a barn find...since it's been in my parent's barn -- untouched, and mostly unvisited by me -- for 30 years. Rolling Eyes

The short backstory is that I traded a $200 RD400 motorcycle and $200 for this bus back in 1988. A friend of mine had recently sold a rusty blue 23 window to another high school friend and I was bummed that I missed the opportunity. A few months later I mentioned this to an older fellow at the place I worked. He said he had just parked this bus and didn't have a plan for it. We worked out the deal and I had a much better example than my friend's old 23.

So I was 18, with no money to put into the bus. I give myself a lot of credit for not doing anything stupid to the bus (mods, etc.). I pretty much just drove it around the country roads with my buddies a bit (unregistered and uninsured of course), then eventually parked it in my folks barn and went off to college. I did remove the ratty sunroof, most of the interior, windows and the trim and placed everything into labeled boxes. The end.

The storage era is over and I'm happy to say that I'm putting a plan together to get my bus back on the road. My excuse for letting this bus sit has always been time, money and a real garage (sound familiar?). Well, I still don't have have any of those things now in abundance, but I'm going forward. I'm 48 now, and I have an 8 year old and a dad that wants a ride in this thing. Good motivation there.

I'm sharing here because I'd love some input from this community. While I've been a VW owner for 30 years, I haven't worked much with buses for any of that time (except a few short-lived SC & DC ownerships), nor have I stayed up to date with much...save for the last few months.

I had always thought that I needed a full restoration, but I'm a bit enamored with the OG paint. The bus has virtually everything except the rear seat. I have a set of original safari's too. Other than a few vestigial holes from some old vent scoops, it made it though the 60's and 70's pretty much unmolested.

So I think the plan is something like this:

have some light sheet metal repair completed (cargo door side rocker, and maybe a few other minor spots) with some minimal paint blending
Rebuilt beam from WagensWest with disk brakes + dual circuit master
Rebuild the 1500, but consider something a bit bigger (1800cc-ish)
Sort all the other mechanicals (safetify!)
Make a plan for the interior. Not sure which direction to go here yet...
Drive it!

Would love any feedback you might have. Other than doing a roti$$erie restoration, I'm open to your suggestions, reservations, and what you've learned along the way (do's and don'ts).

There was a weather window today in Western Oregon, so I took the opportunity to bring it out. So here's the bus!

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Yes, I do have the original door. It's just removed.
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id'r
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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 9:29 pm    Post subject: Re: My 65' 21 Window "Barn Find" Reply with quote

A few more pics. Pics are good.

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Lind
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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 9:30 pm    Post subject: Re: My 65' 21 Window "Barn Find" Reply with quote

Awesome bus. That paint can shine really well.
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Major Woody
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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 9:54 pm    Post subject: Re: My 65' 21 Window "Barn Find" Reply with quote

I'm here in Portland too and that's a GREAT bus to start with. I would go the preservation route as you describe. Mechanical upgrades would be wise (more HP, front discs) but otherwise just put it back reasonably close to stock and drive the wheels off that bad boy!

Lots of resources here so you don't mess it up.
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Skim
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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 10:31 pm    Post subject: Re: My 65' 21 Window "Barn Find" Reply with quote

That bus is sweet. Get it on the road and enjoy it unrestored.
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npbusguy
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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 10:46 pm    Post subject: Re: My 65' 21 Window "Barn Find" Reply with quote

Holy hell!
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Clara Premium Member
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 7:09 am    Post subject: Re: My 65' 21 Window "Barn Find" Reply with quote

Damn, I couldn't find a $200 21 back in 1988. Shocked

That bus needs almost nothing rust wise.
Replace the part by the rockers someone cut out, buff it out and and put it back together.

And go to the NW Bug Run at Woodburn on June 2nd.
http://www.woodburndragstrip.com/events/33rd-annua...volksters/

I drive a pretty stock drivetrain 66 bus a lot. (about 8 k miles a year the last ten years) A one ton bus does fine in OR/ WA. You can do a bigger motor if you want, but as many people drive 50 in Stumptown, don't feel you need to.

That bus will buff out.
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Pacmanfever
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 7:35 am    Post subject: Re: My 65' 21 Window "Barn Find" Reply with quote

Looking forward to the *after* pictures because that paint looks like it will shine up really well.

Great back-story too, enjoy the project!
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Manfred58sc
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 7:52 am    Post subject: Re: My 65' 21 Window "Barn Find" Reply with quote

Amazing Bus, I would hope it remains as stock as possible...OG goodness!
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scottvw
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 8:01 am    Post subject: Re: My 65' 21 Window "Barn Find" Reply with quote

You'll be surprised what a random orbital buffer and some light compound will do that paint. It will look brand new.

Preserve it and drive it!!!
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G-wood Todd
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 8:15 am    Post subject: Re: My 65' 21 Window "Barn Find" Reply with quote

Great bus! I think you've got an excellent game plan. No need to full on restore this bus. A preservation is the way to go. Look forward to your progress.
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hitest
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 8:33 am    Post subject: Re: My 65' 21 Window "Barn Find" Reply with quote

And on the inside- you may find that a stock-style interior is not only very complimentary to the bus but inexpensive compared to anything custom. Your bus in my opinion is a prime candidate for gathering original panels and seat upholstery from shows/swaps- to match the preservation level of the outside. The interior color scheme for your bus is arguably the most commonly found and easily assembled among deluxes from what I see.
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id'r
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 9:02 am    Post subject: Re: My 65' 21 Window "Barn Find" Reply with quote

Thanks for the suggestions and kind comments all. Looks like my general plan may be sound. A few questions:

I would definitely like the rocker area and that part of the floor repaired. When the exterior rocker panel is repaired, would you want to blend new SWR into the OG paint? If truly going the preservation route, what's the best practice here?

The question above also applies to the original driver door; while mostly good, it has an old dent repair right in the middle of the door panel. It's an eyesore and I'd like to address it. I could maybe search for similarly patina SWR door I guess.

You can see that there are a few other areas of the bus that have spots of rust around, particularly in the interior floor. Should this be addressed? Perhaps remove the rust and do something like POR15? I did a little of this when I first got the bus (a few spots on the front floor, front window corners), but I'm not sure it was needed.

Back to the interior. I like the idea of sourcing the interior panels via swap meets, etc. as hitest suggested. I also am kicking around the idea of just restoring the entire interior to full OEM spec with as needed new parts and upholstery. I've seen a few examples of OG exterior and new interior on this site and they look great. I guess this would mean a full interior respray. Any thoughts there?

I'll definitely be at the Bug Run...maybe I'll see some of you there.

Appreciate the feedback. I'll keep this thread updated with progress.

Jason
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aa390392
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 9:14 am    Post subject: Re: My 65' 21 Window "Barn Find" Reply with quote

Sounds as though your headed in right direction, your in good hands with all PNW bus enthusiasts to help you out, good luck
Cheers Thomas
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BarryL Premium Member
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 11:08 am    Post subject: Re: My 65' 21 Window "Barn Find" Reply with quote

Every picture that loaded made more slobber.
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Saul Koll
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 11:31 am    Post subject: Re: My 65' 21 Window "Barn Find" Reply with quote

What a beauty! Great bus!

I'm in Portland too, hope to see you around-
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Busted-bolt
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 6:55 pm    Post subject: Re: My 65' 21 Window "Barn Find" Reply with quote

Ha.. I payed $150 for my 23 window in 92 , guess we can consider ourselves the lucky ones !! Insanely solid and awesome bus though, Id so roll that o/g paint !!
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obus
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 7:41 pm    Post subject: Re: My 65' 21 Window "Barn Find" Reply with quote

nice bus!! And great story! I bought my 1st bus a 65 21 window for 650.00 in 1989 as a 20 year old. Got it on the road after a real job at the age of 33. sold it in 2006 as it was rusty and needed much work. Very jealous of how solid and nice yours is!
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 9:17 pm    Post subject: Re: My 65' 21 Window "Barn Find" Reply with quote

Busted bolt no pics of your $150.00 23 window,
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Major Woody
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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 10:29 pm    Post subject: Re: My 65' 21 Window "Barn Find" Reply with quote

First thing to do is remove any metal that is going to be replaced. Then work on the old paint, shine it up (NO WAX PRIOR TO PAINT BLENDING) and see what color it ends up. Decide what flaws you can live with and what you want to repair (the rust, the driver door damage) and then have those areas repaired properly.
Take it to a shop and have the repairs blended with single stage urethane. They will blend it into your existing paint. It will be very difficult to tell. They can even add a flattener to the paint to get the same sheen as the rest of the bus.
Blending multiple small areas is no big deal once the paint match is done so correct all the corrosion and signs of neglect now.
A stock interior made up of reproduction and salvaged pieces would be sweet on that bus. Not to mention relatively affordable. Take your time gathering what you need.
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