April 1, 2006
Man, I wish this was an April Fool's joke.

Today the Great White Bus left my care. I stripped off the stuff I made (table, shifter knob, windshield washer, etc..), removed the sliding windows, carbs, HyFire, etc, and listed it for free on Craigslist.

The responses came in minutes. Dozens.

After my top end refresh, the carbs self destructed. I believe one of the fuel lines disintegrated and there were bits of rubber in both carbs in places I can't get to like the check valves in the body. After dinking around with it for a few weeks I decided it just wasn't worth it. Too much rust on the poor beastie.

So now it's gone. *sniff*

There will be another bus in my hands soon, I hope.

Jan 20, 2006--
Top End Refresh

High Top Removal
Check the Body Section for what I found when I removed my high top!


Vehicle: 1973 Volkswagen Transporter Westfalia
Engine: Vege 2.0 engine (unknown miles)
Location: Colorado

November 14, 2005
Added the writeup on the 2004 Autofest to the Misc section.


I forgot to post the pics from the first snow of Winter 05/06.

Finally.

I've been putting off rebuilding this site because I've had just so much going on. But it's now ready! At least mostly. I'm still working on my articles and such, as well as organizing the bazillion photos I have.

But feel free to dive in and play around with the links on the left.

Don

About the GWB:
I purchased the Great White Bus in February 2003 for $700 off eBay. The bus was located in Hollywood, CA, so I drove with my wife to go pick it up.

Fired right up, and aside from some backfiring, drove home just fine. Here are the images the seller used in the auction:

GWB started life as a Tourist Delivery Westfalia camper. What does "Tourist Delivery" mean? This was a popular way to purchase German vehicles up to the 70's or 80's. Due to import tariffs, it was cheaper to purchase the vehicle in Germany, tour Europe in your new vehicle for a couple weeks, then have it shipped back to the states as a "used" vehicle, avoiding tarriffs. I still have the Tourist Delivery invoice for the GWB:

At some point, the Westfalia poptop was replaced with a hightop. There are pros and cons to both, but overall I like my hightop. Here are some issues I see with them:

Westfalia pop-top

    Pros
  • Low clearance to get into more parking garages and private garages.
  • Stock.
  • Better mileage due to less wind resistance.
  • Less surface area for winds to affect travel, particularly crosswinds.
  • Lower center of gravity for better handling.
    Cons
  • Poptop canvas expensive to replace, difficult to repair.
  • Lots of seals to wear, leak, and need replacing.
  • IMHO rather unattractive.
  • Hinges and latches prone to wear.
  • Miserable bed in top.

Hightop

    Pros
  • Standing room available at all times without needing to pop the top.
  • Gobs of storage space.
  • Real bed up in the top.
  • No moving parts (except sliding windows).
  • Only one seal to leak.
  • No canvas to get old and rot.
  • More attractive.

    Cons
  • High wind resistance causes a small loss of fuel economy.
  • High profile means more surface area for winds to act upon.
  • Higher center of gravity affects handling.
  • Can't fit into my garage, or many parking garages.
  • Not stock, may affect value in the future.

It's not a big deal either way, but I'll keep my hightop. I have been considering a "swappable" top, however. Get a stock steel top for my bus and have some way to swap between the two. I'm working on that idea to see just how plausible it is.

The current engine is a stock 1700 case that's been cut for 2.0 pistons and cylinders. The heads were stock 1700 heads that were flycut to match the cylinders. I recently had to replace one of the heads due to a sunk valve seat, and that's when I discovered it was no longer a stock engine. Luckily another bus guy had a 2.0 head available that I was able to use until I get a new set of matched heads.

I'll get into more detail about my bus in the rest of the site.