Hessisch is soon…
Nothing like the thought of getting ready for the forthcoming Hessisch Oldendorf show in Germany to get me motivated… so no pressure there then! That said, it’s helped me focus on getting a few of my ‘back burner’ jobs sorted at last!
I’d been wanting to get a retaining pin/bracket for the rear cargo door of the bus so that I could have a way of stopping the cargo door folding all the way back (when required). Then I properly use my Fabrik Interiors striped fabric cargo door canopy to provide a bit of summertime shade. Fortunately, Fabrik interiors also make great reproductions of these metal components to go with their high-quality cargo door check straps.
Originally the retaining pin bracket would have been welded in place, unfortunately, I don’t have the skills or facilities to do this, so instead, I decided to use my pop rivet gun to fix it in place with a couple of 4mm rivets.
Once fitted, it will prevent the rear cargo door swinging all the way back and causing the canopy wooden spacer bar to come loose. If however, you want the doors all the way back for any reason, you simply remove the retaining pin, simples 🙂 Although the canopy is fairly small, it really is useful, plus the German-made fabric is fully waterproof and offers UV protection too. I’m tempted to make a cargo door mounted, fold down shelf at some point. This would make use of the door canopy overhead protection and would be handy to put the cooker or Trangia stove on, but at the moment I have plenty of other things to finish first!
Another thing I needed to do was make a set of paper templates for the buses interior panels. I wanted to use these to transfer the original factory panel fixing holes to my new interior panels. I could have made my life easier by just drilling new holes in both the panels and the bus, but I wanted to limit the number of new holes to a minimum. I created a set of full-size thick paper templates from some heavy-duty lining paper. This will allow me to mark the original holes onto the paper template and then transfer them over to the new panels so that all being well, the new boards can be screw fixed into the original holes.
I had got myself and organised for once and previously bought a set of stainless steel self-tapping screws and screw cups for fixing the interior panels in the bus. However, not everything is straightforward and simple with vintage VW campers!
When measuring up the interior panels of the bus, I happened to notice that the fixing holes on the rear tailgate were way bigger than the holes for the rest of the interior panels? Although my camper is an early production model 1963 VW split screen bus, it appears to have a tailgate with later/larger (64-67) fixings? So I ordered some genuine VW (221-867-615A) tailgate panel clips (64-67) from Alan Schofields. Apparently, these were standard VW door panel clips as used on all Split screen cab door and tailgate interior panels from ’8/63 to ’67. I needed a set of 18 clips on the tailgate (or 21 on each cab door if you have later bus cab doors, which I don’t 😉 )
Remember my custom Anthony Burrill Letterpress poster inspired tabletop that features his famous ‘Work hard & be nice to people’ poster? Although the top and edge trim were finished, I still needed to fit the leg plus add the fixing to attach it to the long side interior panel. I had searched for ages to find some kind of simple/elegant solution for securing the table edge to the side panel when in use. Nothing really suited what I was after. I really liked how original Devon conversion tables in early VW campers were secured to the side panel, but finding these original fixings seemed an impossibility. In the end, I managed to find the perfect solution, the only problem was it was in Australia and for some reason, they would not ship internationally? 🙁
Fortunately, one of my oldest friends from school days and scouts just happens to have lived in Australia for a good few years now, so cheekily I asked if he could order one and then forward it on to me. Luckily he agreed and soon the part was winging its way over to me in the UK. Now the tabletop was made, time to get the male part of the fixing strip fitted to the back edge of the table, before getting the female half fitted onto the long side interior panel once that was fitted. Having chatted to the guys at Camper Interiors about this at the time, the good news is that they now have this fixing strip available in the UK which is great! 🙂
All in all, lots of bits to do, and I’m running out of time to get them all done, hopefully, some of the bits will get done in time for the forthcoming European road trip adventure to Germany and the world-famous Hessisch Oldendorf show…