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1977 VW Westfalia Y2

Some notes:
  • VIN: 237 2166 785
  • Engine GD 052786
  • Mileage unknown, as the odometer has been replaced.
  • This bus was sold to a colleague in March 2009.

Here are the BEFORE photos:

(Updates in bold)

Click on the small photos in the filmstrip to get a larger version (up to 800 pixels wide):

The nose looks OK from the outside, though there is some body work hiding a past nose injury.

Rear end looks good. A small crunch to the left corner will require replacing the tail light lens. Tail light lens replaced.

There are many shades of orange. The spill of something nasty, along with some other factors, may prompt me to repaint.

The sliding door works like new, but this side seems to have been sideswiped enough to remove the marker lights. New markers will be installed.

The passenger's door has some bad scrapes, but this should be fine with some body work.

This will be the most difficult job. This was allowed to go on waaaay too long.

The engine room shows signs of a fire at some point, though you can't really see that in the photo. The charcoal can and hot air blower fan are gone, presumably from the fire. The engine was rebuilt since then. Blower fan, ducting, and charcoal can are all obtained and will be installed.

These seats are in serious need of some rehabilitation. Ouch! I found some pristine vintage fabric in the upper bunk of the parts bus (below) and will get the seats reupholstered, with new horsehair. They will look fabulous when they are done.

The canvas is shot. New canvas and seals are purchased, waiting to be installed.

Some would-be thief got in through the wing window, denting the door, breaking the mirror, breaking off the wing window latch, and wrecking the ignition. This was apparently the only time that the previous owner had actually locked the bus. Wing window and mirror are replaced. P.O. had put in aftermarket ignition, which is functional though uses a different key.

No emergency brakes!? Well, this brake lever is not only bent all to heck, it is installed backwards. This is one bit of evidence that whoever did the body work after some minor front-end collision did not know VWs (though the body work was good). This is the first thing to fix! This brake mechanism was completely replaced with a perfect one from the parts bus.

Talk about good luck! The junkyard in Santa Fe has only one air-cooled VW on the lot, and here she is: a 1977 Westy, orange no less. This donor bus provided brake parts, lots of trim screws and fasteners, orange and plaid fabric, poptop hinges, steering wheel, seat belts, wiper arms, a window regulator, instrument panel, charcoal can, hot air blower fan, cabinet handles, a rear wing window, and other assorted odds and ends. What a find!

Bought in Santa Fe from a very odd bird who turned out to be a compulsive liar and knew nothing about VW buses. It should not have been on the road, even. I did find the previous previous owner, who knew a lot about buses, but not much about this one's history. He had driven it from the Bay Area to Albuquerque, and sold it to the Santa Fe liar. Upone further inspection, I am beginning to think that the entire front nose clip was replaced at some point. Whoever did it did a very good job, though.

Special Modifications:

  • Obtained a vintage storage stool that will be reupholstered to match the seats.
  • Replaced the steering wheel with a 78/79 model, which is much more comfortable.

Here are the AFTER photos:

I had the seats reupholstered in Santa Fe, using the pristine plaid fabric I had found in the donor bus (matress covers from the upper bunk) and a reasonably good match for the vinyl. The stool I found on The Samba classifieds, and had it recovered at the same time.
Work was done by Upholstery by Jose in Santa Fe.

The cat, of course, took to them immediately.

Yay! Now that Y2 is 30 years old, I got the Year-of-Manufacture plate reinstated.

last updated 11 April 2009