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Jun 25 2016

Westfalia Restoration Week ?

I’ve enjoyed writing about things other than how my trusty camper Babe’s restoration is coming along. I do have an update or two to write about on the restoration front though and I guess it’s overdue. First a little background…

The Gap

My last blog entry on the topic was April 19th which was a little more than a week before I went to Germany with mom. I’ve talked with Volker a few times between then and now. And I’ll be the first to admit that some of the time between I’ve been feeling a little stressed. I know he has too.

I picked Volker to do the restoration because I had confidence in the quality of his work. He’s a one-man shop so I know almost everything is done by his hands (he does send parts out for sandblasting and a few other services). That’s the plus side. The down side of being a one-man shop is that it’s not a one-customer shop so juggling competing priorities is a challenge. And of course every customer has their own best interest in mind rather than either another customer or the man doing the actual work. To a certain extent that includes me too. So I’ve been making a point to be patient and honest with him and trying to stay ahead of dates that are important for my business commitments.

When he’s working on Babe he’s working at a very steady pace in a completely productive way. The project is taking a longer time because there are extended periods of time when his hands and tools are busy working on someone else’s project. Much of May falls into that “competing priorities” bucket.

To be fair there were surprises along the way that have added work which also adds time. The brake cylinder and heater core are examples of that. Going in I knew there would be surprises and while I was asking for an April date originally my honest expectation was sometime in May.

That I’m writing this on June 25th kind of suggests neither of those dates materialized and puts the stressful feelings in context.

Where things stand as of Today

I have gotten a few sets of photos from Volker over the past few weeks and will share a few here. And he’s had a couple of weeks where Babe has been his main focus so there is progress to report. I’ll start with four photos that show before, during and where things are today.

Major Surgery

The bottom section of the panel still needs to be repaired but this is great progress. The area behind the kitchen was the primary reason that prompted me to start this project so I’m really glad it’s being worked on now. It’s not the only accomplishment this month of course. Another major rust spot was below the fuel filler. That required cutting out some metal that wasn’t saveable and rebuilding with new.

More Progress

The passenger side is all done up to and including rock guard so it’s waiting for the rest. The back lower section is done too, still some work around the hatch opening. The rear wheel driver side panel is a work in progress as it the kitchen panel shown above. There is still some work to be done up front but it’s not a big job. A few samples…

So… the big question everyone keeps asking is “when?”. I still don’t know the answer to that. I do know it’s getting closer. And Volker knows I have races in Quebec and the eastern U.S. starting in mid-July.

“News as it happens, film at 11”

 

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