Aircooled Crazy Ramblings of an obsessed man

1975 Sopru Bay Window Camper
Australian Import Camper

A lot of people have asked me about the colour. It is Flipper Blue. A Dulux colour code number CLR529
About the Bay
Several years ago I imported this bay from Brisbane Australia so it is of course right hand drive. It has since lived in my my garage being slowly and meticulously restored to excellent condition. Hundreds of hours of work has gone into this van over a period of 3 years.

The vans body was in very good condition and fine as it was but I wanted it to be perfect so I had the cab floor replaced and a few other small issues sorted. The van has been re-sprayed not to show standards but is very presentable.

Mechanically the van was in dreadful condition when I bought it. The engine ran but was well preserved with copious amounts of oil over the case. The carburettors were worn and even featured a seat belt bolt where a fuel cut off valve should have been. The suspension was shot and 3 out of 4 wheel bearings were dangerously worn. The heating system was non existent and the brakes dodgy. Basically it would have had pages of MOT failures if I had put it through.

The van has since been restored with a complete mechanical overhaul. I purchased an ex-MOD 1800 Type 4 engine from Heritage VW which was allegedly bench run only so is effectively a new engine. More info on the motor and it's auxiliaries can be found here. I have finished installing the engine and it starts on the button and runs lovely.

All of the mechanical components have been looked at and where necessary (read most of it) has been repaired or replaced. The only major components that haven't been touched is the gearbox and the steering box but only because I haven't need to.

The front suspension in the van has been replaced. Everything except the shock absorbers (although I have a new set if need be) has been replaced. So new ball joints all round, even the drag link and the 2 track rods have been replaced. A test drive has yet to prove it but the bus should ride and handle like when it came out of the showroom.

The brakes were in bad shape so they have been overhauled and the work included rebuild of the callipers, new brake pipes throughout, and a new servo vacuum hose.

All the windows were removed for the paint and most of the rear windows were replaced with glass. Believe it or not the original rear windows were made from plastic.

The pop top has had a new canvas and but the fibreglass was grazed and thin in places so has been repaired and new gelcoat applied. The pop top mechanism has small round polyurethane wheels which run in a track. These were broken so I had to source some polyurethane rod and make up a new set.

The front axle is the original item but unlike most UK axles is without the usual plates welded on. It is also the correct RHD axle and not a US LHD converted to RHD.

For more info be sure to check out the following pages;
- Engine and Auxiliaries
- Interior
- Pictures
- Parts List

This van was built for me and no short cuts were taken.

I can't take credit for all the work done on this van. The stack of other people have helped me get it finished

Thanks a lot guys.
The list below is a summary of everything I can remember.

- Ex-mod 1800 big valve heads engine
- 40 mm carburettors
- Flame Thrower ignition and leads
- Dash removed stripped and powder coated
- 3 out of 4 wheel bearings replaced
- All ball joints replaced
- Steering column rebuilt
- Wiring sorted out and renewed where necessary
- Front callipers rebuilt
- New brake lines throughout
- New Servo vacuum hose
- New heat exchangers
- Heating system renewed with new pipes and refurbished heater control boxes
- New indicator units front and back
- New head liner
- New pop top canvas
- New clutch cable
- New heater cables
- New paint
- New rubber seals throughout
- Cab doors rebuilt with all new seals and 1/4 light upright (commonly rust eaten)
- Front seats replaced and professionally recovered in new Blue material (very comfy)
- New rubber mats over the wheels.
- New vinyl floor in a retro cow print
- Built a new table with a clear perspex top to allow maps to be placed underneath.
- Has been prepared for a Propex heater.
- Under sealed
- Wheels repainted
- Interior side walls carpeted
- Pop Top restored
- New rubber fuel filler neck
- Locks renewed
- Dash sand blastered and powder coated
- Wiring tidied and renewed were necessary
- New accelerator cables