This was our 1st aircooled VW, got as a result of being made redundant and writing our car off on company business at virtually the same time. The firm I worked for agreed to pay for any vehicle I wanted up to the value of the car. A camper was something we'd always wanted and this one was for sale at the right price in a local dealership. That was the start of our love for all things VW Aircooled.

Anyways, when we bought her she was a disgusting (in my opinion) flat shade of fuchsia pink with a DIY interior that left a lot to be desired, the drive home was also my introduction to VW's rev limiter, when overtaking a bus and suddenly the engine decides it not only isn't going to go any faster but is also going to misfire like a b****y idiot, that was the first thing that had to go.

We then went on holiday to the South of France, this just 3 months after buying her, foolish or what, my second introduction to VW vagaries then reared it's head, a very persistent and loud knocking, especially round corners.

I then spent 3 days trying to find the cause of it, even taking her to a local garage where we got her on a 2 post ramp for inspection, no joy, no noise or loose joint to be found. At this stage I said b****r it I'll worry about it when/if we get home. This we did, by which time the noise had stopped, only to start again a year later in Italy.

This was when I found that if I got under the back end, caught hold of the drive shaft and "banged it" back and too against the CV's, then got in and drove backwards about 50 yds it would stop knocking - this process got us many an inquisitive raised eyebrow, especially from the Gaurdia at San Marino.

(having parked opposite their HQ and then finding we hadn't got the correct money for the meter Sylv' proceeded to ask them for change, they hadn't got any so let us off the parking fees, only to stand there and watch my performance with the CV joint - you could almost read their minds - crazy English!!!!!) 
Never did get around to replacing that joint.

Having got back from the south of France the interior "fittings" and old tatty headlining were "removed".
Sylv' then made a new headlining using the old one as a pattern, which I then fitted (who said glue sniffing's bad for you, took me 2 days to "come down")
The interior I designed and we built between us with the assistance of our youngest son. 

Then came the exterior, bit of welding here and there, some filler here and there, then that awful fuchsia pink was rubbed down and a friend of ours sprayed it for us. 
(After a rather abortive attempt at brush painting, believe me it doesn't pay to do this on a sunny day)  All the bits and pieces back on + some extra lights for those long european drives and she was ready to go.

 Next problem was the engine, there we are in Italy when with an almighty "backfire" (should have seen those Italians duck) she started misfiring, having nearly blown the exhaust apart, {cheap & nasty italian petrol} this she continued to do for the remainder of our time in Italy and all the way back through Switzerland and France, where we stopped for a week, having driven through the rain storm to end all rainstorms - I kid you not, because of the sun the front of the van was black with dead flies when we crossed the border from Switzerland into France, by the time we had got to the site - through  the aforementioned rainstorm, only about 2 miles of it - the front of Chugalug was SPOTLESS. This stopover gave me a chance to do some "running" repairs before the final part of the journey across France and back to Mid Wales.
Having pulled the engine out I discovered that we had driven from Italy with only one good cylinder out of four - no 1 cyl head was cracked between the valves, no 2 had only half of the exhaust valve left and no 3 was cracked between the exhaust valve and the spark plug. Sure says something for VW aircooled engines.
Rebuilt it with 2 new cyl heads and she served us well until I was a) offered a T25 (aircooled mind) at a silly price and b) was made an offer for Chugalug that only a complete moron would refuse.

Just included these 3 for the sake of it, the righthand 2 were taken in Italy, just before the engine went "bang". The one to the left  was taken at a lovely site in the south of France.

Back to top