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The Westfalia Project

The Westfalia Project

The Floyd Hill Bench Mark…  blog #5 – The Westfalia Project

For some reason, guys from Colorado have this mind set that if you can’t tow up Floyd Hill going at least seventy, then that tow rig just isn’t worth having.  Brian has been researching the possibilities as to which motor he should use in place of the old one, and I think he’s well on track to reaching the Floyd Hill bench mark.  While we have replaced Vanagon motors with Subaru conversions, it just didn’t seem like the motor we were looking for, that and it’s a very costly procedure.  As of late, he’s been leaning toward using a TDI motor instead.  The TDI would give us a decent amount of power, and we’d be getting better gas mileage.  Also, it just so happens that Brian has a couple of these laying around, they definitely need a lot of attention, but a free motor is a good motor, and price will definitely be a big factor where this project is concerned.

**To follow this blog, click on The Westfalia Project button on the lower right side of home page.

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The Westfalia Project

As Luck Would Have It…  blog #4 – The Westfalia Project

Gilberto is a baker, and a really good baker at that, but that means he keeps crazy work hours.  Three days would pass before we would find him at home to talk to him about his van.  We were nervous that it had already been sold, but as luck would have it, there were no takers.  Maybe it’s prospective buyers were intimidated by the amount of work that would have to go into it just like we were, or maybe they dismissed it as being a total dog pile.  Regardless, we had come to terms that yes, this would be a big project, and maybe it is a total dog pile, but if anyone had the resources to pimp such a ride, it would be us.  Between Brian’s collection of blown motors and his aptitude for all things mechanical, there’d be no reason why he wouldn’t be able to scrap something amazing together.  I had actually been looking forward to using my new sewing machine for something a little more useful than a lap quilt for Grandma, so I’d try my hand at upholstery and tent making.  The rest we could nickle and dime until it’s completion, so it seemed like we could make it happen.  The VW Gods were smiling on us that day, because Gilberto sold it to us for a really good price.

**To follow this blog, click on The Westfalia Project button on the lower right side of home page.


The Westfalia Project

The Best Obsession…  blog #3 – The Westfalia Project

Late one night on our commute back home, Brian had noticed that Gilberto’s Westfalia had been cleaned up a little, and the odds and ends that he was storing inside it were all cleared out.  We panicked.  Was Gilberto going to sell it?  Was it already sold?  We scoured the Volkswagen ads on Craigslist to see if it would pop up, and sure enough, there it was.  There was always this thought in the back of my mind that Gilberto’s van would always be there, waiting for us to claim it as our own, but there it was for all of Colorado to see. There was no doubt that some lucky VW enthusiast would also be able to see past all it’s imperfections and jump at the opportunity to own it.  The thought of losing the Westy was enough to convince us that we absolutely needed it…  If we couldn’t obsess about the van at the end of the block, then what would we have to obsess about?  I suppose we could have focused our attention to our lawn or to the mouse that lives in the flower pot, but the weather will take care of the lawn and I’m too sensitive to kill the mouse, so were back to the Westy obsession.

**To follow this blog, click on The Westfalia Project button on the lower right side of home page.


The Westfalia Project

What’s Not To Like? blog #2 – The Westfalia Project

Still, we took the route past Gilberto’s, always craning our necks to get a glance of the camper.  We knew that somewhere beyond all the rust and broken glass, there was a lot of potential.  I mean, what’s not to like about a Westy?  There’s ample storage space, and the van itself is quite spacious.  There’s two beds and when the top is up, you don’t have to worry about hitting your head on the ceiling. Did I mention that there’s a kitchen?  Honestly, it’s about the size of the Playskool kitchen I used to make imaginary muffins with when I was six, but it’s a kitchen nonetheless.  Apart from the brown and tan formica finish, it’s actually in really good condition, the stove burners have never been used and the little refrigerator is spotless.  There’s even an itsy-bitsy sink, just big enough to wash a cereal bowl in.  In my mind, anything that even somewhat resembles a kitchen in a camping environment is way better than having to prepare a meal in the dirt.  There’s nothing wrong with wanting a few creature comforts, and cooking outside is definitely not my thing, so this was one of my favorite features about the Westy.

**To follow this blog, click on The Westfalia Project button on the lower right side of home page.


The Westfalia Project

One Of The Finer Things In Life…  blog #1 – The Westfalia Project

The street I live on is lined with tiny houses that are owned by working class folks like my husband and myself.  Every night for the last four years I have made a point to drive past my neighbor Gilberto’s house for this one reason- parked out front is an old sun faded orangish-brown Volkswagen Westfalia.  Some of the windows have been smashed in, no doubt by hooligans who have no repect for the finer things in life, and there are some rust accents that need to be addressed, but this has never deterred me from admiring it.

As the years passed, Brian and I had become friends with Gilberto and knew that he wanted to sell the old Westy, but it seemed too daunting to refurbish something that needed so much attention.  The pop-top tent canvas is in tatters and would need to be replaced completely, along with the motor, which is pretty much toast!  Since the windows were broken, the weather had caused some signifigant interior damage, and there’s more furniture in a Westy than there is in my house.  When we calculated the costs for the rebuild the first time, it was enough to keep us at bay…  for a while at least.

**To follow this blog, click on The Westfalia Project button on the lower right side of home page.