Mark Spicer in action

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Dear VW-friends,

 

here is a little update from England. As you know, Mark Spicer shipped the decklid of the Samba to his workshop and he is just right now in welding action. So this goes out to all the haters in the various chats who keep on saying “he is never gonna make it”, “just dump it into the trash” etc: there are also a lot of good friends in our little VW-world and together we will definitely reach the goal!

Next body piece will be the dashboard!

 

Best regards from Bonn

 

Florian

Corner window production

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Dear VW-freinds,

 

here we go starting to produce the next item for our Samba. When we found the Samba there was one corner window still with the bus, but the other one was missing. Sure Plexiglas corner windows are extremely hard to find, especially the ones without the “Plexiglas” logo, which only the very, very first Sambas came with.

As chances are nearly zero to find such a corner window we decided to produce them. The first step is to create a data base for the production. So I drove to St. Vith in Belgium to visit one of our suppliers for sheet metal, Mr. Warny. He has a laser tool to scan any item for the data needed to build a production tool. Mr. Warny was so kind to support our Samba project by laser scanning our remaining corner window and now we have the data base to go for step number two and build a tool for producing the corner window itself.

Stay tuned as I will visit a plastic company next.

 

best regards from Bonn

Florian

Body reconstruction has begun

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Dear VW-friends

 

Last week Evelyn and Mark Spicer, the owner and restorer of the famous Kohlruss bus, visited me to have a look on the Samba wreck. It was amazing seeing Mark checking out the poor rest of the dashboard for more than 20 minutes. He was truly fascinated about little details I don´t have a clue of, but for Mark these dashboard pieces show that this is the very earliest Samba he has ever seen. For anybody out of the vintage VW-world this scenario must have looked so weird: an adult man totally fascinated by two very rusty pieces of rotten metal, declaring: “I had a theory about the early Samba dashboard, which must have been kind of prototyping, this here is the proof. The production of the very first Sambas was more or less a handmade process.”  

Mark is not only a specialist for Barndoor Samba dashboards (he reproduces the entire element!) , but he does the same with Barndoor decklids. To get the body reconstruction started I gave Mark the decklid of the Samba wreck for restoration. So the decklid is already in England now and Mark promised to start right away. We both think the same way about the style the Samba should be reconstructed: the same way he did the Kohlruss! Not a shiny look-as-new Samba is the goal, but a Samba telling a unique story.

The decklid will be the example of how we would like the whole Samba to be restored. Stay tuned as Mark is probably faster than most of us think. I will show the result of Mark´s work here as soon as the decklid is ready.

In the meantime I will take care about the mechanical parts. The starter, the fuel pump, rear shock absorbers, the generator plus D-regulator are the next on the list. All these parts are still the original ones and worth a rebuilding. Read more about it here in this blog soon.

 

Best regards from Bonn

Florian

Lucky in Spa

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Dear VW-friends,

 

I was very lucky to find at the Bug-Show in Spa a Barndoor taillight. Have a look at it! I guess it is the correct one for the 51 Samba. What do the experts think? If you can confirm or disprove it, please leave a comment.

I also found a central brake light lens. Yes, a red one is not correct for 1951, I know it has to be kind of yellow and must not have a K-number neither a wave, but at least I have a sample with the correct old style Hella marking to produce a copy in the correct color.

The next find in Spa was a beautiful 1953 workshop manual! It wasn´t cheap, but I am happy to have it anyway. I guess it´s pretty rare and was worth the 270 Euro.

Just when I was ready to leave the swapmeet I found two separate barndoor taillight lenses for unbelievable 20 Euro each!

 

best regards from Bonn

Florian

interesting contacts

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Dear VW-freinds,

 

Today I received an interesting detail from the owner of the well-known 51 Samba found in Greece (see here: http://kombiclassics.com/1951_barndoor_samba/ ). He told me that the remaining Plexiglas windows of his Samba neither had any logo. As his Samba is younger than mine this information is very interesting as another hint that very early Sambas didn´t have the “Plexiglas”-logo which we all know from later Barndoor Sambas. At least the Barndoors which were really “born” as Sambas in the first place.

A real “born” Samba in the first place? What does it mean? There is the theory that the Volkswagen factory itself converted in the early days regular busses which were already sold and driven on the road into Sambas. I am still collecting facts which confirm or disprove this theory. More about this scientific detail soon.

Tomorrow I will have a look on another unrestored early Samba and I hope to return with some interesting news to share with you.

Next week the one remaining corner Plexiglas window of our Samba will be put into a laser box to create a CAD data as a base for a production of the corner windows. Our Samba needs one, so we will produce a whole load of corner windows based on the one original which came with the Samba.

In two weeks I expect Marc Spicer, the restorer of the famous Kohlruss (see here http://www.thepicta.com/user/rustykohlruss/2338719690/1371636174993288017_2338719690 ), here in Bonn and I am looking forward to learn from his experience as the way he restored –or better reconstructed- the Kohlruss is exactly the way I want to reconstruct our Samba.

More news soon after the upcoming Spa weekend!

 

Maybe see you in Spa?

 

Florian

windshield seals

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Dear VW-friends,

 

my knowledge about Barndoor busses must have been very poor! So far I didn´t realize that the windshields of an Barndoor are significantly smaller than the later ones. What means I do have a lack in my VEWIB line of windshield rubbers.  Sure I wanted to add VEWIB windshield rubbers for Barndoor to my line, at least cause I will need them some day for our Samba!

Fortunately both original windshields are still with the Samba wreck and we can use them for creating a tool. But the tool for the preforming of the rubbers is a real big investment, because when it comes to pre ´55 rubber items the chances to find the original tooling are near zero. For sure we can´t sell too many of these rubbers, but I decided to go for tool anyway. The project and the first seals will be finished in September. So, all Barndoor owners can ask their VEWIB-dealer for the windshield seals soon. The part numbers will be 211 845 121 (left) and 211 845 122 (right).

 

Best regards from Bonn

Florian

Handbrake cables

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Dear VW-friends,

sure our Samba will need a pair of handbrake cables someday. As so many other parts these are different for Barndoor then for the later busses and as far as I know there are no handbrake cables on the market for Barndoor. So this a typical job for VEWIB to bring back a good German quality.

I contacted an old supplier of cables who produced handbrake cables for Barndoor decades ago. We found the old drawing in his archive and I gave order to start a new production again. Peter Reichler was so kind to spare with me a NOS handbrake cable, so we now have the old drawings and a NOS item to assure that the new production will be very exact.

The production will be ready in August and orders can be already placed either with VEWIB direct (if you are a registered dealer) or through our distribution network. The part number is  211 609 721.

 

Best regards from Bonn

Florian

Plexiglas windows

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Dear VW-friends,

our Samba was made in August 1951 and it is a real „born Samba“, so it was constructed as a Samba in the first place, not later converted from a stock bus into a Samba (the factory in Wolfsburg itself really did such conversions in the early days!). Björn Schewe and Eckberth von Witzleben checked the chassis number of our Samba in the Wolfsburg archives and they confirmed that this is “born Samba”.

Based on this fact I would like to clear an interesting little detail now. Not to many parts of our Samba survived, but all eight sky windows and one of the rear corner windows were still with the Samba when it was found. Sure all this windows are made of Plexiglas, but none of them has the typical “Plexiglas” script!

As we know this Samba is not a conversion and there are nine of the ten windows still with the car, we can exclude by 99% that this windows were exchanged later, because they were possibly broken. It would be very unlikely that nine of ten windows broke.

So could it be that the very first Sambas did not have the “Plexiglas”-script, because it came a little later than August 1951? What do the experts think? You are welcome to write me:  samba@vewib.de or come to the VEWIB-booth in Chimay this weekend.

See you at the EBI!

Florian

Welcome!

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Dear VW-friends,

thank you for your interest in our Samba-wreck! In this blog I would like to inform everybody who is interested about the restoration of this amazing car.

“Restoration” might be not the correct term as there is not so much left of the poor bus. We got an engine, a gearbox, a front axle, an ID-plate, some very rusty sections of the body and a few (but very interesting) parts. So we better call it a reconstruction.

I will write the blog in English language, so more people can follow our project. Please excuse my funny English terms, I learned my English with Beavis and Butthead, so don´t expect Oxford level from my side….

As this is my first blog ever I have to learn how to use this. It might need a few days until I am familiar with this medium, but I will do my best to give you an update of the project weekly. So have a look in the next days and I will share with you our progress to bring back this Samba on the road.

Have a good start in the week!

Florian