Sunny - 1975 VW Kombi Microbus by Righteous Kombis
This is Sunny, a 1975 VW Kombi Microbus with a 2-1 bench seat up front. We’ve been working on this project through the winter months, and I reckon it’s time we wrote a story about him. When we moved out of the workshop, both my panel beater and myself took a well earned rest from the Kombis, but we had one spare Kombi that was straight, rust free, and all the parts and equipment were in good working order. So rather than bust our guts we decided to enjoy the journey and take some time to enjoy the process from the comfort of our own garage. Over the past 3 years we’ve experimented with a few design ideas and finishes, so this was a nice way of pulling them all together and making a complete project for ourselves.
As for the colour – we wanted to create a deeper, richer tone of yellow while maintaining the classic 2 tone colour scheme. We stripped out the interior seats, door cards, flooring, headlining and window rubbers as they were all looking pretty tired after 40 years of adventure. That also gave us access to the floor pan, window sills and hard to reach spots that often hide the rust.
We've seen some really poor kombis this year, but this little guy only had a few scrapes down the side. The left door step had a bit oof rust under the rubber and a few cuts had to be made around the tail. The most annoying thing is when you start rubbing back the roof, and you discover all those tiny pin spots under the original enamel. These all have to be brought back to a healthy shine before the joyous cycle of - prime, rub, undercoat, rub, 2 pak, buff - can put a lasting finish in place.
Every surface that needs a respray must be cleaned and prepared and primed, or you may as well not bother. I have seen some awful reactions between an old coat of enamel and a fresh coat of 2 Pak. This Kombi had an exeptional floor in both the front and back, so we were able to give it a light rub down and soften the base with some prepsol before laying down some primer, stone guard and then finishing with a top coat of 2 pak.
We've skipped the traditional headlining and gone for a marine grade carpet headliner. This might sound like its easy, but it means rubbing back all of the ceiling framework and rear hinges, priming, sanding and finishing in 2 Pak, before carefully glueing in the sections of headliner. It involves a lot of effort getting the edges tucked in and looking tidy so the paintwork really stands out. We've done this before on a few of the kombis because it gives the feeling of more headroom and doesn't suffer from an impact with a surfboard fin.
One of the things I like about the kombi business is how so many parts and fittings are traded, swapt and haggled over to eventually get your customised look. I have never seen 2 kombis the same and this will be no different! The 5 spoke empi wheels were horse-traded for a rear seat that went into the back of a splitty. A new steering wheel and some rubber seals were traded in return for some respray work, and the spotlights were swapped for an old bullbar.
The seating compliance is for a full 9 seat capacity as there is the bench seat in the front. However we opted to remove the middle bench seat to provide more room and versitility in the back. All new door rubbers and seals complete the look. A full mechanical report is available for this little gem to help take some of the worry out of the buying process. You can check out his ful bio on the Righteous Kombis Ad page:
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