79 ex-tv van

Discussion in 'Show Us Your Ride' started by Rez, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. Rez


    I've been on here for a while now but haven't properly introduced myself. I've had a few VW's up to now and still have a 72 beetle. 2 years ago I did the Eireball run in that beetle and Volksworld Camper and Bus ran with the article I submitted to them. At the end of that article I mentioned I had just got a T25. Well that got plenty of use but I've move it on and FINALLY got myself a bay.

    So onto my latest purchase......
    It was bought by RTE (Irish national broadcaster) in 1979 and remained with them until 1993. It then passed through a few hands until I came across it. It's an oddball which suites me down to a tee. >:D I'm trying to find out some more about it but as far as I know it was an outside broadcast camera van. There's a hatch in the tin-top to allow filming and many little nods all around the body as to it's history. It's also got a full cutom fibreglass interior fitted back in 79. Also, ne of the rear vent slats has been cut to allow an antenna of some sort. There's 3 extra antenna mounts on the roof along with a bracket for a hella spotlamp which I also got. There's also front and rear facing fresh air scoops on the roof. At the rear there's a lock which I presume was a kill switch to the battery.
    Despite considering restoring it to it's original RTE livery I really just want this to be MY van so I'm going to customise it to suit myself with a custom camping interior etc. I won't however remove any of the original RTE parts so in a few years I can always return it to how it originally looked. As it stands, it's a blank canvas and for the remainder of this year it will probably stay as it is while I save up for a proper respray and interior. So far it has had a good mechanical overhaul and I've replaced both the engine and gearbox after the originals caused trouble. Rust wise, it has had a few panels put in but it is exceptionally solid and won't need major work anywhere.
    Anyway, enough of my chattin. Enjoy the pics.....

    A pic from my first viewing

    When I got it home

    The full fleet when I still had the T25

    Starting with a good floor to begin with

    Stuck down some 12mm ply

    Mere surface rust on the bulkheads (and mostly all round) thankfully.

    My camera hatch.

    The guy I bought it from also gave me the original tailgate. This had a hatch in it to allow for cables to be passed through. Unfortunately it looks like it's been left outside for a while and would need a fair bit of work before I could re-fit it. (This also shows that the van was red and white at some stage in its life)

    And as it currently looks.

    I took it to it's first show last Sunday.
    ket.com/albums/ww290/kevreadedj/My%2079%20bay/P1090906.jpg" />
    Obvious changes are proper van tyres, painted rims, VW badge added, clear lenses, painted bumpers and grill and my barely finished rock and roll bed. I picked up a rotten frame. Replaced the wood, sanded down and painted the frame/hinges and cleaned the foam in my bath tub...... took bloody AGES to dry!
    I picked up some chequered flooring and was about to fit it until I came across a roll of artificial grass. I hate the green paint but as I can't hide it I may as well just go with it until I change the colour. Chequers are on hold for now. I was delighted to have some sort of interior to sit on during the showers at the show.

    I've been in contact with RTE to try and find out more info on my van but so far they haven't found anything. However, they did find it's sister van. This van looked identical to mine when it was new despite the camera hatch. I'm still hoping to find some info on my own


    So that's me for now. I've just started so I'll try to update this as I go along. Hope you like.
  2. Hiya - interesting bus that one. Im guessing the fibreglass walls should allow you to get that cosy and warm inside as a camper!
  3. Hello & welcome. Cool camper and great pics 8)
  4. nice to see the vans used for different things ,karma for posting.. O0
  5. awsome van mate :)

    welcome to the site
  6. jivedubbin

    jivedubbin Moderator

    great bit of history , keep up the good work
  7. love the van - and your avatar (vinyl inner) is one of my tattoos!
  8. Cool Van dude, couldn't help spotting your R&R bed is covered in the same pattern we bought for our interior panels a couple of weeks back...

    Lovin the pics & history!

  9. Rez


  10. Rez


  11. Nice van with a really unusual use! Welcome along :)
  13. Great bus - love the odd-ball finds !!!!!
  14. I really enjoyed the article in the mag

    But wow i love your bus even more please dont paint it
  15. Top story, love the van 8)
  16. Rez


    I finally uploaded all my pics from my phone. The following is just a sample of the last few months.

    After the original engine gave me trouble while visiting friends I borrowed one to get me home. When I got home I removed the engine from my T25 and got it ready to fit into the bay. Here's both engines side by side. v v v v v v v

    That engine stayed in for a few months but after gearbox trouble out it came again v v v v v v v

    As did the gearbox v v v v v v v

    The replacement box was from a different year so the bellhousings had to be changed v v v v v v v

    When you don't have every tool at your disposal you make do with what you have :) v v v v v v

    Got myself an early badge by as of yet I'm too much of a pussy to drill the body v v v v v v v

    As seen in other pics I decided to lift the appearance of the van so removed the bumpers and grill and painted them white. v v v v v v


    Got a set of second hand sun visors as mine were broken and these cleaned up nicely before fitting v v v v v v

    I turned my attention to the interior and stripped down a rock and roll bed I bought second hand. Sprayed up the hinges and replaced the wood. I'm annoyed I didn't use heavier wood now so may change this when I build the rest of the interior v v v v v

    And as the interior looks today v v v v v

    Completely surprised the mother one weekend I called up home when I asked to borrow the sewing machine. I fitted rails and then learned to sew. Even added the lining myself!!

    And finally, a pic I took yesterday using makeshift ramps to get under it while I replaced a missing section of heater pipe.
    Note my new mirrors which I received as a gift a few days ago. v v v v v

    Thanks! :)
  17. Nice unusual bus
    I was gonna ask about that ugly mirror that was on it before
  18. cooool,
    can't wait to see the Bay DJ poking through the roof.
    O0 O0 O0
  19. Rez


    I'm on hols for a couple of days before the Eireball (www.eireball.com) starts so I was able to spend a full day on the van today. Just back in the house with a cold beer and uploading pics of my progress over the past few weeks.

    Recently, just before a festival I filled my tank for the first time fully. I noticed that there was a strong smell of petrol after I had been going around corners. One quick call to a mate and it seemed as though my breather pipe had split perhaps.
    I popped the engine out onto the floor and removed the firewall to reveal a pipe had come away altogether...


    So I replaced all fuel pipes around the tank and assessed the larger filler pipe whick seemed to be ok. However, the rubber on filler cap itself had perished and I was also leaking fuel this way. A visit to a local vw spares shop sorted this with a new shiny one.....

    Old v v v v


    New v v v v


    While at the festival some of the old bed frame gave way
    (no, we weren't up to anything............at the time >:D)
    I decided to re-do the lot while I was at it.

    Made a new rock and roll frame v v v

    Seat and back for the bed v v v v

    All fitted together and in the van now. I dug through my record collection and covered the kick panel with some crap vinyl v v v v


    I then went about making some storage. v v v v



    My wipers needed attention as they would only work whenever they felt like it. I did the whole 4 hour trip back from the same festival without them!!
    It actually looked ok externally.

    However, when I removed the cover, the magnets were all cracked. Then I accidentally snapped the circuit board which the brushes sit on :mad:. I sourced a EarIy Bay motor and last night I attempted to combine early to late wiring. They are completely different! The Early motor is bigger which I was surprised at.
    Wipers are now working with both speeds accounted for!

    So my work today......
    I bought black/white checkers ages ago but wanted to wait until I had a bit of an interior before fitting it. Finished painting the top of the box and then covered the sides in vinyl again
    Fitted all this, this afternoon.

    And finally how it looks this evening. v v v v

    It's far from perfect but I'm quite chuffed with the result after never done any sort of woodwork before and with only basic hand tools at my disposal.

    Roll on Eireball! :)
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
  20. I've just read the whole thread and really enjoyed it. Tis great! ;)

Share This Page