Bare shell restoration

Discussion in 'Buying a VW Camper' started by rustbucket, Jun 11, 2016.

  1. firstly hello everyone. I've decided that my mid life crisis is going to be the bus I've always wanted since spending many happy days in friends campers in the early 90's.

    My knowledge of them consists of me sometimes knowing a few of the colours I like them in. And that's it. I have no motor vehicle knowledge at all. So in order to avoid buying a total lemon I decided to use the old interweb for a year or so and gain as much as I can before shelling out.

    I've read the look underneath advice on here and a few of the resto threads and cried myself to sleep at night. I'm going to get my pants pulled down aren't I!

    Thing is there just seems to be such a huge difference in prices. I see buses that to me don't look all that for over 20k and then others that don't seem trashed for 6k. So I'm stumped. Should I only be looking at vans that have had a bare metal resto. Is some welding exceptable? Is a shell resto just that or would you expect the chassis to be done as well during that process. I don't want a free flintstone powered bus.

    For example there is a dealer selling a green 30k bus on eBay at the moment. It's says its had a resto but even to my untrained eye I can see a bloody great hole in the floor and also a totally rusted piece which I assume is the rail???

    Am I doomed to fail and should I just get a T5 even though they do nothing for me.

    Thanks for any advice given.
  2. I would first of all either hire one for a weekend and check it out all over and see how they drive.

    They are quirky to drive and you may prefer modern, with rack/power steering and abs brakes.

    Maybe find someone near you who has one and ask them to show you around the vehicle.

    Another good way is to go to a few vw camper events and see and ask lots of questions. At an event you would see lots of vans, splitties, bays, t25's, T4's. T5's.

    You would be wise to hold back buying until you know what you want and know enough to be able to judge a good one, not easy.

    Too easy to get carried away with a dream and end up going bankrupt.

    Do take your time and do the leg work before spending your money.

    Looking on the internet, ebay etc. is not the way to learn about the vans. You must get up close to them.

    Where are you located? Maybe some folks on here would be able to give you a demo.
  3. Thanks for taking the time to reply and not starting off with numpty boy.

    I'm pretty settled on a t2 as I used to drive my mates quite a bit years ago. And I drive a van all day so I'm used to the size etc.

    I was really just looking at eBay and auto trader for a general price guide and that's where the confusion set in!!!

    I have no love of T5s. I don't even want one. But I don't want to give some toerag all my money for a duffer either. So a T5 seemed a safer and more uninteresting bet.

    I was just a bit shocked to see rusty bits on a 30k bus underneath as I don't have anywhere near that sort of money so what the hell am I gonna get for 8-10k??

    I fix boilers for a living so I know my way round a spanner but it seems a huge jump to repairing a pile of poo.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 11, 2016
  4. We are a helpful forum. Have a look at this on ebay, the guy has obviously bought a rot bus and spent a small fortune on it but probably run out of money and now selling it at a high price to try to get his money back.

    This should be a warning to you.

    Restoration is a costly business and you must know what you are doing.

    Anyway, hope it helps.
  5. Run away!!!!!

    Would anyone pay that for a project bus? If so I'm screwed cos I want a fairly solid one for that.
  6. Its good you know you want a T2 and you have a budget up to £10,000, so far so good.

    Do you want a camper? rhd? or a tintop like mine?

    I paid £10,000 for mine, rhd, bodywork and paint all done, rebuilt engine, birch ply interior. About its money. Spent a further £1500 in the 2 years of ownership on maintenance and improvements and new tyres.

    I reckon you should be able to get a solid usable van for your budget.

    Maybe best not to get a rock bottom price rust bucket, you will lose a lot of money on it and bear in mind if its off the road being restored, you would not be out having fun in it.

    I am out now. Good luck with your search.
  7. I disagree 10 k won't get you much these days especially this time of year ....the one in the eBay ad was a van and it's had the Windows put in . Not ideal can get a US import that would likely but not always be more solid than a UK bus but it would be LHD cheaper but with work needed like all new rubbers and paint ....different conversions go for different money i.e westfalia generally are more ...there was a stonking bus for sale by rich Oakley I think for £19 k. The vw resto companies like G day kombies and vw down under charge like 30 k +
  8. Whereabouts are you?
  9. There are chancers selling shiney busses who know that anyone paying £30k is doing so because they know nothing about vehicles and assume they can bypass trouble if they spend enough.

    There are also buses that might even be worth that.

    You could say that about any price level. Fortune favours those who do their homework. Read some resto threads, pay attention to how good some of them look before work starts.
    mgbman likes this.
  10. Flakey

    Flakey Sponsor

    Where are you ?
    Buy mine for £14k and be prepared to spend £500 a year on it for as long as you keep it , or there's a nice green one for sale on here for £22.5k :thumbsup:
  11. davidoft

    davidoft Sponsor

  12. I do love a nice tin top, I have one.
  13. I just bought one and got away with it....:p

    i hate my T25 , but it gets me where I want to go ,I am sure if a nice t2 comes along I will sell it quicktime...:hattip:
  14. Patience is key.. how do I know, I had none!

    Three years later I'm still working on my T2, one day she might leave the shed.

    Don't get me wrong, I wanted a project bus and at £800 ish I sure got one :rolleyes:.

    Resto skills are much easier to to pick up than to loose
  15. Resto skills are much easier to to pick up than to loose

    Very much like the women I used to meet at ritzies in Dunstable
    Colek likes this.

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