Member Profile for John Wierenga
Vehicle: 1976 VW Microbus
1. I acquired my VW 1976 tin-top Kombi bus on the last day of 2013. The 8 seater bus was imported from South Africa in the late 70’s and (according to the Carjam report) it seems to have had a long string of South Island owners. I bought the bus over the internet after viewing about a hundred photos and then drove it up from Kaikoura to Picton and sailed on the evening ferry to Wellington on New Year’s Eve. It has a 2L engine and it seems to run nicely and strongly. After a bit of a scrub-up and some WD40 it appears to be surprisingly rust free, but it was due for a panel and paint job.
2. I’ve owned three VW Kombis at various times back in the 70’s and 80, and recently after a 23 year break, I received ‘THE CALL’ to buy another one. My new Kombi happens to be very similar to the two previous white/red late bay buses I’ve owned in the past. Despite looking a bit tired it also seemed remarkably close to ‘original’ (although except for bull bars) when I found it on the internet and the 2L engine was the deal breaker for me.
3. When I was a university student in Auckland in the 1970’s a flatmate bought a rusty old late 50’s splittie bus. I was amazed that he had the motor out of it and onto the driveway in no time at all using minimal tools and a few planks of wood.
4. I’ve yet to name my bus
5. Work to date after acquiring it only three months ago has been limited to fixing a few minor mechanical and electrical issues (clutch and spark plugs)
6. Immediate plans are to tidy it up, both exterior and interior, and carry out a few mechanical repairs and upgrades (e.g. fit new brake rotors, shocks, electronic ignition etc). A panel and paint and job in the original colours is currently in progress. I’d like to keep the exterior as close to original as possible so I’ve found the correct codes for the red and white colours. I’ve been buying various parts including all new door, window and body rubbers and seals from various suppliers both in Australia and USA. I’ve found some original front seats in Australia which cost an arm and a leg to ship over here and which still need to be re-upholstered. The bus should work out be a nice restoration project/money sinkhole.