Wednesday, 23 September 2009


Thanks to Australian Classic Car for this great review of How to restore Volkswagen Bus – Enthusiast's Restoration Manual by Mark Paxton.

A restoration is not for the faint-hearted – and after reading this book, it’s clear that applies doubly for the venerable VW Bus. The publication focuses purely on the VWs built between August 1967 and October 1979 – what are now called Bay versions due to the curved, single-piece front windscreen. This includes the Microbus, Camper, Kombi and Transporter. As with all publications in the Veloce ‘Enthusiast’s Restoration Manual’ series, it centres on an actual restoration. It starts with a brief history of the VW Bus before letting the reader know what to look out for when buying one. As an English publication, it focuses a lot on rust – which is less of a problem in Australia. Appropriately, the first chapter is also the largest and deals with body repairs. There is an amazing amount of rust in the example shown. However it’s comforting to know the necessary spares are available somewhere in the world – probably South America, where production continued well after 1979. There is a separate chapter on what’s called ‘Closures’, (doors, engine bay cover etc.). Next comes painting, followed by the mechanicals. The front and rear ends are treated separately and the book includes information on the brakes and how torsion bars can be replaced. There are tips on whether an original engine and gearbox should be repaired or replaced – and full repair details are provided. Towards the end, the fuel, exhaust, electrical and ignition systems are covered, as is the trim. I particularly liked the appendix on post-restoration maintenance. For anyone involved with Volkswagens, and the Bus in particular, this book is essential.

Click here for more info about the book.