Take a look at the extensive detail invested in this project!
- Stage 1: The original bus
- Stage 2: Roof stripping
- Stage 3: General stripping
- Stage 4: Protection
- Stage 5: Floors
- Stage 6: Door restoration
- Stage 7: Front panels & wheel arches
- Stage 8: Side panels
- Stage 9: Interior restoration
- Stage 10: Paint preparation
- Stage 11: Painting
- Stage 12: Mechanics
- Stage 13: Assembly (Video)
Stage 1: The original bus
As always we choose the best kombis for our restoration projects, paying particular attention to the chassis to make sure it isn’t twisted, and also making sure that there is minimal rust and mastic on the outside.
Stage 2: Roof stripping
With most things you have to start at the top and move down. With the kombis we work on the roof first removing all the paint and mastic to leave it smooth and ready for primer.
Stage 3: General Stripping
Once the roof is done we move on to the side panels and interior parts. Making sure to leave everything smooth. As you can see some pieces are not sanded as they will be replaced by parts that we have easy access to or that we can easily make from sheet metal.
Stage 4: Protection
After the laterals and the roof are sanded and stripped, we apply a protective coating that keeps the metal away from moisture that would rust the metal. This is left on the metal until all the bodywork is complete and the kombi is ready to enter the paint preparation phase.
Stage 5: Floors
As kombi floors are still largely in abundance we always change them. They are cut out, the news ones clamped down and then welded into place again.
Stage 6: Door Restoration
Whereas cargo doors are quite easy to come by, the front passenger and driver doors are a real chore to find. That being said the following pictures document the entire door restoration process to make sure that bring the metal back to immaculate condition.
Stage 7: Front Panels & Wheel Arches
We have also worked on the lower front panels and front panels. The front panels themselves are changed if they are beyond repair. however, the lower panels are almost always replaced with new parts because they have been smashing into cobblestone streets and fields over the last 4 decades.
Stage 8: Side Panels
Many of the side panels are beyond repair and need to be completely changed out and replaced. If not then the only thing would be to use plaster, something we NEVER do. We make sure we have a completely metal hull to work with and ensure the client gets the best quality restored bus.
Stage 9: Interior restoration
While there are a lot of new exterior pieces available, interior window frames and panels are not easy to come by and are usually taken as scraps form other buses. This part of the project generally takes a considerable amount of time to complete.
Stage 10: Paint preparation
With all the metal work finished, the bus goes to the other part of the assembly line to get ready for the painting process.Here we can see how we apply filler to the exterior of the bus and sand it down to make a smooth surface for the primer and paint layers.
Stage 11: Painting
Painting always begins on the underside. Then we work on the inside and finish on the outside.
Stage 12: Mechanics
The motor and transmission housing are sandblasted to remove decades old grime and grease. All the gears, seals and bearings are replaced and tested on our table before installation in the buses.