1961 VW Kombi Camper

Bought the Kombi in Sydney, Australia, on my first night out of New Zealand. We were staying one night in a hotel in Kings Cross, and with a limited money supply, were looking for our next address. A Kombi seemed ideal. I phoned the Dude - one Ricardo Seligmano, and he agreed to bring it around the next morning.

I forgot to arrange any form of recognition, but the moment he walked into the lobby, I knew he was the guy. A quick demo of the VW was enough for me, and we agreed on a price. Within 24 hours we had moved into our new mobile home, and were off to explore Australia.

First job was to find a motor camp in Sydney, and clean the thing up. I also took the gas bottle off its untidy external mounting, and installed it inside the wardrobe. We didn't really need a wardrobe...

External gas version. Easy ripoff..

Bam - and the dirt is gone.! Gas bottle internalised, and the cleanup continues. Managed to find some polish and get rid of the soot from the cunningly deflected exhaust exit. Also found how to get the choke to go to the "off" position... Head for the hills...

Cleaning our first home.

Cruised around the southeast corner of Oz for some time, trying to eke out the money and avoid finding work. Idea was to head to Queensland to do that, but matters came to a head by themselves. Camped a night just north of Newcastle, which had looked very depressing on a gray rainy day. Headed north in the morning then suddenly a change of note in the engine, and considerable smoke out the back. My heart sank. Not enough money to fix it, so it looks like work in Newcastle. Turned and limped back, stopping after about 5 slow miles to check the oil level. Despite the volume of smoke, no obvious drop in the oil. Hmmm. Maybe we can limp to Brisbane.! Turned around again, and headed north. 3 days later, we made it. Found work for 3 months, which got another 1200cc engine fitted. Moved 400 miles north to Gladstone, and worked in the Power Station there. 6 months later, I bought a 1340 kit, dropped the motor, and rebuilt it in our porch.

Maintaining your VW Kombi.

Apart from routine maintenance, and another engine hatch, that was it for work on the Kombi. Must have clocked up a lot of miles in the 2 years we owned it, and enjoyed its camping abilities to the max. Especially being able to brew a coffee while caught in traffic... A very successful vehicle indeed. Sold it to another employee at the Power Station - hope he had a good time in it too.

It's really good for this..