It’s official, we own a 1984 Volkswagen Westfalia! Wa-hoo!!!
Today the Westfalia had an appointment to get safety tested – a must for us to drive it legally. It has a few small issues (horn doesn’t work, bulb out in the rear) and one big problem – one of the ball joints is worn. For those of you who don’t know what that means (I sure didn’t!), I’ll explain the same way the handy Volkswagen-fixer guy did for us. The ball joint is like the hip joint for your vehicle. Right now, ours is a little loose. If it decides to come off completely, we’ll be driving down the road one day and the wheel will just fly right off! So yeah, pretty important thing to fix 🙂
We had told the current owners, a lovely French-Canadian couple just coming up on retirement, that our offer was conditional on the Westfalia passing the safety test. Since it didn’t pass, we had to work out a new agreement. We came up with a fair compromise – we are paying for the fixing-up, and they’re dropping the price back down to what we originally offered. So in the end, what we are paying is exactly what we were willing to pay, except now $500 of it is going towards fixing the van. We were hoping to save that $500 and be able to fix the a/c, but we may just have to live without it. I’m fine with that – I dislike a/c most of the time anyway – but I imagine there probably will be times on the trip that we’ll want it (and will curse our former selves in the cool Ontario Spring who thought a/c was unnecessary!).
I think I will be even more excited once we actually have the van in our possession. They said it will take around 3 days to get the part in for the ball joint. Once it’s all fixed up, then we’re going to go visit the current owners and get them to show us the ins and outs. It’s got character and little hidden mysteries that I’m sure we won’t discover all in one afternoon with them, but it’d be nice to have some knowledge of it to start out. For instance, the husband was describing how it took them years before they discovered where the windshield wiper fluid goes in. You have to lift up the carpet on the driver’s side and it is under the gas pedal – wouldn’t you have thought to look there?? 😉
Here’s a picture that we took today using Steve’s iPhone. I’ll have better pictures once we have it and I can get inside and show you guys around.
Apparently it’s very rare to see a two-toned Westfalia (possibly this was the only model?).
Most Westy-enthusiasts will probably cringe at the thought, but we are considering re-painting it a fun colour. It all depends on the cost. I also want to get decals or giant magnets to dress it up even more 🙂 And my mom is helping me to make new curtains for the inside, with a funky fabric of my choosing.
Any other ideas on how we could dress it up?