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The VW Panel Makes Its Debut
Old 05-30-2008, 07:03 AM
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Default The VW Panel Makes Its Debut

Finally, after 8 years of waiting and 12 months of stops and starts, our '67 VW Panel made it's debut on the Aussie VW scene.
I'd always intended on taking it to the Aussie Nationals and fortunately they were moved from the Easter weekend to May 24th - 25th.
We began the weekend driving up to Sydney on Saturday afternoon with members of Club Vee Dub's Canberra Chapter and met them at McDonalds in Goulburn not far from where we live.
Here's our panel with some of the other VWs when we met up:

We soon were headed out onto the freeway for the 200km (120 mile) trip.
Here's a pic of it.

Here's yours truly behind the wheel:

Our boys were piled in the backseat and soon lost the battle with their fatigue.

As you can see from the pics the Panel now has middle and back seats, seating 9 all up and the back 3 have child points right along the back shelf near the hatch.
Basically, it's a sensible safe family car and just as well!
We motored along ok but one Bus in particular was really lagging.
A fellow who runs a VW specialist in Canberra was carrying heaps of stuff, including a stack of iceboxes on the roof rack, in his dual cab VW pickup and the 1600cc motor just could not push it along as fast as the rest of us wanted to go, especially up some of the hills so we pushed on ahead.
However all of the group arrived at their hotel on Sydney's outskirts.
But we had another errand and were staying with my family elsewhere so we said goodbye and headed into Sydney's west to meet up with a huge crowd of about 30 VWs at the McDonalds on the M4 motorway at Eastern Creek and then cruise all the way out to Penrith where we would visit Monster Garage who specialise in hot rodding and restoring VWs.
Here are a couple of poor shots at McDonalds on the M4.
I might add that both staff and patrons of Maccas did not look impressed as none of the VW mob were buying food there!

More VWs joined the group at Monster Garage where we got to view owner Damien's latest projects.
And finally it was off to Dinos Pizza in Glenmore Park about 10 mins drive away for our meal.
The pizza was great but the logistics were not well thought out.
It took an hour for us to get our pizza and it would've been better if Dino had organised to get pre-orders while we were at Monster garage.
But the meet was well worth it.
I got to hook up with some guys I'd met on forums but had never spoken to in person and my boys just about blew a fuse when they saw all the VWs as well as running around and having fun.
It's the first year the Pizza Cruise has happened but I foresee it becoming a regular event and we'll certainly be there!
The funniest element of the night though was the Police VW Transporter parked just around the corner.
My wife found it.....clearly they didn't want to mix with us!

Sunday dawned bright and warm and although we didn't arrive out there as quickly as possible we were still in time for the close of judging at 11am.
The only reason I entered at all was to ensure I could park inside with some of the other VW Buses but there was no threat of us ever winning any of the Show & Shine sections.
My bus needs touch ups all over and it was also VERY grubby.
Thankfully the windows were clean but as I looked at other people getting out and polishing road grime acquired on the drive there from their shiny vehicles I couldn't help but laugh half out of amusement and half out of embarassment that we were probably the dirtiest car entered!
Here we are waiting for judging....

Unsurprisingly we scored nothing but we did get to park amongst other Buses as the following pic shows:

And small wonder we scored nothing, especially when there were some amazing examples like this completely original restored '67 Camper:

Here's an example of a primered old-school look applied to a VW Bus:

And this bus, belonging to a mate known as Warby, was originally used as a place to sit at a glider club out in the country.
The engine was long gone after it had caught fire but there were seats in it and members would tow it around to different parts of the airfield to sit in it on flying days.
Warby bought it and sandblasted the back to check for fire induced metal fatigue.
Fortunately there was none so he altered as little as possible, fixed the rust, made it stop, go and turn and put it back on the road.
It is the embodiment of the rat look......low and like it was pulled out of a rubbish dump!

But the biggest optimist there was an individual selling this......relic:

Note the price......
I asked him if the trailer came with it for that price........he said no.
I don't think he got the joke!
Well, there were many Beetles, Type IIIs, Karmann Ghias and other rare birds as well as numerous watercooled VWs but I haven't got pics of them.
This pic below shows the size of the event and the carpark outside was quite full of VWs too.

My day was mostly spent accepting compliments, chatting with people interested in buying early Buses and catching up with friends and acquaitances.
It was a positive day although I think I'll enjoy next year more.
There are little things to add and stuff to clear up with our bus and when those are done I'll feel comfortable.
I also won't have the weight of the first show upon me.
The drive home was actually very good.
My wife Catriona drove about half of it and we were both tired but I've worked out how to operate the heater and the chill of the outside air made no intrusion into the cab of the Panel apart from a couple of little leaks that were easily ignored.
Instead we were snug and warm and I don't think the heater conduit needs more insulation.
And who knows.......next show I may have TWO VWs to take.
But that's another story.
Cheers & God Bless
22lr ~ 22 Hornet ~ 25-20 ~ 303/25 ~ 7mm-08 ~ 303 British ~ 310 Cadet ~ 9.3x62 ~ 450/400 N.E. 3"

Last edited by kombi1976; 05-30-2008 at 07:20 AM..
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