David Gleeson……… Ever met someone you just liked from the first time you met them, well this guy was one for me. I met David at the VW Nationals this year, 2003, and he bought some goodies from us to lower his bus. Later this year, he emailed and asked if he could call back into the shop on his way to Nambucca Heads for the VW Spectacular to have the rest of the lowering completed. He and his Brother called in for a laugh, a couple of cups of coffee, and another laugh, so much for getting a days work completed that day. But it was worth it, I enjoyed their visit, and live for the day, that all my customers enjoy their lives like David Gleeson. I asked David to send me a story on his bus, as this Red Special is Not his daily driver, this is his fun bus. So while we are waiting, I figured I’d show you the bus anyway, and lets just see how long it takes this good humoured Ozzie to come up with a story.
Well, as fate would have it, it didn’t take long before Dave turned up with his very own version of the story. Read On..
Kimm, here is a bit of a story and some of it might be nearly true.
This bus was first owned by the N.S.W. prison service as a supply vehicle.
It was sold to a lady who moved to Melbourne and kept it until 2002. A mate
of mine was in Aus from Germany and wanted to travel around the country in
something reliable. My mechanic who looks after my T3 usually had a camper
somewhere in his network for sale, but as it happens he didn't on this day.
He did however have the red panel. My mate Jonathan bought it registerd in
my name to make it easy for me to sell it once he had returned to Germany.
He travelled from Melb to Pt Augusta up through the red centre and over to
Cairns, down the coast and back to Melbourne. I think he took about 8 weeks
for the trip. The van had a few mechanical hiccups on route but nothing
serious. And any one will tell you that the way to meet a genuine person in
any town is to "pop' into the local VW mechanic.
When Jonathan got back to Melbourne he went through hell and high water
enquiring how to get the van back to Germany! In the end he decided to leave
it with me to sell, which I intended to do and forward the money on to him.
I didn't even get around to advertising it, I was driving it occasionally to
do the shopping and things but every time I got out of it a little bit of me
stayed in the driver's seat. So I sent him the same amount that he paid for
it and it was now mine.
Next thing I know and I have driven it it the VW Nationals in 2003, and we
had a swap meet stall a couple up from the Indian Auto guys. I had seen the
Low twin cab before and wondered what a low red van would look like. Next
thing there is an adjustable front beam in the rear and on it's way to
My first thought was that I would get it fitted to level out the front
because the rear was a little old and saggy. It never occurred to me to fix
the rear and raise (shudder) the whole bus.
Now the genie was out of the bottle. I am old enought to remember when low
slung high gloss 1950s cars (usually American) were all the rage. Well I
decided here was my chance to have a go at doing something similar.
Again, next thing you know the bus is stripped of everything and at the
painters. I said I would like it a similar colour to original but a bit
brighter would be OK. He did good I reckon. I had the seats re-upholstered.
Somehow all the bits I took off ended up at the re-chromers..I think
elvis is alive and well inside me somewhere. After i put it all back
together again it was off to Indian I n Sydney to get the rear end cut and
I have also always like the way the older VWs were fitted with their ornate
accessories. The fact that a lot of them were stainless steel and shiny
also helped. (Elvis again) So my mission for the last year or so has been to
fit as many as possible. I have managed to get a set of deluxe belt line
trim which I will fit soon.
The motor has just been reconditioned and now I am looking down the barrel
of not having any more things to do to it. Just drive it and have fun..easy
This project has gone a bit over budget but it has been the most enjoyable
thing I have ever done with a car. I feel like a million $$$ every time I
drive it. I have had blokes in cars with monster motors stop and ask me
about it and I never go any where without some one asking me bout it or
complimenting me on it..All of this is a complete surprise to me. But it
increases the fun factor heaps.
So there you go Kimm that is the story...so far..Haha.
Keep on Kruisin....David
P.S.the spot light on the pillar is my tribute to the hot rodders.