The Billie Bud renovation process.

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I have a thread on earlybay.com but the image upload tool is like many at the moment. They kind of collapse and you both lose your image uploads and you can’t upload new images. So, I am putting up some of the information off the thread up on WordPress. As on other of my blogs here, I have discussed a general overview of my bus, Billie Bud. The renovation process has taken a good part of 18 months. So, I’m replicating the process the bus has gone through.

The question, all those years ago when I had to SORN the bus was……scrap?? No way on this planet. Or….Rebuild, restoration or renovation? Difficult to say really. You start off with a buy from someone who sells you a long time wished for. You pay out the price asked for, drive around in the “old girl” for 6 or so years everyday for both work and pleasure. Things go wrong with this and that and you fix it yourself or you get the local rural garage to fix the problems that arise and you get it through the MOTs. Then, there comes a time when everything just gets beyond. A sense of foreboding and a knowing that the bus is beyond the easy fix and quite a few thousand is needed to keep you and your passengers safe. The grandkids are involved by now.

Take it off the road and it sits there for years. The grandchildren love the old girl because they have spent so many special times on the beach in her. Finally, you think, Sell, scrap or the above three words. Rebuild Renovate Restore?….the 3 Rs.
My wife finds out about a guy who loves Veedubs and we get in touch. And so the story begins. He is an all round inspirational guy who is in business, and accepts the job of fixing the bus. Suddenly I realised the 3 Rs are important. His version of the 3 R’s…..Strip, Repair, Restore. Could be quick and cheap or the long haul  and ultimately safe. I needed to think about what the aim was. I want a sound bus, roadworthy but don’t want to belittle it’s history. So we talk all the options and sympathetic considerations. There are truly massive expensive choices and there are many we’ll have to hunt down….. the best options for inclusion that doesn’t cost an absolute fortune. I’m a nurse, with a salary to match !!! and a pressure job that knackers me out. I’m also 61 years old and haven’t got the energy of a young ‘un any more.

We’ll work it out as we go along I feel. Because each step is a consideration and negotiation.

I realise it would be nice to have a story board. So will upload bit by bit. A bit of information too to explain the processes. When I bought the bus it looked like the photograph above.

Stripped down after driving her about for 6 or so years it looked like this.

So, this is the start. Needless to say, the above photos were from 18 months ago. The bus? It’s virtually done now, but I’ll upload more of the progress of what went on over the past experiences during the weeks ahead.

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Author: graysummers

And so the story goes, to where? No one knows. But it involves a Volkswagen T2 Crossover Bay Bus called Billie Bud (known to most people as ‘WOW, a camper van’); a Pentax LX SLR camera loaded with black and white film; cooking vegetarian food on a basic set up of Cobb cooker, a couple of gas rings and an open fire; reading books; listening to music and the ruminations from a Staff Nurse. Well......got to fill the hours outside of your nurse job somehow.

2 thoughts on “The Billie Bud renovation process.”

  1. Fascinating Gray. Mine, Lofty, is now sitting on SORN (in fact not quite as it doesn’t need it till May). Nearing a couple of decades older than you and with serious health problems I’ve decided that I cannot justify the cost of a R of any kind. From what I see he’s in a bit better shape than Billy but I have to make a decision what to do soon.

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    1. Hi Roger. The photos are old on this one particular blog. Appreciate the fact that you have considered the R’s and the expense involved. It shows you still have your bus under your skin so to speak. Still an old friend to you. Travelled far, so get the next owner to promise Lofty will be looked after and not ripped apart for spares. My outlay? Best part of £13,000 spent up to date on Billie. But now? The bus is a whisker away from completion. The next few blogs will show the 18 month development. Like you stated previously in your blogs and replies, you have an alternative way to travel. You have the memories of Lofty deep within and they’ll be treasures forever. Good fortune Mister. Look after yourself.

      Liked by 1 person

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