Gday Al.Few `vans get restored/rebuilt to such a high standard as yours.Its been a real treat watching the progress & the ways you overcame certain tricky bits.I hope you get as much joy towing the Walsh as we`ve all had watching its "makeover". gordo
Queenstown Tasmania. 1948/52 Mercury Teardrop. 1959 Phase III Vanguard Vignale.
Congratulations Al on a job that at times you probably thought would never get finished. You have overcome health issues and problems in the rebuild itself, that would be a challenge to anybody. Now go and enjoy the praise you so richly deserve. More importantly, go out and enjoy the van, knowing it's going to last another 50 years without any problems.
I would just like to comment on your calico sticking tests you did. It's a bit of chalk and cheese comparison, as you are using totally different methods of adhering the calico. As some people already know, I am not a fan of attaching calico to a primer/sealer/undercoat, as to my mind, its (the PSU) job is to seal the subsurface so that the topcoat on which I attached the calico does the job of absorbing only into the calico. To work effectively, the calico needs to be totally soaked in that initial application. But the final coats on top of the calico also perform an important role of filling in what the underneath topcoat didn't quite get, and then finally acting as the sealer against the elements. The end result is a sandwich effect of topcoat sitting on the PSU, calico and then 3-4 topcoats This method has been used on caravans going back to the fifties, as you know, and the calico on the Rowvan I had, only started to peel when it was almost 60 years old and mostly because it was sitting in a closed garage for at least half that time, with the South Australian heat beating onto a hot tin roof less that a foot away.
Not saying you shouldn't have used the the Gripcrete. Just saying that the old method works extremely well and that the "rippability" test is not really a true measure, as the old method also uses the topcoat as part of the adhesion process. Would hate for people to think the old method is no good.
I feel as if I've come to the end of a favourite book - the well loved character succeeds against all odds. Very satisfying! But, it also makes you a bit anxious. After all, how long until the author puts out another tale to fill the gap?
Your work is to an exceptional standard - and you very generously documented it all for the rest of us to follow. I'm impressed with your ingenuity and frankly your straight pig-headedness (is that a term?) - five years! Now that is a commitment.
As others have said, now is the time to get out and enjoy it. I hope the next books is about our hero chasing the sunsets.
Well deserved congratulations to you, Seeshell
The Blue Flyer - 1951 Homemade Bondwood
Chryssi - 1966 VC Valiant Safari
The Seeshell - 1969 Olympic Riviera (deceased)
Congratulations on a superb job, such a lot done since I saw it first hand a while ago. I'm sure you are sick of it even if you were enjoying it, and everyone on the Forum must have learnt something along the way. I was that sick of mine I never touched it for 9 months after Broken Hill and I had nothing to do compared to your efforts. I'm sure you have one of those little automatic tea makers installed there somewhere next to the bed that will pop out and reward you for your efforts each morning when you are out enjoying it.
Now, what sort of a period tow car should we be looking for you to tow it with?? I can put you onto a couple of good Vauxhalls that would manage it no trouble at all!!
Well Done Al! Just wondering what we are going to read now that your resto is done? It has been a great resto thread and you have inspired me to get the Jenno finished and start on the next one!! No doubt we will see more pics as you enjoy the fruits of your labour!!! Cheers Andrew
Post by sportsman 1 on Jul 7, 2015 10:31:53 GMT 10
A big well done from me also mate. Truly a credit to you for not only sticking at the project but overcoming all the little things that crop up along the way.
Now that it is finished I suppose the local op shops are going to close down, if you dont have another project to do you wont be spending all your time (and money) buying stuff to recycle into caravan bits!
I am not going to give you a 10/10, it deserves at least a 15!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now just get out and use and enjoy it, it is the whole purpose of it being in existance.
G'day All, and greetings from Katoomba, NSW, where I've been testing the van for the last four days.
Katoomba is a place for spectacular scenery...
...and is also a place where the tourist dollar is relentlessly sucked out of your pocket...
At this time of the year, it is also the place where puddles of water freeze overnight...
...or you might even cop a light dusting of snow...
Apart from breaking the brake cable on the way up (after one of the screw fittings came undone and the cable got caught under the wheel), the van has performed exceptionally well in the rain, wind, and snow that we've been copping over the four days. Thank goodness I put the insulation in the van because that has made it considerably more comfortable inside when it's freezing outside. The other good thing is that I haven't noticed any leaks anywhere, which is also good news for me. All-in-all so far, I'm very, very happy with how the van is performing.
Last Edit: May 31, 2019 21:32:57 GMT 10 by Franklin1
A few more photos that were taken after I woke up this morning...
Those of you who attended the "Xmas in July" event a number of years ago here at Katoomba caravan park, might remember the layout of the park. This photo was taken from the camp kitchen looking back towards the amenities block...
I'm kinda glad I didn't have a canvas awning ready for this trip with the van...
(...no, it didn't collapse. The fella let that end down to get the snow off. But, look at how much snow had built up!)
This last photo might be on the short list for my Christmas cards this year...
It's all f-f-fun in K-k-katoomba!
Last Edit: May 31, 2019 21:36:10 GMT 10 by Franklin1
Post by shesgotthelook on Jul 17, 2015 17:04:19 GMT 10
I really don't know what to say except for 'oh my' & 'oh gosh'. You certainly picked an interesting weather pattern for your maiden voyage! Hope you have a decent heater in there. Did the car start in the morning? We've had trouble with the farm diesel on frosty mornings & the vehicles conking out 50 mtrs down the track, but not nearly as cold as where you are. If Al can do it we should all be able to do it
Did the car start in the morning? We've had trouble with the farm diesel on frosty mornings...
My car runs on unleaded, and I haven't had any problems, but I have heard people talking about the need to use alpine diesel (or 'mountain diesel') for diesel engines in cold regions. I also have a little ceramic heater in the van, which only needs to run for half an hour to make the van nice and comfy.
Hi Al. I had to sign up on the VV forum just to say thank you for this thread.
I followed your Millard resto on the CC forum and absolutely loved every post. Not to mention the invaluable information.
As someone else said, it's like coming to the end of a good book. I'm absolutely rapt for you, but sad it's over. I've loved checking in every few weeks for a progress update.
Every detail with a well worded step by step process and a ton of pics. I love your willingness to restore a part most people would toss away. Collecting stuff from hard rubbish and op shops knowing you'll find a use for it. Usually by thinking outside the box. Coming up with ways to work with the tools on hand and mastering new tools, like a sewing machine!
A true craftsman.
Enjoy the spoils of your hard work and safe travels.
I've done a minor upgrade on the van, and built a home-made detachable light board for the rear of the van. I've always been nervous about the single stop/tail light on the rear of the van giving sufficient warning to vehicles behind.
The light board was made out of leftover bits of timber in the garage...
[Edit: ...and would you believe the number plate showing on the van was stolen from the van one night, a few months after this photo was taken? My neighbour also lost the plate off his box trailer in his backyard, around the same time. Seems somebody needed some plates for their lawless activities.]
The lights are a slim-line LED fitting, marketed as a "dog bone" light, and are available from Led Autolamps here...
The vinyl lettering cost me $24 posted, and was purchased on-line from Letter Stickers here...
The extra lights will hopefully give me a bit more protection against people who are distracted by their mobile phones, etc.
Last Edit: May 31, 2019 21:39:43 GMT 10 by Franklin1
Great Idea ! I often see tiny lights on trailers and Vans and think they really need to be bigger. Got a mate with an old Austin and he attaches a flashing red Pushbike light to his bumper when he travels on freeways etc. He said that now hes done that poeple have stopped flying up behind him and seem to give him a wider berth as the old Austin cant keep up with todays traffic