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Restoration in Tasmania

Discussion in 'Resto Corner' started by Miss Evie, Jan 26, 2014.

  1. Miss Evie

    Miss Evie New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Hello Kombi Club members and Taswegian members????

    Not to sure if thats the correct terminology.

    In 2 weeks time I'm moving down to Hobart to live and to set up a new business based around photography and travel. I've been surfing the net looking for a new car to double as a work car (not 9-5 peak hour stuff), camper for both work, markets and recreation, and general work like things.I need to be able to carry the occasional passenger or 3. I know that this almost an impossibility. Initially I was looking for a T5 Multivan or Trakka van but the costs are are so high and to be honest they all look so bland. I was brought up thru my parents VW 1964 Microbus where I learnt to drive, and have subsequently owned 2 T3 Syncro's and a T5 Kombi Beach as well as a collection of V Dub toys and paraphernalia toys. I just have this thing about 'Kombi's'.

    During my searches I've come across a couple of T2 Bay campers that I think have character and I think I'd appreciate and enjoy more in owning than the modern day equivalents.

    My question.

    1. Are there people in Tassie that this group can recommend to do restoration work.
    2. Are there good air-cooled mechanic and engineers to do rebuild work.
    3. Are their members who undertake this work for a fee as their secondary profession in life or their passion. ( I'm not mechanically gifted, or 'handy' but quite prepared to be involved with 'grunt' work and being the dog's body and /or boring repetitive work (i.e. sanding etc). I'd like to be involved in the project and also to learn. I've noted and been impressed by the work of Forum members Rudi and Brad.
    4. Does anybody have any idea of the cost's I'm likely to incur on such a restoration. The vehicles I'm looking at are not 'Paddock' hulks, but tired well worn old girls that are often drivable (just) costing between to $8-$13000. They generally have rust in the usual places but not structurally affected
    5. What sort of time frame might I be looking at?

    Am I being naive and unrealistic in the fact that there will always be ongoing problems and that I'd be better to stick with modernity and swim in the same direction of all the other fishes in the deep blue sea. Or is it worthwhile and rewarding to realise a long held fantasy and appreciation of a passion that I've long held and that with due care and attention that enjoyable everyday driving and carefree operation is a distinct possibility. I'm not interested in restoring and turning up for club meets 4 times a year only (although I'd certainly enjoy turning up at these event as well to admire all thing Kombi/Microbus.

    Bit long winded I know, but it's this forum that I believe can help me make the right decision as to "yeay' or 'nay'.

    Hope to get some feedback and to continue the conversation and perhaps hopefully,down the track, some practical and material advice.

    Cheers
    Mick.
     
  2. cruzr944

    cruzr944 Member

    Messages:
    299
    Location:
    Miranda
    Hey Mick, if you watch regularly the likes of Gumtree there comes listings occasionally for campers in the $7000 onwards range , they are only listed for a day because they sell so quick, one the other day was $7500 for a stored 1976 with an auto , it looked real dry and clean , so they are about, I don't live in Tasmania but there are quite a lot of VWs listed from that area, and they seem to be in good condition, this would give rise to yes there are a lot of VW appreciators down there.
    I can also tell you that vans and campers listed in Tas are considerably cheaper by several thousand dollars as to the difficulty in transporting such vehicles back to all parts of Australia, this cost seems to be deducted of there market value to create interest. So maybe it would be in your best interest to buy in Tasmania, find a Kombi club member who might lend you some time and help look at such a vehicle,
    If you are going to own a Kombi learn about what makes them tick , or not tick.
    I will say Yeah they are unique , and so are the owners
    Glen
     
  3. Mordred

    Mordred Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,820
    Location:
    Penna, Hobart
    In my experience (bearing in mind I am talking about the Hobart area), there are no professional restorers as such down here. Some people I have talked to get the rust cut out and bits and pieces done by tradies they know. Mechanics are few and far between but Andrew Robinson in Moonah is good but busy. Leigh at Tyre Express in Harrington St is also very good. There are some guys who do engines on the Northwest Coast.

    To be brutally honest ( and I am going to get shouted down I am sure) if you need a daily driver for your business and only want one vehicle, then you may not be looking in the right direction. They are 40 years old, with checkered history of owners and mechanics chopping and changing thing as they see fit, and they have there own foibles and idiosyncrasies, and benefit greatly from a more than average mechanical knowledge. If you want to get the mechanic to do all of the work to keep it going you will be digging in your pockets often, and from a business point of view that can be a bad investment.

    Parts can be a nightmare as most of the VW suppliers will take a week to get parts down to you as there are no local suppliers and the shipping is horrendous unless they do it free.

    The bottom line is you could get away with it on the Gold coast or one of the bigger cities where you can get help from a bigger pool of support. If you are willing to have a go and learn it will make a huge difference to your maintenance costs, but if I was going to need a daily driver for my business, I would be looking for something newer and more reliable.

    An example, 2 other members have been traveling the state over Xmas. Their 10 000km (new) engine failed on the Northwest coast and last week and they are stuck in Tassie until the 16 of Feb while the only mechanic they could find with the time to do it sorts it as he is on holiday until the 6th. An extreme example but from a business point of view (especially tourist related in the peak time of year) that could be make or break. At the least a considerable dent in the profits as there would need to be a hire car used in the interim.

    I love Tassie, but there are just some things you cant do as easily or as cheaply as in the bigger centres.

    Sorry to sound depressing but you need to have all the facts when starting out.

    Adrian
     
  4. Miss Evie

    Miss Evie New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Hi Adrian

    No not depressing at all, it's the sort of advice I was looking to tease out, you make some sound and good points that I was unaware of. I hope you are not shouted down. After reading Roy's advice about the pitfalls of distant restoration work and the advantages of being present for regular inspections and updates, then Tassie indeed seems to be a trickier than expected proposition. I have less the "average mechanical knowledge" and I think that this will be a telling factor, especially in light of "there are no professional restorers as such down here". Reliability is essential.
    Cheers
    Mick.
     
  5. Miss Evie

    Miss Evie New Member

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Melbourne
    Hi Glen

    Thanks for the advice. I know that I can certainly buy a number of campers or even Kombi's for a reasonable price, but it's the restoration,engineering and maintenance to keep them up and running and reliable that is my main concern. I agree with you though, unique and to be marvelled.
    Cheers
    Mick
     

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