A VW Bay Window Story: Rust, Rehab and Restoration- “Is sander’s elbow a thing?”

“Is sander’s elbow a thing?”

The rebuild had begun.

I had lost hope and motivation many times over during the long welding process and on occasion contemplated selling up and doing away with all the stress. However, it had all been worth it. Nothing could be as difficult as endless welding…right?

I could barely deal with the excitement of refurbing and replacing major parts on the van like the axles, running gear, brake system and eventually the wheels. What had been a floating shell for a little over a year was back on the floor. It almost felt alien seeing it like this, but it felt right.With feet firmly on the ground, the van now named Maurice (or Moss for short), was ready for his beauty treatment. Oh, how young and naive I was about applying, sanding and shaping vehicle filler…

“Brilliant it’s got an awesome name…RAGE filler!” If only I knew!


I mixed it up and slapped it on in abundance. Think and fast seemed to be my approach…because how hard can it be to rub down light weight, hard setting material, right? WRONG! SO VERY WRONG!

Hours and hours spent on the smallest areas trying to level it with the panels and match in with the awesome curves of the bus. My back hurt, my shoulders hurt, my neck hurt. Worst of all though, was my elbows. Achey, creaking, sore and swollen, which is why I believe sander’s elbow is an actual injury.

Luckily, this chapter had clear targets and we knew where the end was. Along side this we decided to save a little money by spraying the inside of the bus ourselves. Now this, I knew roughly how to do due to some past experience.

We did some quick research and found the original colours used on the 1978 vehicles and scrutinised over which was the one we would use on he lower half of the van. We knew the top colour was going to be white (or L90D), but none of the original, conservative colours grabbed my attention. After a little soul searching I chose a variant of an original green and went for … Kawasaki Green. Subtle, right?!


The photo above is of a visit while it was being professionally sprayed. What this photo does not show is that I was so excited I was bleeding internally and headed to the hospital straight after.

Its a long way from the heap of rust I brought home 14 months ago…

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