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The Historical Record
This is the historical record of ole' blue. Every photo of our restoration is here! Click on an image to open that album, click on each photo in the album to go full screen.

Journey to Gainesville
Journey to Gainesville  |  Total images: 37
How the bus made if from 20 years of storage in Tallahassee to Gainesville.
Stripping and Cleaning the Bus
Stripping and Cleaning the Bus  |  Total images: 133
While the bus looked great for its age, it had been repainted and the interior replaced many years ago. Some rust is coming through around the seals and on the floor too so we decided a full restoration was the thing to do. - the blue was pretty ugly too so its going back to its original Seablau shade.
Stripping the paint
Stripping the paint  |  Total images: 56
Mark decides to go to town with the grinder and discovers some rust and swiss cheese! After closer inspection he sees the poor quality repaint from the last restoration just isnt sticking to the original paint below it. So he decides theres no going back and busts out the paint stripper.
Dean and Mark come to town
Dean and Mark come to town  |  Total images: 52
Dean and I headed to Gainesville for another weekend of fun working on the bus. Dean doesnt mind getting dirty- obviously, and took on the ultra clean job of sanding the exterior of the bus. After his shirt turned rust colored orange Mark put him on stripping the engine compartment detail... He didnt have an easy weekend to say the least! I stripped a lot of paint too, and also the left-over headliner glue from the previous restoration job. Mark had a good time with the sand blaster on the heavy rust... He did a great job covering us all with sand while at it! He also managed to get the stuck steering wheel off which was no easy task. The beers' in the a couple pictures Dean actually brewed up himself, and damn were they amazing! Free labor AND brings beer??!?!
The DeLorian
The DeLorian  |  Total images: 15
Mark continues sanding and prepping for paint. Ole' blue is looking more and more like a DeLorian!
Prepping for primer!
Prepping for primer!  |  Total images: 42
The project took another major turn as I left for home with most of the exterior and much of the interior primered with sweet PPG DP50LF epoxy primer. We spent most of the days working with just a wire wheel, the DA sander, navel jelly and a lot of good-ole hand sanding. On the last day we wheeled it out and took it to the booth down the street to get the primer shot. They grey primer looks so damn good on there! Now to start on the body work....
Moving the Shop
Moving the Shop  |  Total images: 32
We needed some more space so Mark found a sweet new place to work on the buses. Wasnt easy moving but we got it done in a long day.
Chasing Rust
Chasing Rust  |  Total images: 52
Mark started cutting into the bus, finding a bit more rust than expected but nothing that couldnt be fixed!
Cutting more metal
Cutting more metal  |  Total images: 63
Mark starts to cut out the rusted areas around the cargo doors. The Funky Green Panels are so good we decide to cut and replace more metal than expected.
Replacing Some Metal!!
Replacing Some Metal!!  |  Total images: 90
Mark and Mark got to spend a good week working on Ole Blue. We drove, yes, WE both drove Marks' awesome 1966 Deluxe Bus everyday for the 30 minute drive out to the shop. I had never driven the bus more than around the block so I think both Marks were equally nervous! The first day was slowed by some guy named Jack Daniels the night before but we still made good headway. We rigged a great exhaust system in the loft to suck out all the hot air, that plus the little A/C and we were pretty comfortable I would say. Mark worked on cutting out the old rusted metal and bustin out all the old welds holding things together.. this by the way is quite loud... damn! Once that was done everything underneath was wire wheeled and Ospho'd, then the new green pieces were clamped in place. With a bit of snugging up here and there they lined up almost perfect! We then drilled a few holes and Mark started the first plug welds to secure the new metal. For a couple days I concentrated on finishing all the doors, lots of wire wheel, the DA and some sandpaper. Towards the end of my visit we hung the doors and then cut the bottom of the right cargo door off to began replacing the rusted areas. We were able to preserve one of the orginal door-pin guides, Mark fabricated the other and tacked it in. Speaking of tacking, Mark was having a problem with the migs wire feed which I could tell was frustrating and slowing him down. He eventually got it sorted out after I left as you can see by the last few pictures, I mean how sweet does that all look? Check out how it all lines up! The door pins are now nicely built up too. Crazy how much the orginals wore down. A great week for sure!
Bondo!
Bondo!  |  Total images: 20
I made another trip to Florida and got spend a good 4 days at the shop continuing the project. I got to try my first crack at body filler which is a lot harder than it looks I learned. The crap dries really fast so you have to be quick with the spreader then spend a long time sanding it back down smooth. I thought big flat surfaces would be easy but turns they are really hard to get perfect. Knowing we had cut the bottom of the door off and welded on a new piece, plus all the new metal Mark welded in underneath, it was amazing to see the door come to a solid almost smooth surface again. Little more work and they’ll be perfect. So While I did the bondo, Mark continued with metal work. We found a lot of rust under the drivers side floor area and since we had the replacement floor piece, Mark cut it out. You can see much of the corner below the bottom hinge had to be cut out and replaced. Little plates had to be fabricated and fitted which was cool to see Mark do. Little tiny lips or bends that most people wouldn’t care about he perfectly recreated and welded in place. I kinda liked the Fred Flintstone look though! The only bummer of the week was its way hotter than any other time we’ve been out there. We would have had 5 days but the last was just toooo hot. We just stood still and sweated so we called it a day, went home and drank some Jack. Hehe
More Metal!
More Metal!  |  Total images: 42
After watching some serious Metal in Miami at the Iron Maiden concert Mark and Mark headed back to Gainesville to put 3 days in at the shop. By the time I left we were almost ready to weld in the belly pans! Check out the sweet cuts Mark made on the driver panel. What was once rusty powder is now strong as new as the new svelt Mark tested by jumping up and down on the floor- lightly.
13- Wheel Wells Belly Pans
13- Wheel Wells Belly Pans  |  Total images: 54
Mark had been going to town the past couple months with the welder replacing metal while I was back home twiddling my thumbs making this photo album of his work...needless to say it was good to get back and help out with the project. I flew in on the red-eye from LAX which was painful since I couldnt sleep. The airport is close to the shop so we just went straight to work... with the help of some Redbulls of course. Mark tried to finish up the last of the metal work but a component went bad on his Mig, I cant remember what the part is called but it's made in Italy and is the same part that's apparently needed for tanning beds, go figure. Meanwhile I got a lot of grunt work in which was fun, dirty, and a little dangerous all at the same time. The belly pans and wheel wells were still rough and needed to have the paint removed to get at the little bits of surface rust. The wire wheel and angle grinder were the tools of the week, I think I cleaned out Harbor Freight of all their wire wheels. I must say laying on your back with the grinder 2 inches from your nose is...different. It's a little scary since it doesnt have a trigger, its just on or off so if it kicks, dont drop it on yourself! Well after the welder broke we both focused on getting really dirty while making the bus shiny. Finally after 4 days we had 3 wheel wells and all the belly pans ready to go to get primer... OOOooh yeah, Mark bought a sweet truck while I was there which is awesome! We needed something to get the bus to the paint shop with so he decided to just buy a truck. heheh well that and the trusty old Champagne colored Camry was no longer the Champagne of cars when the AC finally quit. I had to leave but Mark took some pics and said the primer looks sweeeeet!! Oh on a fascinating but a little gross side of things there's a few pictures of me close up REALLY dirty, click the last one. That orange liquid on my face is rusty sweat. ewwww!!!
14- Sure_is_pretty_down_there
14- Sure_is_pretty_down_there  |  Total images: 102
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15- Body Filler
15- Body Filler  |  Total images: 24
Starting to learn that sanding body filler isnt fun.
16- Safari Windows
16- Safari Windows  |  Total images: 5
Took a break from sanding.. oh wait no we didn't. ahem, inbetween sanding we got the safaris sorted out.
17- Making it smooth
17- Making it smooth  |  Total images: 30
Ok sanding sucks.
18- Slick Sand and Grease
18- Slick Sand and Grease  |  Total images: 71
Sanding is rewarding!!!
19- Seventy Three Black Parts
19- Seventy Three Black Parts  |  Total images: 59
Took another break from sanding to paint a boat load of parts!
19a - And the Tranny
19a - And the Tranny  |  Total images: 15
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20 - Sanding
20 - Sanding  |  Total images: 76
Back to hell. Slick Sand, PPG K38 and lots and lots of sandpaper.... and hours.
20a - More Sanding
20a - More Sanding  |  Total images: 20
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21 Painting
21 Painting  |  Total images: 45
The project took a major turn for the better this weekend as we finally shot some blue paint!! We chose single stage PPG Concept for the job. Sea Blue and Cloud White for the body, Silver White for the wheels and bumpers, and Beige for the correct steering wheel and shifter colors.
22 - Painting 2
22 - Painting 2  |  Total images: 22
Our first weekend of just shooting paint. We shot all the window frames, wheels, bumper parts and a few other tid bits this trip. The last thing we did was complete the paint booth.... it's sweeeeet!!! Mark is going to work on finishing up the floor in the cargo area so that on my next trip we can shoot the rest of the bus! CANT WAIT!!!!
23 - Interior Painting!
23 - Interior Painting!  |  Total images: 35
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24 - Engine Work
24 - Engine Work  |  Total images: 11
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25 - FINAL PAINT
25 - FINAL PAINT  |  Total images: 71
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26 - Assembly
26 - Assembly  |  Total images: 142
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27 - More Assembly and Polish
27 - More Assembly and Polish  |  Total images: 92
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28 - FINISHED!!
28 - FINISHED!!  |  Total images: 53
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Old School Photos
Old School Photos  |  Total images: 47
Some old photos of Mark and Mark's VW fun over the years.
SoCal VW Events_
SoCal VW Events_  |  Total images: 315
Southern California Bus Shows. OCTO, Orange Empire etc...