Monday 12 March 2012

The Makeover Plan : the 'bush taxi?'

Roughly what Barbara will look like after the makeover
Partly because of my budget, but also in the interest in authenticity and heritage i plan to take the bus back to as much of her original state as possible. This means restoring the paintwork to its original 'Artic White' VW colour code. My plan is that after the panel work is done (not by me i may add, welding gear and my dyspraxic and clumsy nature will inevitably lead to disaster) i am going to strip it back to bare metal and then roller paint in Rustolene paint. Again my limited budget means i cant afford a 'pro' respray and the roller method is one i have researched and reckon i can do with reasonable results and i wont need access to a workshop.

A few 'tarty' additions such as front mounting the spare tyre, new chrome hubcaps and possibly wing mirrors will be the full extent of 'bling' on the bus. I would love some chrome bumpers, but i will have to wait for the lottery win (unlikely as i don't play the lottery)

One thing i am not going to do is a radical 'lowered' look. Yes i suppose its cool to look like your bus is hovering inches from the tarmac, but personally i think it spoils the look of buses. More importantly i love the high driving position and not having to worry about loosing the exhaust when passing the numerous 'sleeping police man'.
A Merc  'Bush Taxi' from Gambia

I have a fantasy idea of making the bus look like an African 'bush taxi'. A lot owners like to give their buses a 'history' by making them look like former ambulances/fire engines (some perhaps were originally designated like this) or in the case of panel vans creating vintage looking sign writing. Partly because of my love of Afro Funk (1970's African version of western funk and rare groove, exemplified by the like of Fela Kuti)  and also because of my families West African roots, i thought this could be a unique look. However despite searching the Internet i cannot find an example of an African VW bush taxi (i should explain 'bush taxi' means a vehcile used to transport people and animals across the rough terrain in Africa) I am sure they were used as the T2 is still widely used across the developing world as a people transporter. The concept may well be limited to the interior of the bus that is certainly going to get a funky African look.....that will have to wait for another post for now.  I have posted below a favourite Afro Funk mix that already gets a lot of plays on the buses stereo.