1976 VW Kombi camper with new engine, drives perfectly
Lily is a 1976 VW factory-delivered camper, with a conversion done by Adelaide frim Sopru.
I bought Lily in 2000 for my wife and I to travel in for a year. We loved it so much we never got around to selling it when we got back and it has been our daily driver for the last 19 years.
Lily looked pretty shabby when we first got her, but had only ever been worked on by one mechanic from brand new. The second owner kept taking it to the same mechanic, and so did we, until he retired.
Mechanically the van is excellent. It was always reliable even after travelling 500,000km. At this stage, in late 2017, we had the engine completely rebuilt using all new compnoents inclusing cases, heads, cams, pistons, rods etc etc – $11,000 worth. The two-litre twin-carb motor was rebuilt to factory spec – it's not a hotrod but should see in the next half a million km. Will sit on the open road limit most of the time, although hills and headwinds can slwo you down. Definitely keeps up with traffic in the city and around the hills, except the freeway up track.
Under my ownership it has been well maintained, with attention to the running gear including steering components, bushes, shockers, rear torsion bar, CV joints, brake rotors etc as needed. Major body work about ten years ago, removing rust and many panels replaced including doglegs, sills, nose. Now there are spots of rust starting to return, but nothing huge.
The car just had its second service since the engine rebuild, so it has just clocked up 10,000km and is running and driving beautifully.
Cosmetically Lily looks amazing, with some small areas of rust in the usual places, and a couple of minor dings. Lily has been a beast of burden, not a trailer queen, and has towed caravans and trailers on and off road, been on many camping trips, lugged loads of firewood, stone, hay – and has the scars to prove it. Overall still presents well, is very eyecatching and always attracts smiles and waves – a very happy driving experience.
Inside the 43 years of life are a bit more evident, but still very liveable. The front seats collapsed 20 years ago and were replaced with a very stylish and comfortable pair of Recaros from an Alf GTV. They are looking a bit tatty but would be easy to reupholster and are great for long days behind the wheel.
In the back, the rock'n'roll bed was covered in denim. The seat cushion is ripped, but this is a super easy DIY fix. The bed is quite comfortable (although feels smaller now than it did in 2000).
All of the original fitout is still intact and functional. Cupboards, wardrobe, sink, two-burner stove with grill, three-way fridge all work well. We had the roof lining replaced with a thicker, foam lined fabric about 10 years ago, which looks great and helps keep it cooler inside.
The pop top is in great nick, fibreglass all good, canvas was replaced in 2000 with a heavier grade of material with bigger windows. Carpet was also replaced in 2000, on the floor and fridge door. Industrial carpet, tough as boots. Looking a bit old now but still serviceable for years to come.
Also in 2000 we replaced the drinking water tank with a custom-built stainless steel job that holds about 50 litres.
Comes with roof rack and front bull bar, currently not fitted, plus a few bits and pieces.
This is a regretful sale. Lily is by far the best car I have ever owned. It has never let me down, is practical, comfrotable, and is a pleasure to drive. I am open to negotiation on price or will consider swap for something half-interesting plus cash my way.
RAA inspections etc are welcome, and the current mechanics are happy to talk about the car.
Photos: All photos are taken this year, except for the engine by itself (2017), and the last two pics. The final pic was how we bought her in 2000, on a shakedown camping trip, and the shot in front of the Spirit of Tasmania is from 2001.
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