quarta-feira, 30 de março de 2011


Bought her, brakes binding, tried to get them fixed, never did manage to go further than a couple of kms, sold her, basically that was that.
She had a friend, a 1973 model high roof kombi, the 1973 kombi went on one trip, to buy bicycles, she overheated, started smoking, and never went on another trip again. Eventually we had to bribe the guy who bought the 1974 kombi to take both. This photo will explain why we had to bribe him.
Interestingly enough the 1973 kombi went further by being towed than she ever did by been driven while with us. When we moved 800kms away we towed her to our new home, she was going to be transformed into a camper van, we had high hopes for her, unsuccessful attempts to transplant a 2.5 Chev engine in her resulted in total frustration and the camper van idea was abandoned, we also tried to get rid of her, but no-one wanted her.  When we moved back to PE 10 months later we had to tow her back again, this time with our little Nissan 1400 bakkie.
I hand-painted her front black in the hopes that if we towed her at night, no-one would notice her (she was a bit of an eyesore), every time we moved her a ton of rust fell out. Our first attempt at towing with an A-frame resulted in her breaking loose and bashing into us at the first stop street, back to the house and this time the A-frame was welded onto her.
At that time there were reports in the papers about a trailer breaking loose from a truck going up a hill and running back into a car which resulted in serious injuries to the passengers of the car, so I was very nervous about the same thing happening with the kombi. My solution was to tie a length of string to her passenger side mirror, and to attach the other end to my finger, my reasoning being that if she started to break loose it would almost pull my finger off. With her front being black not even we could see if she was still behind us. This worked perfectly, on the way to our first stop, about 150kms into the trip I was very happy to tell my husband that everything was fine, there was no pulling on the string at all. When we did eventually stop, and I opened the Nissan door, I discovered that the string had got caught in the door mechanism, so I would not have even noticed if she had broken free. So much for that idea.
Our whole plan was to drive through the night so that no-one would see us towing her, the sight of a little Nissan 1400 with this high roof Kombi being towed was an interesting one to say the very least. Plus we were not quite sure if it was legal, the towing capacity of the Nissan was a lot less than the weight of the Kombi. This plan also did not work as we only arrived back in PE at about 11 in the morning, but people were very sympathetic on the road and we were twice warned about cops ahead so we could take a detour.
On one certain stretch of road there would be crowds of people trying to hitch lifts to the nearest town, every time we drove this route in the past they would virtually jump out into the road to try and get us to stop, for some reason when we drove past with the kombi they all turned away and pretended to be very interested in anything but getting a lift, I guess the thought of being seen with, or having to help if we broke down was not worth the effort.
We eventually arrived back, my nerves in shatters, and the next time she moved was when we changed houses. She was another eye-sore that our neighbours had to contend with, by this time we had the 1974 kombi so we were going to use her as spares, we did take the roof off, and removed various parts, but the planned restoration never happened.
*                BIG BEAR                 *

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