Hi from Harry the '71 Microbus Deluxe!

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May 29, 2020
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Hello all, it's been three years since I bought Harry so I suppose it's time I said hi!

I'm Jamie and I have myself a '71 Microbus Deluxe although he wasn't registered to the very day I was born five years later, that's got to be fate right? After a 12 hour round trip to collect him from Kent and bring him back up North to Wakefield way which included such highlights as:

The missus: "Why are you breaking on the motorway?"
Me: "I'm not, the pedal literally won't go any closer to the floor!" (we were going up a slight hill near juncion 40 of the M1)"

and ...

The missus: "Are you cold?"
Me: "I don't know, I can't feel my hands"

Anyway we made it back and after a bit of digging around discovered that the seller's idea of welding was a few tacks and a boat load of underseal. Fast forward a year of sitting on my drive, Harry went to the welder for a "two week" job which lasted a year as the welder knew how to drag his arse. Harry came home and some of the jobs I wanted doing weren't even touched.

Today he's sitting on my drive waiting to get back into my garage with a pile of parts mounting. The 1641cc engine the seller proudly proclaimed he spent a fortune on needs a new exhaust and carb to be able to breathe properly and the the new alternator and Pertronix ignition kit fitting. We have a gorgeous interior from Delilah's waiting to go in, carpets from Madmatz and a new headliner to add some comfort back while we save for some cabinets. Add to that a full soundproofing and insulation kit from Coombe Valley Campers, a huge Retro Sounds Ice install and gps tracking from Heritage Insurance.

The downside to all of the above, we cannot find anyone to touch the paint work up here that doesn't want £15k+ and Harry has a factory fitted steel sunroof missing the outer skin, covered with a very badly fitted Paris Beetles rag top sunroof. Still, he's an old Bay, I'm not daft enough to have expected him to be perfect for under £9k and half the fun is putting them back together right?

Anyhoo, I'll start a progress thread wherever they go, stick his old doorcards and bench seats up for grab in the appropriate place and carry on hunting for the unicorn that is an outer sunroof skin (before I decide to carefully remove it and find that a new home too).


Hiya bud, I’ve seen a sunroof skin recently for sale as in the last couple of days. I can’t think for the life of me where it was, mainly because it was of no interest to me,,,,,, until now :p I’ll have a search around and I’m guessing it was a bay group on social media and probably face book. So big old welcome and glad you joined us. Looks to be a lot of van for that sort of money.:)

Ozziedog,,,,,,,,,,and welcome again.! :)
If it starts to take tooo long to find the skin, think about a Dormobile or Devon roof to relace it with.
Gives you standing room in the rain or just generally, unless you only want to use it in the sun only.

Enjoy the transformation and good luck.

J & P
You know I swear I replied to this earlier.... anyhoo, cheers @gas1man! I'm not a big fan of the pop tops, saying that if I can find a low profile donor I may well fit one. Harry's definitely not a fair weather bus, he'll be a daily once he's drivable and until my '69 beetle makes his way up from Essex.
Cheers @fallingoffalot! Yeah it was factory, leaked like a sieve, got stuck more times than a sticky thing in a tight gap and the mechanism was quite good at breaking. The current thinking is:
  • Replace the broken Paris Beetles rag roof that's hiding the old sunroof (I believe they do/did an option if you had an old one that needs a refurb)
  • Source a Devon or Dormobile and refurb/upgrade. There's one on PartsEmporium at the minute and its a comfortable price but needs a total refurb.
  • Fit a SpaceRoof pop top which is pricey but top quality
  • Source the unicorn that is the outer skin and take lots of photos and measurements and see if I can get a few made
  • Weld it up as you suggest
  • Fit a non opening sunroof if I can source someone to make one
I'm not sure I like any of those options right now :(
Hi Jamie, I can feel with you. I've also been looking for a sunroof for a long time. I found one with complete mechanics in the Netherlands. Currently there is one on a sales platform in Germany, unfortunately for self pickup. If you are interested I would send you the link.
Hi Jamie, yes it was the one for about 1000£. 😓
Because I'm not sure if such links are allowed here, I'll send you the link personally.

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