Saturday, 23 August 2008

In The Beginning

Tourists don't know where they've been, travellers don't know where they're going.
Paul Theroux

The Mission
To modify this 1972 VW Kombi by installing a diesel engine that has been converted to run on waste vegetable oil (WVO) using a kit available from

The History
Known affectionately as "Marigold", the Kombi camper was originally built in Germany and finished and fitted by Westfalia in 1972. She has a Dormobile side-tilt roof, unlike most of the Westies seen in the USA. A couple of newlyweds allegedly bought her and spent a honeymoon year driving overland to Cape Town. They then sold her and flew home. 

She spent the next 30 years in my father's hands, travelling the entire southern Africa region as a holiday vehicle. She landed up in my back yard a few years ago as my dad bought a roomier caravan for his retirement travels. I have used her for occasional visits to music festivals and rallies but she is in dire need of a major overhaul as she is very tired.

The engine originally put out a mighty 36 horsepower, according to the manual. I haven't done a dyno test but I'll bet that it doesn't make 25 at the moment. I have been fascinated by the idea of running a car on WVO after seeing a Cape Town bloke on TV who has done a similar conversion to his old Mercedes. I have researched the various options and the GreaseCar conversion is my favourite at the moment.

The Details
I hope, eventually, to install a turbocharged 2.2 litre Toyota diesel engine. This decision was partly made by a friend (thanks Louis!) who has done this conversion previously and has donated the compatible bellhousing, adapter and crossmember for this motor.
I would, of course, prefer a VW TDi engine but simply cannot afford it at this time.

The Challenge
Just look at the pictures - we've got a long way to go!

Thanks for stopping by
August 2008

Thursday, 21 August 2008


A traveller. I love his title. A traveller is to be reverenced as such. His profession is the best symbol of our life. Going from - toward; it is the history of every one of us. It is a great art to saunter.
Henry David Thoreau

Welcome to The Marigold Project.

I shall chronicle the progress of the build and restoration of my 1972 Westfalia VW Kombi. I hope you enjoy the journey. Please feel free to leave a comment or question after your visit.

Thanks for stopping by
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