Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Balancing Act

We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.
Jawaharlal Nehru

We've spent the past two weeks straightening and smoothing the rough edges of the cut ends. Not much to show in a picture so I pushed the two together for a motivational photo to help me to get an idea of how long it's going to be. The amount of interior space is going to be awesome!

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Wednesday, 14 January 2009


The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.
Marcel Proust

Not really sure yet what to do with these. A "Shorty" Kombi would be the fun thing but then I'm left with trying to register a new left-hand drive - impossible. Perhaps I'll build the remains into a useful trailer and tow it behind Marigold. That is a lot of work though and I've got lots on my plate already.

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Monday, 12 January 2009

An Extra Chop

Who lives sees much. Who travels sees more.
Arabic Proverb

"Wow, you look funny since you lost all that weight!" After waiting until after lunch for the rain to end, Daryl and I managed to get the back of Kombi 2 (fairly) neatly chopped. We have deliberately cut it a little too large so that we can hone it down to a perfect fit. The dustbin bag is covering a missing window. (We later found it - it was wound down inside the door, duh!)

There was a couple of small bits that weren't cut completely through as we couldn't reach in there properly. We managed to wrestle the two pieces apart though, with the aid of some choice language and an excess of brute force.

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Thursday, 8 January 2009

Kombi Number Two

No changing of place at 100 mph will make us one whit stronger, happier or wiser. There was always more in the world than men could see, walked they ever so slowly; they see no better for going fast.
John Ruskin

Dino popped in this afternoon and we managed to manhandle the second Kombi onto the slab after a lot of straining, grunting and farting. She's lined up and ready for major butt surgery. She's not in great condition, the front panel shall need a lot of work but I'll probably use the doors from Marigold as they're in a better state.

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Tuesday, 6 January 2009

The Big Chop

I am learning, as I make my way through my first continent, that it is remarkably easy to do things, and much more frightening to contemplate them.
Ted Simon

I made a few final cuts this afternoon and the front just fell away onto the axle stands. Most of the weight is taken on the wheels - I jacked it up and stuffed a beer trolley under the front to assist with moving the load.

That's it for the front end. I'll wheel it out of the way tomorrow and get the other Kombi in for it's own chop.

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Monday, 5 January 2009

New Year - Big Decisions

Own only what you can carry with you; know language, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn

There has been a lot of hoo-hah in the press lately about left-hand-drive vehicles and the possible banning thereof in South Africa. At the time of writing there is a lot of confusion and no-one seems quite sure how the new laws shall be interpreted. Partly to avoid a possible ban, and partly because driving Marigold is an absolute cow, I am planning to change her over to right-hand drive.

Now...here comes the bit that'll upset some of the purists: I'm going to slice off the whole front end and weld on the front end of a South African built, right-hand drive Kombi. If this kind of carnage upsets you then please don't scroll down to see the pictures - you can get help here: www.lifeline.co.za.

I already have another Kombi that I picked up for a mere R1500 in the Free State (thanks Niyan). I plan to hack the front two-thirds of that and duct-tape it to the back two-thirds of Marigold, thus giving me the right-hand drive that I desire, and an extra 1.4 metres to boot. By the end of January I hope that both Kombis shall be chopped and prepared for joining together again.

Preparing for the big chop - even my friend Dino "I can fix anything" is scratching his head a bit at the prospect of this new challenge. Marigold is all jacked up on the new axle stands, the pop-top is off and we're marking out the cut lines.

Where would I be without good mates, eh? Daryl gets down and dirty as he puts the trusty Black & Decker to work on the underside.

Cutting the roof - sparks fly as Dino traces the line across the roof with the cutting disc.

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