Gus T. Bus

It all began when I was thirteen (Gus was then 39).

 this would have come in handy...

so ugly, she's beautiful

look at that face

the dreaded rear corners...they still haunt my dreams

 german engineering.

comfy seats....

looking into the past

she's home

thirteen years old, such a simple time

working hard

stripping her down

headliner and panels out

might need some oil...

36 HP of volkswagen fury
wait... where is the radiator ; )

 well at least the stickers are tasteful...

so did I... what happened??

pile 'o' parts (one of many)

so much sanding...

these hung here for quite some time

these were a pain. Ended up welding
patch panels along the bottom because
they were so rough.

sandblasting (Gus: "ouch!")

back inside

streamlined, eh?

notice papa is the only one working...

mom and Trooper enjoying the roomy cargo area

needless to say, I'm not a big fan of this color...

that's more like it.

Gus gets her first touch of color in over a year

lookin' sharp

wait Gus! you need doors first

King Gus with a mustache

still much to do

what is a king without his crown?

the first unveiling of the dynamic color duo.
the plan was to match my favorite hat.

lookin' good in the neighborhood

three generations of Wilsons. 

truer words were never spoken

front end


empty front end.
  the rusty area is where the holes for the four bolts are.
these eight bolts hold the entire front suspension on. Ah, VW.

the brand spankin' new front end from Franklin's VW Werks
out West. Thanks to Franklin and the guys. Fast shipping across
the country, too!
This front suspension has dropped spindles and is 4" narrowed. She
is gonna be sittin' slow and low. 

trial fitting the front end

rear corners...grr

The original swing axle rear end
to be replace...

Voila! An independent rear suspension from a
scrapped '71 beetle. complete with trailing arms

empty rear end. AKA without tranny, engine, and
rear suspension

 IRS in!!

 slow and low indeed.
this was a happy night. stayed up until
the wee hours to take this picture

looks sweet

and the sanding resumes...

getting somewhere..
the gray here is primer, the greenish color is an
etching primer to control surface rust

orange juice, AKA vee-dubber fuel

few weeks later, stripped back down and put Gus on our
beloved homemade rotisserie (like a chicken)

grinding 40 years of dirt and some goopy undercoating
from Gus's belly. 

meanwhile, sanding the top 

getting better


i wouldnt be smiling if i knew how hard it is to get ancient dirt off...

a dog and her greasemonkey

I have never thought of myself as motherly before...

dirty work

 taping her up for paint.

Trooper's curious

Hula Gus!

 the boss doing what he does best

chairs are overrated

rear corners might be finished?



good day

green engine compartment

this has been in anticipation for too long (two years)
perfection. but not completion. yet.

 painted the bottom black as well.
this is a precarious situation


 hanging parts ready to be put in their places

this was a replacement engine lid bought on the internet.
thanks fellow vee-dubbers

Gus: "can i come down now..."

white on the doors

accent colors were a good choice

admiring my work


looking at samples from Sewfine interiors. Love those guys
so many choices...

mom "supervising", me "working"

building brakes

 new engine from Cali.
out of a street racing beetle:
long block 1600 dual port, dual Weber carbs

giving her some go-go juice

inside painted!!!

 rear end in, one of MANY times
doors hung (serious progress)

headlights and turn signals assembled, looking like a car

doors assembled, handles and locks (getting excited at this point)

headliner from Sewfine
(the hardest part of the entire project. never again!)

a little saggy at parts, but looks great!

quintessential papa.

more doors, more lights

"why cant it just be finished....."

 off the rotisserie finally. great day

and new windshield

the "To-do" board

dad likes to sand

...and sand
notice the seats and the custom gauge cluster

carpet and insulation...very nice

the amazing elves at Sewfine that found it in their hearts to make an
incredible interior available to me. Love you guys!


carpet fits great

headline looks uh-mazing

 wiring not *quite* complete...

seats are awesome

original speedo and gas gauge, new gauge cluster mounted

side windows buffed (original)

...and sand some more
not sure what to say...its so sick!

seals in, engine in, almost ready to ride!


 work work work

new (smaller) tires and painted rims. going for the Cal look

papa's old mechanic outfit passed down

 : )

it all pays off in the end
 I'm nearly eighteen now and I drive my car to school everyday, well, because its my car. If you ever find yourself thinking "I wanna do that", just know that these picture make it seem like a lot less. This project has been a part of my life since seventh grade, and has been constant work. However, I do not regret anything and love my ride. Thanks for checking out my blog! More pics soon.

 New pictures will be coming soon. After this point and many test drives later, the engine had to come back out and some tinkering was done on the valves and engine tin. Also, some welding was done on the IRS brackets.

Two friends, Gus, and I drove to Fernandina Beach, FL the last week of summer 2010. I turned a corner and intended to shift to second when POP! the nosecone on the transmission breaks in half. After a long trailer-pull home, and some extensive research into transmission brackets, it turns out that in an IRS setup, the weight of the engine is only held by the two bolts on the engine mounts and the shift rod/nose cone. So, I bought a weld-on front transmission mount and Gus has been running great ever since,

In addition, I have installed the stereo i purchased almost a year ago in Gus. Sounds great, pictures soon.