This edition of Member’s Motor looks at Bob Grimley’s ownership journey of Baldrick. We purchased Baldrick in 2009 and it took 4 years and a lot of hard work to get him on the road again. Baldrick is a 1979 Type 2 Deluxe people carrier; one of the last ones that originated from Germany. He was found rotting in a garden in Wales, in a sorry state with grass growing through the floor and rot that was so bad in places that it made it impossible to move from the site initially.
The first job was to remove the front beam, which was beyond repair. A second hand rust free replacement was found at the Stamford Hall and we fitted a pair of axle adjusters so we could fit Baldrick in the garage at home. The next stage was to bring the camper back from Wales, to do this we hired a low loader and drove it home.
We knew he had his issues when we bought him but it was only after he was home that we found out just how rotten Baldrick was. Repair involved cutting off the some of the front, sides and chassis. After the purchase of many new panels the rebuild could start, thanks to my late son Paul (a VW enthusiast and exceptionally skilled engineer) we successfully made many new parts, which at the time you could not buy.
After the body work was completed, it was time to start on the engine which was a 2000cc Type 4. A total strip down of the engine was done at home using new parts (unfortunately twice the price of the similar but smaller parts available for the 1600cc engine). New pistons, valves and cam were fitted. The existing twin carburettors were removed and 32/36 Webbers were fitted. A new wiring harness and leisure battery was fitted as well as a rev counter, oil gauge, temperature gauge and volt meter.
Next job was paint; I tried to spray it myself at home but ultimately failed, realising it was beyond my skill set, I hired a professional. The paint job took 6 weeks to complete, the bare metal re-spray was completed using Turkish and white; this was the only job we did not do ourselves. After 4 years the paint is still stunning and looks as good as the day it was done.
The final part of Baldrick’s evolution was converting him into a camper. The layout we chose was a 3/4 bed and units down the side with a fridge, cooker and sink. A toilet is fitted under the buddy seat.
A new roof lining and ply floor were fitted as well as a removable table. All the upholstery, beds, cushions and curtains were made by my wife Linda. The units are all solid oak, made from Ikea kitchen doors, found in the clearance section of our local store. As we use Baldrick, he evolves slowly to suit our needs, the latest additions being a suspension handling kit, tow bar, Propex heater and retro radio; ensuring his classic looks are not spoiled. Baldrick is a real member of the family, loved by one and all, whether he is out at classic car shows or relaxing at a camp site by the sea, he makes anyone that sees him smile.