BACK IN TIME Edition91

1967 VW Split Window Bus

Photos by Jan van der Walt

Kevi Govender has always had a passion for cars, especially the VW air cooled kind. This passion led him to a situation where he was stumbling around in the dard at 00:30 at night in Danville, Pretoria in order to look at a 1967 VW Bus. The bus would be a father and son project but unfortunately Kavi’s father (Ravi Govender) passed away and in a twist of fate, the bus helped him through this very difficult time.

Kavi had no idea what he wanted to do with the bus and all he knew that there was no way he was going to keep it standard. All he had to work from was a bare shell. The vehicle was in bad shape so Kavi sent it to HD Panel-beaters. The side panels had to be replaced due to rust. It took a year to weld and replace all the rusted panels and the total body work that had to be completed took just over 2 years. The suspension was next on the list. The old steering box system also had to do. Kevi got a custom-built double wishbone suspension with coil overs and a steering rack from Air-cool Mafia. This has improved the handling of the bus tremendously. The brakes also got an upgrade. Golf MK1 discs and callipers were fitted on the front and Golf MK3 on the rear with a Golf 3 master cylinder.

If you are wondering why all that stopping power for an old engine… clearly it will be out with the old and in with the new. A Subaru 2.5l quad cam motor was brought into SA by Jap motors and was rebuilt by Subaru expert Tino. Kevi opted for a Mofoco Freeway Flyer gearbox. You may ask what a Mofoco gearbox is…I even had to google it… and this is the explanation: “It is a Volkswagen high performance swing-axle transmission remanufactured for street performance. It features a 3.88 ring & pinion for good fuel economy at highway cruising speeds. Getting the power to the wheels is a super diff with 4 spider gears”. With the body and running gear sorted out it was back to HD Panelbeaters for a custom mix colour.

The bus is all about the small details from the colour-coated bumpers to the checkered paint inside the headlights. The chrome diamond-shaped side mirrors are from a Harley Davidson and the chrome window frames were hand-built in a collaboration between Aircooled Mafia in SA and Kieft & Klok in the Netherlands. These all show the importance of attention to small details within this build. Due to the nature of this build the wheels had to match up to everything else so a set of Zuffenhaus Fuchs were imported and run on Pirelli tyres size 205/40/17.