I grew up in Waukegan Illinois in the 70’s, and from about the age of 10 I have wanted a VW camper. My family was friends with the head mechanic at the local Volkswagen dealership. My dad would take me there on occasion to visit his friend and I would find myself wandering around the lot. I remember seeing the campers lined up on display. The pop-tops were up and the slider doors open. I would dream of hitting the road on high adventure in my home on wheels.
As an adult, I considered buying an older used bus, but for financial reasons I never really looked into it seriously. In the 90’s I would scan the classified ads and a couple times, I arranged for a test drive (my apologies for wasting anybody’s time). One of the bits of advice our VW mechanic friend told me was that I did not want to deal with a bus that had rust. I kept that bit of advice in mind. I knew it would be helpful one day.
I purchased Wilson, an unrestored 1978 Volkswagen Westfalia Campmobile, in September 2006 from the original owner in Petoskey Michigan. The bus was garage kept over the winters and primarily used for summer vacations down south. They covered the inside with blankets on vacation, so the interior is in excellent condition. Wilson's exterior shows some wear from use, but still in great shape for his age with the original paint. The mileage was at about 138,000 when he rolled off the auto hauler.
This blog is a way for me to write about my experiences with Wilson and any work I do to keep him road worthy. I have owned him for two and a half years now, and I am as happy as I was the day he arrived from Michigan. Actually, I am happier now. I do not regret the decision to purchase him one bit. My wife may sometimes regret it, but I know she enjoys the spring and fall drives around Illinois and Wisconsin. Our cat Gato loves to ride in him too, so I think Wilson is here to stay.