I knew then that one day I would like to explore Europe, its many cultures, cuisines, and landscapes on my own road tour. At the time I used to travel regularly to festivals and remote beaches in my good friend Luke’s bay which I loved, but when I met the infamous Poncho-Poncho and saw his split, I knew that one day I would own one of my own”.
It was at Latitude festival in 2011 that Norman Comfort met his now wife Chix, who owns a business importing wines from across Europe to sell in her wine bars in Brixton. The couple commissioned Border Restorations to source a suitable base vehicle to rebuild to their specifications and this split, originally a ‘65 US Samba was found. It was stored and up for sale quite locally in Portmadog, Wales and a viewing was arranged on Norman’s behalf. The seller had recently emigrated to France and needed to liquidate some assets to help fund his projects across the channel. It was a proper ‘ten footer’, it looked OK from a distance, despite a few obvious and unsightly repairs to the floors. The seller assured Border that the bus had been in a body shop, the welding and repairs were all done and it was ready for paint…
Once purchased and back at the workshop, a proper inspection could be made. And although the bus may have spent some time in a body shop, it had never seen anything approaching even a partial restoration. It was very disheartening to find rust that had been hidden with filler and primer. The only thing for it was to start again. Someone had spent an awful lot of time hiding rotten panels, if they’d just spent a little bit more time they could have done it properly first time round.
What started as a bit of gentle re-commissioning turned suddenly into a full on restoration. (How many times have we seen that before? - Ed) Border stripped the bus right back to the metal using their on-site media blasting unit. Astonishingly they even found fibre glass filler that had not gone off properly, and as always the list of panels needed just kept growing and growing; floors, sills, front arches, front panel.
Almost all panels needed attention or replacement.
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