My Car Projects:
My upcoming car projects include a '69 Volkswagen Westfallia and a '77 AMC Gremlin. The '67 Beetle project has been more time consuming than I expected so these projects have not
received much time. But I will begin documenting these projects soon.
The '69 "Westy" has a new motor and is mechanically sound in every way. It does need some serious body repair and the
canvas screen in the pop-up top is missing.
The '77 "Hemil-Gremil" is suffering from a typical Gremlin problem. Leaky gas tank. Owners of Gremlins were notorious for
driving these cars with 21 and 22 gallon fuel tanks and only adding one or two dollars of gas in them at a time. This
created a terrible rust problem in these car's gas tanks that was legendary. The fuel tank has now been repaired and coated
with a Renu® lifetime warranty baked-on coating. Once I procure the fuel tank sending unit and float assembly and
install the tank with new fuel lines all the way to the motor this car should be streetable again. Judging by the reaction
of young people in this area it should get a lot of attention. Even though people see a VW Beetle and even a Westy from time
to time, most young people in this area have never seen a Gremlin.
My Car Projects have a unique history:
My first car in high school was a '62 VW Bus (Transporter) and I sure had a great time
in it. We would fill it with people and take off everywhere in it. It was very unreliable and the local dealership was so
dishonest that repair expenses on this vehicle made the gas savings moot, considering the 30 cents a gallon gas price at the
time, compared to the cost of running this vehicle. A friend of mine told me once that it was a good thing it held so many
people because it made it easier to push with the extra hands when it broke down. Unfortunately, I was very young and had
not learned how to fix everything myself and I soon tired of the mechanical problems that re-occurred constantly. I once
took this vehicle to the dealership to have the valves adjusted, because I didn't have faith in my own adjustment I had done
using the repair manual instructions. When I checked the valve adjustment done by the dealership the next morning with the
engine cold there was no way to put any thickness of feeler gauge into any of the valves at any point of
rotation on the crankshaft. What they did is remove any slack and then some from the valve train creating a valve-burning
situation. My father gave me this vehicle because it burned the valves every several months or so. The local dealership
adjusted the valves and then profited from the valve and cylinder head repair. I re-adjusted the valves and did it myself
from then on, and despite all of the mechanical problems I had with this vehicle, the valves never burned
again or caused me any further problems. As you can imagine this infuriated my father who spent a small fortune on that
vehicle from his meager teacher's salary. He came to realize that they were sabotaging the VW just to get him for repairs in
My next car was an AMC Gremlin. I was not very nice to this car, yet it was amazingly durable. I did everything to get
this car to bounce the front wheels off of the ground and it took it reasonable well. Sure it broke things, but once the
proper replacements were used, differential, transmission, etc., it held up well. This car was incredibly powerful and took
the abuse in stride. Not only that, it got better gas mileage than my old VW Transporter.
I went on to own other AMCs after the Gremlin like a '70 Mark Donahue Javelin and a '73 Pierre Cardin AMX. Both of the
Javelins had engine modifications and would outrun my old Gremlin, but the Gremlin was still the car I missed the most. I
had the best horsepower/fuel mileage combination of any car I ever owned. For this reason I really want to get my Gremlin
out on the street, even if only part of the time.