It's been a while! Alot's changed since my mk1 Golf Cabby.
I emigrated to the States. Richmond, Va to be exact.
Met a girl, moved in together, got engaged... Bought an old motor home to renovate together.
So, I wanted a VW T2, she wanted a School bus. Somewhere in the middle we compromised on this...
It's a 1965 Clark Cortez. Yes, that's Clark, the company that makes forklift trucks. Back in the 60's Clark wanted to get into the RV business, to topple Winnebago, it kinda worked... for a bit but unfortunately it's never really took off. After about 3500 units made the Cortez ceased to be.
For it's time it was revolutionerary. Front wheel drive allowed for a lower floor - The first front wheel motorhome A unique 4speed manual box All steel construction Used by NASA to ferry astronaughts to the rockets during the apollo missions Torsion bar front suspension
So, how did we find such a rare beast? Obviously EBay. The only problem... it was 3000 miles away in California! No worries! We just shipped it! And then all of a sudden, curse word was real.
Hope you got a video of getting it off the trailer!!?
Cool looking wagon.
Thanks Strikey! I *think* we've got a video of it. It was basically pulled off the flatbed onto a recovery vehicle, the flatbed moved, the recovery vehicle tilted the bed and the Cortez was winched down. I was a nervous wreck! ha ha!
So since the Cortez arrived in July 2019 we've done alot to it but we still have a million jobs left to do.
The first thing that needed addressing was the fact that the engine wouldn't start. This was down to a dead starter motor. Fitting a new one was relatively easy and while working on it we fitted a new live wire from the battery, the one fitted was frankly ridiculous.
Our lass wanted to get stuck in (She thinks I know what I'm doing)
The next job was meant to be the brakes, we knew that they didn't work due to a faulty wheel cylinder and broken brake line both on the front drivers side. This turned into a beast of a job taking us many weekends. Our biggest issue turned out to be figuring out what make the wheel cylinders were and what they were fitted to. As Clark weren't used to building RV's they literally pilfered the parts bin of every other manufacturer. The front's came from a Pontiac Chieftain (amongst others) and the rears came from Dodge 300 (again, amongst others). The brake master cylinder was from a Peterbilt.
Again, our lass got stuck in and isn't afraid of getting dirty (careful at the back!) and she's an absolute boss at adjusting drum brakes!
Here she is giving it some true Ugga-Dugga's!
In the end we changed:
Drivers side front brake line Drivers side front wheel cylinder Drivers side rear wheel cylinder Passenger side front wheel cylinder Passenger side rear wheel cylinder Brake fluid (Did both the brake master cylinder and the clutch master cylinder Brake shoes all round
It was a massive relief when we'd done and they worked!
Basically everything apart from the extremely dim headlights and one tail light didn't work.
We spent ages working through old crusty wiring and a previous owners poor job at splicing in for what we assume to have been a trailer hitch. We eventually got everything working but found along the way.
The rear drivers side lights (rear light + brake light in one) didn't work because the wiring had been cut! The wiring from the reverse switch on the gearbox had broken A bulb in one of the revrse lamps had blown All the clearnace light holders were corroded. Cleaned them all up and fitted new connections The front passenger side running light / indicatior (one bulb) didnt work because the wiring was cut The front drivers side running light / indicator (one bulb) had blown 3 of the 4 clearance light bulbs had blown none of the gauge lights work... And still don't. We'll tackle those when we move onto the interior work
One of the clearance lights is still a bit touchy as to whether it will work or not, a good thump usually gets it up and running - I think its a bad earth. But eventually...
Our plan is to fully rewire the RV at some point in the future. Somewhere between fully gutting it and converting the engine to EFI.
Check us out on YouTube, we'd love it if you could subsribe to our channel! Here's a link to our videos on the lights: