On buying a bus…
A poor Samba poster is intent on taking out an 8% loan on a $25,000 classic car over three years. I shook my head, and enjoyed reading great financial advice from people much smarter than me. I still wanted to share my technical analysis of why I personally think Volkswagens do not make good financial investments. (This is an excerpt from a larger post over on TheSamba.com.)
Consider installing a bushing, let's say. Maybe it's a $20 sway bar bushing. Maybe a $5 torsion bar donut. The job should take a journeyman mechanic no more than half a day to do both sides, assuming they have a basic compliment of tools. At $120 an hour, that's about $500 in a perfect scenario. But the upper shock bolt snaps off, luckily you can fix that with fabrication skills, a quality welding setup, and some angle iron. 4-5 hours is reasonable here. (Good thing it's not a late bay where the engine has to come out…) So you've got the parts disassembled, and the new donuts don't quite fit right. Get online, order some bushings on TheSamba and find some genuine VW donuts that have been pickled properly for a few years. They fit perfectly, and only wasted two hours of time in the ordering process, while tying up the shop space for a week waiting on Postmaster DeJoy to hand deliver the donuts himself. The car is back together while the customer pays $750, complains about the whole ordeal, and probably doesn't come back.
It's ok, they'll probably bump a vacuum hose off next week and grenade their engine…
When you've come to terms that your desire and situation are going to put a bus in your garage, cool. We're here to help.
First known picture of Buddy and me!