Christmas wishes!

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Sally
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Christmas wishes!

Post by Sally » Sun Dec 24, 2017 1:34 pm

Wishing everyone a great Christmas. Here's to a happy, healthy, VW filled 2018!
Don't forget to send us your articles for the year ahead.
Let's make Split Screen Scene a great read!

Best wishes from your magazine team,
Sally and Caroline
:wink:


longoverdue
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Re: Christmas wishes! A Yuletide story, aloha.

Post by longoverdue » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:45 am

When restoration goes seriously ‘pear shaped’.

Many of you 'Bus' aficionados will fail to read beyond the opening few sentences, having heard/seen/read et al all before, when the (long desiring) novice finally makes a move on realising his dream(sic) on getting, renovating and running a 'bus' and this 'dream' swiftly becomes a sorry tale of failed work and serious financial haemorrhaging.
All of that said do please humour me for a while, maybe use a bit of your end of year 'goodwill to all men' if you would be so kind?
A (former) pal, workmate and occasional drinking chum (Graham Chapman of Graham Chapman Classic Cars) someone I indirectly helped toward making his long held dream of becoming a garage proprietor (in fact more than that, to ultimately become owner of an established restoration Garage, one formerly known as Colin Clifford Restorations, Grimsby, well respected as well) and someone who gladly took on the task of securing a RHD VW bus, intent on restoring it for me/us.
Practicalities of this (unwritten) 'contract' were simple (I mean he was a mate, I had, albeit historically, purchased cars from him) I entrusted him with (a) finding a suitable 'bus' for which I would pay, including getting it to the garage and (b) set an initial budget for work that when used would (should have?) initiate a 'sit down and discuss options' and (c) they/he would document all works on DVD plus pictures of before and after to 'future proof' the 'bus'.
This was 2014, middle, sort of.
Great news, finally, after many 'misses' an (allegedly?) suitable 'bus' was found and in his e-mail to me the cry of, 'Mate, you've got a bargain!' jumped off the screen. Whilst the accompanying pictures were a bit difficult to see clearly, lots of sunshine, the travails to get the 'bus' (breakdowns etc) did not lessen the excitement of its arrival.
The (eventually named 'Klaus') 'bus' was a RHD 1967 barn door, from the depths of London, project unfinished, bits in boxes on board and duly a price tag of >8.5K plus travel costs was handed over.
Back to the year that all this started, 2014, this is an important date because in 2012 I had quit work and moved from the Industrial east coast, North East Lincolnshire, way, way down and in to deepest south west Cornwall, about ten miles from Lands End to be precise ergo all matters linked to the ‘bus’ were being carried out via e-mail, text and telephone call. Not a perfect arrangement but I mean he was a mate, what could go wrong, no seriously just what could go wrong?
Time slid by, usual moving and domestic problems occurred (old house sale after tenants trashed it, mother dying, ‘new’ refurbished home was literally falling apart around our ears and requiring emptying the ‘pot’ to re-build, again and again and again, ffs!)
Throughout this the invoices arrived for (metal) work being done on the ‘bus’ plus the obligatory pictures of how it was and how it looked now, to emphasise matters (it was the 6th August 2015 ‘bus’ re-sprayed, no doors on or around, should have been a clue?) and money had been transferred, literally, all seemed well.
That ‘all seemed well’ will haunt me forever because after a flurry of activity (metalwork, my purchasing a ‘Red9design’ front beam for installation, a sudden complete re-spray) the silence descended, not so much a silence as a combination of other matters occurring in our lives and as I wasn’t asking hey, no-one was talking.
Suddenly it is another year and early August 2016, now we are talking engines – John Gurney involved – and having sent him the old engine from the garage for re-build I assume all is good, oh so naïve as it turns out yet again.
John Gurney telephones me and if he – John – has ever telephoned you, you will know that this is not done lightly. John is not a gent that wears the tag ‘metrosexual’ and when his dulcet gravel tones echoed down the line with the blood chilling mid sentence content of ‘….where’s the engine mate?’ there was a tangible sense of doom now hanging in the air.
Our – Johns and my – chat ended in a good humoured way and I said that I would chase down matters from the garage, surely they must have simply missed putting all the parts on to the shipping pallet?
With hindsight it is time to sigh and shake your/my head again.
Around this time I had received out of the blue a rather bizarre telephone call from a former work pal – Aubrey Poole – someone who also knew Graham and who was also having his dream car restored (he used to amateur rally and had an Escort Mexico Mk2 in for restoration)
Reeling from the shock of hearing his voice, pleasantries over he then (metaphorically) kicked me in the privates with the statement and here I paraphrase quite a bit ‘..did I know that ‘Chappie’ was going bust!?’
Now Aubrey has been quite unwell and can be both very loud and confusing when he gets emotional, therefore my response to him was to simply say, no, not as far as I know, things are OK but I’ll chase him up for you and find out (Aubrey was, he said at that point, approx’ 30K out of pocket and no completion in sight, simply been told to offer up more cash to finish the job!)
My subsequent telephone conversations with Graham were defused by him stating that Aubrey had failed to pay enough, didn’t appreciate the true costs involved and his ill health was causing him way too much confusion.
Sadly and to my great chagrin I (initially) went with this, pouring conversational oil on troubled waters with my former work pal (Aubrey) but then I had my legs well and truly kicked out from beneath me by an e-mail from the last mechanic working for Graham the owner on the 5th of September 2016 stating that the garage was closing but he would try and do ‘some bits’ on the ‘bus’ before he left.
Stunned, I had invoices totalling the cost of a reasonably restored Type 2 (by the way my wife had spotted me totalling the cost over my shoulder at the PC and offered the very pithy ‘How f***ing much!!???’) with, in reality, nothing to show for it.
After much telephone and e-mail toing and froing with the garage (here try imagining a period of, suddenly, telephone lines not working, no e-mails, mobile telephone numbers not working and then requiring a son in law to pay unannounced visits!) and his – Grahams – tear infused apologies and verbal hand wringing, on the 23rd of September 2016 I asked Graham to arrange things for Paul Irving – ‘Irvs Restoration’ – to collect the ‘bus’ and relocate it to his garage in Barrow-in-Furness.
(this – arrangements to relocate and someone to do the work - was not achieved simply, it came about via other conversations and fantastic help from John Gurney and Nick Kaye of Airteriors)
There then followed a period where the ‘bus’ was collected for ‘Irv’ and moved across the Pennines, plus one of the (soon to be familiar ‘wtf’ type!?) calls from Paul Irving about the ‘bus’.
Seemed that on receipt of the ‘bus’ the alleged boxes of parts was somewhat incorrect, in fact wholly incorrect. Clue number one and oh a ‘biggy’, ‘Where are the doors!?’ plus the seriously chilling remark ‘I really need to see you face to face and show you the problems we’ve got!’.
Just when you think that rock bottom has been reached it is oh no, simply on the first few levels of the swamp bottom.
Now it is mid October 2016 and I must make a trip ‘up country’ to my (former) pals garage, look around for parts (that I won’t recognise as there was no inventory ever made of the ‘bus’!) and as we walked the, now bereft of staff garage, try to ignore his relentless cries of ‘not really my fault, all my managers!!’, then get the few parts in my car and haul them across country to ‘Irv’.
Have to say though it was a polite meeting (my current financial loss so big that I am somewhat numb to anger!) he couldn’t help, didn’t know where anything was and as the garage was closed wandering aimlessly around it was quite pointless. Therefore I left and started my long journey home to deepest South West Cornwall via ‘Irvs’.
To this day I’m sure ‘Irv’ was stunned that he had (finally?) come face to face with one of the best ever examples of why people should ‘leave it to the experts’ as we ambled in to his (soon to be) new workshop and he, with great reluctance and amazement, walked me round and itemised every last cock up, mistake and error that had been made on my/our ‘bus’. This walk through culminated with the heart sinking lines that included, ‘…. rather not do this’, ‘…cannot put my name to the end product’, ‘… not going to be cheap’, three of the many sound but depressing statements.
He – ‘Irv’ – left it with me to return home, discuss matters and re-contact him, this I would do.
On the 5th of November 2016 I received what has become the infamous e-mail from my (former) pal and (alleged) restorer, Graham Chapman, that he would (somehow) cover the reconstruction costs, at the least cover the cost of the ‘lost’ doors.
Whilst not winning the lottery it sounded as if there would be something (the doors cost at least!) coming back our way and I decided, for health and sanity alone, to leave matters there with him.
No, not me, sometimes ‘sleeping dogs lie’ is simply an expression as, having a bad day and following my sending of the invoices for work from ‘Irv’, itemising all matters to my (former) chum, the two line reply e-mail he sent that said he would try but due to HMRC issues, amongst other things, ‘….may go bankrupt…’.
Think we all know what that means?
Hey, happy days and here we are now, end of the year 2017, Yule being blown away, New Year on the horizon and as to our ’67 RHD bus?
He, Paul Irving of ‘Irvs Restos’, if you know the man, is someone who is frugal with words, quite candid at times, blunt even some may say but (in the main and between screams of hysterical laughter when you say something totally stupid, yes, I tend to do that!) honest and he had been honest.
The ‘bus’ has had to be stripped back (again) some metalwork re-worked (his comment that the other work done was, in essence, alright just poorly finished) and improved, doors sourced and ‘hung’, all the doors not simply the driver and passenger ones, a new ‘nose’ installed as the one fitted was incorrect for the ‘bus’ type and year, suspension off, rebuilt and (ultimately) re-fitted, re-sealed, re-primed and re-sprayed, to name but one or three of the many tasks performed prior to Iain – www.aircooledautoelec.com - bringing ‘Klaus’ very recently back to life, our joyous Yule surprise!!
In the wings there is the wonderful mister gravel voice’ John Gurney, waiting to slip his hand finished engine along – January 2018 – followed by the well known ‘tweeks’ and then on to the bespoke works of Nick Kaye, Airteriors, that will simply mirror all the other works performed.
This, our 2017 Christmas surprise, has only further improved and added some inane smiles down here in deepest south western Cornwall by ‘Irv’ himself, prior to the Yule/New Year close of play and his prep’ for honeymoon shenanigans, saying that he now feels the ‘bus’, now fettled to within an inch of its life by him and his (pretty fantastic!) team, will be comfortably carrying the ‘done by Paul Irving’ tag!
Is that the happy ending?
Well yes it is to be fair.
Of course we are massively out of pocket, money that we will more than likely never ever recoup and yes, my mistake but as I now fully appreciate, restoration of any classic vehicle will never be inexpensive IF done correctly!
I could conclude and offer all that moaning finger wagging sh**e but why? People it seems will always (mistakenly) trust ‘mates’, maybe choose a cheaper option, assume they have ‘the knowledge’ and be stunned when it all goes so seriously wrong, ‘tis the nature of the beast.
But if only just one person reads this and doesn’t get ruined, well, it won’t ease our ‘loss’ but makes it worth taking the time to tap this yarn out.
Aloha all you ‘bus’ folk, Yule wishes and New Year best, ‘Klaus’ will have his moments in the New Year, woohoo!!
Attachments
Dec 21st doors on all round 2017 (1).jpg
End of year, 'Klaus' awaits New Year tweeks and engine!
Irvs work 9th Oct 17 (3).jpg
'Klaus' being re-built.


Topic Author
Sally
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Posts: 36
Joined: Fri May 19, 2017 1:58 pm

Re: Christmas wishes!

Post by Sally » Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:55 pm

Wow!
Wasn't expecting a reply quite like that!
Is this an article for publishing in the magazine? It's quite a story.

Sally

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DOUGAL
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Re: Christmas wishes!

Post by DOUGAL » Mon Jan 08, 2018 1:09 pm

That is quite a story. Wish you more luck this year and that you will enjoy your bus when the good weather comes.
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EeVeeWee
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Re: Christmas wishes!

Post by EeVeeWee » Mon Jan 08, 2018 7:07 pm

Wow what a story! 8O
Let's hope you will have a long time enjoying your bus, at least enough to help it hurting less. :wink:


Danny04
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Joined: Sun May 06, 2018 6:50 pm

Re: Christmas wishes! A Yuletide story, aloha.

Post by Danny04 » Sun May 13, 2018 6:50 pm

longoverdue wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:45 am
When restoration goes seriously ‘pear shaped’.

Many of you 'Bus' aficionados will fail to read beyond the opening few sentences, having heard/seen/read et al all before, when the (long desiring) novice finally makes a move on realising his dream(sic) on getting, renovating and running a 'bus' and this 'dream' swiftly becomes a sorry tale of failed work and serious financial haemorrhaging.
All of that said do please humour me for a while, maybe use a bit of your end of year 'goodwill to all men' if you would be so kind?
A (former) pal, workmate and occasional drinking chum (Graham Chapman of Graham Chapman Classic Cars) someone I indirectly helped toward making his long held dream of becoming a garage proprietor (in fact more than that, to ultimately become owner of an established restoration Garage, one formerly known as Colin Clifford Restorations, Grimsby, well respected as well) and someone who gladly took on the task of securing a RHD VW bus, intent on restoring it for me/us.
Practicalities of this (unwritten) 'contract' were simple (I mean he was a mate, I had, albeit historically, purchased cars from him) I entrusted him with (a) finding a suitable 'bus' for which I would pay, including getting it to the garage and (b) set an initial budget for work that when used would (should have?) initiate a 'sit down and discuss options' and (c) they/he would document all works on DVD plus pictures of before and after to 'future proof' the 'bus'.
This was 2014, middle, sort of.
Great news, finally, after many 'misses' an (allegedly?) suitable 'bus' was found and in his e-mail to me the cry of, 'Mate, you've got a bargain!' jumped off the screen. Whilst the accompanying pictures were a bit difficult to see clearly, lots of sunshine, the travails to get the 'bus' (breakdowns etc) did not lessen the excitement of its arrival.
The (eventually named 'Klaus') 'bus' was a RHD 1967 barn door, from the depths of London, project unfinished, bits in boxes on board and duly a price tag of >8.5K plus travel costs was handed over.
Back to the year that all this started, 2014, this is an important date because in 2012 I had quit work and moved from the Industrial east coast, North East Lincolnshire, way, way down and in to deepest south west Cornwall, about ten miles from Lands End to be precise ergo all matters linked to the ‘bus’ were being carried out via e-mail, text and telephone call. Not a perfect arrangement but I mean he was a mate, what could go wrong, no seriously just what could go wrong?
Time slid by, usual moving and domestic problems occurred (old house sale after tenants trashed it, mother dying, ‘new’ refurbished home was literally falling apart around our ears and requiring emptying the ‘pot’ to re-build, again and again and again, ffs!)
Throughout this the invoices arrived for (metal) work being done on the ‘bus’ plus the obligatory pictures of how it was and how it looked now, to emphasise matters (it was the 6th August 2015 ‘bus’ re-sprayed, no doors on or around, should have been a clue?) and money had been transferred, literally, all seemed well.
That ‘all seemed well’ will haunt me forever because after a flurry of activity (metalwork, my purchasing a ‘Red9design’ front beam for installation, a sudden complete re-spray) the silence descended, not so much a silence as a combination of other matters occurring in our lives and as I wasn’t asking hey, no-one was talking.
Suddenly it is another year and early August 2016, now we are talking engines – John Gurney involved – and having sent him the old engine from the garage for re-build I assume all is good, oh so naïve as it turns out yet again.
John Gurney telephones me and if he – John – has ever telephoned you, you will know that this is not done lightly. John is not a gent that wears the tag ‘metrosexual’ and when his dulcet gravel tones echoed down the line with the blood chilling mid sentence content of ‘….where’s the engine mate?’ there was a tangible sense of doom now hanging in the air.
Our – Johns and my – chat ended in a good humoured way and I said that I would chase down matters from the garage, surely they must have simply missed putting all the parts on to the shipping pallet?
With hindsight it is time to sigh and shake your/my head again.
Around this time I had received out of the blue a rather bizarre telephone call from a former work pal – Aubrey Poole – someone who also knew Graham and who was also having his dream car restored (he used to amateur rally and had an Escort Mexico Mk2 in for restoration)
Reeling from the shock of hearing his voice, pleasantries over he then (metaphorically) kicked me in the privates with the statement and here I paraphrase quite a bit ‘..did I know that ‘Chappie’ was going bust!?’
Now Aubrey has been quite unwell and can be both very loud and confusing when he gets emotional, therefore my response to him was to simply say, no, not as far as I know, things are OK but I’ll chase him up for you and find out (Aubrey was, he said at that point, approx’ 30K out of pocket and no completion in sight, simply been told to offer up more cash to finish the job!)
My subsequent telephone conversations with Graham were defused by him stating that Aubrey had failed to pay enough, didn’t appreciate the true costs involved and his ill health was causing him way too much confusion.
Sadly and to my great chagrin I (initially) went with this, pouring conversational oil on troubled waters with my former work pal (Aubrey) but then I had my legs well and truly kicked out from beneath me by an e-mail from the last mechanic working for Graham the owner on the 5th of September 2016 stating that the garage was closing but he would try and do ‘some bits’ on the ‘bus’ before he left.
Stunned, I had invoices totalling the cost of a reasonably restored Type 2 (by the way my wife had spotted me totalling the cost over my shoulder at the PC and offered the very pithy ‘How f***ing much!!???’) with, in reality, nothing to show for it.
After much telephone and e-mail toing and froing with the garage (here try imagining a period of, suddenly, telephone lines not working, no e-mails, mobile telephone numbers not working and then requiring a son in law to pay unannounced visits!) and his – Grahams – tear infused apologies and verbal hand wringing, on the 23rd of September 2016 I asked Graham to arrange things for Paul Irving – ‘Irvs Restoration’ – to collect the ‘bus’ and relocate it to his garage in Barrow-in-Furness.
(this – arrangements to relocate and someone to do the work - was not achieved simply, it came about via other conversations and fantastic help from John Gurney and Nick Kaye of Airteriors)
There then followed a period where the ‘bus’ was collected for ‘Irv’ and moved across the Pennines, plus one of the (soon to be familiar ‘wtf’ type!?) calls from Paul Irving about the ‘bus’.
Seemed that on receipt of the ‘bus’ the alleged boxes of parts was somewhat incorrect, in fact wholly incorrect. Clue number one and oh a ‘biggy’, ‘Where are the doors!?’ plus the seriously chilling remark ‘I really need to see you face to face and show you the problems we’ve got!’.
Just when you think that rock bottom has been reached it is oh no, simply on the first few levels of the swamp bottom.
Now it is mid October 2016 and I must make a trip ‘up country’ to my (former) pals garage, look around for parts (that I won’t recognise as there was no inventory ever made of the ‘bus’!) and as we walked the, now bereft of staff garage, try to ignore his relentless cries of ‘not really my fault, all my managers!!’, then get the few parts in my car and haul them across country to ‘Irv’.
Have to say though it was a polite meeting (my current financial loss so big that I am somewhat numb to anger!) he couldn’t help, didn’t know where anything was and as the garage was closed wandering aimlessly around it was quite pointless. Therefore I left and started my long journey home to deepest South West Cornwall via ‘Irvs’.
To this day I’m sure ‘Irv’ was stunned that he had (finally?) come face to face with one of the best ever examples of why people should ‘leave it to the experts’ as we ambled in to his (soon to be) new workshop and he, with great reluctance and amazement, walked me round and itemised every last cock up, mistake and error that had been made on my/our ‘bus’. This walk through culminated with the heart sinking lines that included, ‘…. rather not do this’, ‘…cannot put my name to the end product’, ‘… not going to be cheap’, three of the many sound but depressing statements.
He – ‘Irv’ – left it with me to return home, discuss matters and re-contact him, this I would do.
On the 5th of November 2016 I received what has become the infamous e-mail from my (former) pal and (alleged) restorer, Graham Chapman, that he would (somehow) cover the reconstruction costs, at the least cover the cost of the ‘lost’ doors.
Whilst not winning the lottery it sounded as if there would be something (the doors cost at least!) coming back our way and I decided, for health and sanity alone, to leave matters there with him.
No, not me, sometimes ‘sleeping dogs lie’ is simply an expression as, having a bad day and following my sending of the invoices for work from ‘Irv’, itemising all matters to my (former) chum, the two line reply e-mail he sent that said he would try but due to HMRC issues, amongst other things, ‘….may go bankrupt…’.
Think we all know what that means?
Hey, happy days and here we are now, end of the year 2017, Yule being blown away, New Year on the horizon and as to our ’67 RHD bus?
He, Paul Irving of ‘Irvs Restos’, if you know the man, is someone who is frugal with words, quite candid at times, blunt even some may say but (in the main and between screams of hysterical laughter when you say something totally stupid, yes, I tend to do that!) honest and he had been honest.
The ‘bus’ has had to be stripped back (again) some metalwork re-worked (his comment that the other work done was, in essence, alright just poorly finished) and improved, doors sourced and ‘hung’, all the doors not simply the driver and passenger ones, a new ‘nose’ installed as the one fitted was incorrect for the ‘bus’ type and year, suspension off, rebuilt and (ultimately) re-fitted, re-sealed, re-primed and re-sprayed, to name but one or three of the many tasks performed prior to Iain – Simulation de rachat de crédit www.aircooledautoelec.com - bringing ‘Klaus’ very recently back to life, our joyous Yule surprise!!
In the wings there is the wonderful mister gravel voice’ John Gurney, waiting to slip his hand finished engine along – January 2018 – followed by the well known ‘tweeks’ and then on to the bespoke works of Nick Kaye, Airteriors, that will simply mirror all the other works performed.
This, our 2017 Christmas surprise, has only further improved and added some inane smiles down here in deepest south western Cornwall by ‘Irv’ himself, prior to the Yule/New Year close of play and his prep’ for honeymoon shenanigans, saying that he now feels the ‘bus’, now fettled to within an inch of its life by him and his (pretty fantastic!) team, will be comfortably carrying the ‘done by Paul Irving’ tag!
Is that the happy ending?
Well yes it is to be fair.
Of course we are massively out of pocket, money that we will more than likely never ever recoup and yes, my mistake but as I now fully appreciate, restoration of any classic vehicle will never be inexpensive IF done correctly!
I could conclude and offer all that moaning finger wagging sh**e but why? People it seems will always (mistakenly) trust ‘mates’, maybe choose a cheaper option, assume they have ‘the knowledge’ and be stunned when it all goes so seriously wrong, ‘tis the nature of the beast.
But if only just one person reads this and doesn’t get ruined, well, it won’t ease our ‘loss’ but makes it worth taking the time to tap this yarn out.
Aloha all you ‘bus’ folk, Yule wishes and New Year best, ‘Klaus’ will have his moments in the New Year, woohoo!!
I LOVE IT SO MUCH 8)

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