VW Scandal…

Nah, not the recent diesel palaver.. (great word, and possibly the very first time i’ve used palaver in a typed sentence)

Anyway.. The only scandal here is the fact that one man can keep hunting out these rare beasts, and getting us to change them from patchy dull embarrassments, to something that wouldn’t look out of place camping in the grounds of Windsor Castle.


This latest challenge set by what is fast becoming quite a unique customer, was another VW T25 1989 Karmann Camper.  This is the 2nd job to the Karmann Syncro blog below, and they make quite a pair.  This one however wasn’t initially as good as the Syncro we did, and this one was plagued with all the standard industry issues, from dull paintwork, deep surface scratches, hazy swirled acrylic windows, and several rather suspect patches of paintwork.  Again we were faced with the original paint that’s as thin and as delicate as it gets, and again the owner wanted it to stay as original as possible.  Hours of very gingerly machine polishing, masking, de-masking, finishing, and detailing, and what we were left with was something rather respectable if I do say so myself.  We not only managed to bring all the paint back to it’s original shine, but we managed to blend all the patches of paintwork back into this matching finish.  This coupled with restoring the damaged windows back to a crystal clear finish, only complimented the whole job.


Pictures don’t always show a true representation of something in the flesh, but these pictures actually do.  This latest job turned out a far bigger transformation than the job below, simply because it looked so tired to start with.

Finally, this job was special to myself and my colleague Lee, because it was the final job we did in our work Vivaro, after 2 years and 90,000 miles.  Oh and now the Vauxhall has finally gone, we’ve replaced her with what…. ?

A VW of course…

1 of 30 ever produced..

According to our information, this 1989 Karmann Gipsy Syncro is one of only thirty of these models ever produced, and potentially this is 1 of only 3 in the UK, and we at Tourershine had the daunting task of restoring the paintwork.


Why daunting? You do this every day… Well daunting because the customer wanted this rare beast keeping totally original, and as the paint was untouched and 28 years old, it had some rather challenging issues.  What we were faced with was an untouched original VW in a very surprising condition.  Not only was it untouched, but it had no evidence of any paint repairs, dents, scratches or poor filler work. (all common place in my industry) In-fact it was better than most of the newer jobs we carry out.  All we were faced with was an oxidised finish that left the Karmann in a cloudy dull state.  This is the core of our business, and fixing these issues is normal every day work for us.  However, this thing as you can see above, has the dreaded ribs that make up it’s construction strength.  These ribs are a total nightmare on normal Caravans and the odd Motorhome that still has these features.  On this job, it was even harder due to the depth of the paintwork on the edges of the ribs.  This meant our usual ‘Machine polishing’ methods had to be totally adjusted and we ended up masking all the edges whist we machined.  This cut out the high risk of going though the edges and exposing the bare aluminium underneath.  This is not actually the case on the more modern ribbed finishes, because the paint depth (thickness) is much better, and years of working the surfaces of ribs has taught us certain methods to use when machine polishing these types of surfaces safely.

After a full machine polish, we had to de-mask and very very gingerly blend in the rib edges by hand.  Making this small motorhome possibly the most delicate job we’ve undertaken.


Thankfully as you can see above, we managed to achieve our usual glossy finish, not go through any of the edges, and keep this beautiful 1989 VW in it’s total original state.  The owner was extreamly fastidious, and he was so overjoyed with the result, he’s just booked in his 2nd job with us on his latest 1989 VW Karmann.  When you consider having these things nut and bolt restored can run into 10s of thousands of pounds to achieve pretty much the same result, it seems like a pretty good option to me, and the hordes of VW enthusiasts that want these things as original as possible.