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.