Hello Adorn’s 1972 Volkswagen bus, named Goldie, is being used for our Endless Bracelet pop ups at various events such as music festivals, weddings, and parties!
Goldie was purchased from John, a San Diego resident who restored the vehicle as a “small” project to keep him busy throughout the 2020 pandemic. John considers himself a “real old guy who has a lot of hot rods”. Anyone who talks to him knows that his love for these vehicles is the real deal (right behind his wife – who he made clear he loves so much). In a delightful interview with John, he divulged all of the details about Goldie that any motor head or VW lover might want to know!
John purchased what would become Goldie in the San Diego beach town, Coronado Island. A place where old hippie surfers that hit the big time lived out of their vehicles, typically VW vans, in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Coronado Island still has an extremely high concentration of 1970s VW vans. John purchased Goldie from a guy who used it camping for 20 years all over the western US— and had spent a lot of time in the Sierras with it.
The restoration project took John about eight months and is considered a “total restoration” – meaning it was taken apart completely – the upholstery was redone, the top of the van got new canvas and new glass, and it was then repainted the iconic and original color Sierra Gold, inside and out, and THEN reassembled.
For you motor heads out there, here’s the real LOW DOWN – this is the part you’re really going to want to read (if you’re not mechanically inclined, then Google is your friend here). John’s restoration of Goldie included a motor that drives into the 70mph range so it can pass people on the highway ;) which is not typical for this make, model, and year of vehicle. This engine is a type four Volkswagen engine, out of a late VW air cool. It has a 2 liter or 2000 CC engine stock, but the engine has been modified to 2300 CCs. The engine has dual carburetors and has multiple other engine upgrades. The transmission is a freeway flier, and the front end is mechanically a ‘72 VW with disc brakes.
The fiberglass poptop of the vehicle makes Goldie a little more unique. Westfalia, a company that does the camper conversion for VW, builds the camper’s poptop, which John made sure Goldie had. The interior is all authentic, and the seats were aftermarket. He basically restored it to “factory” and then put a motor in it. John also took out the refrigerator and water system, because he no longer intended it to be camped out of – which works perfectly for Hello Adorn, as we love the extra space to pack in all of our items for Endless events!
Once the vehicle was restored, John and his wife used it for cruising around San Diego county, and displaying at car shows. It only had a couple thousand miles on it when Jess & Adam purchased it. John actually had no intention of selling in the first place! He built it to keep for himself, so when he purchased parts for it during the restoration process, he chose all of the BEST parts because he believed it’d only be for his specifications. But when he brought the van to a big car show in Reno he connected with Jess and Adam’s friend, Aubrey. One thing led to another and suddenly Goldie made her way to her new home in Eau Claire, Wisconsin by the end of summer 2022.
John was incredibly passionate about this vehicle, and expressed that he was glad it was going to a good place. He also said that for the price of out-of-state tuition at California State University, he’ll build you one too. Not a bad deal, right?! John owns a few hot rods right now, including a ‘61 Chevy Impala, ‘37 Ford with a Chevy motor, and a ‘51 Mercury Chopped Top, and continues to enjoy car shows, restoration projects, and cruising around with his lovely wife. When asked if his wife liked silver or gold jewelry, John said “I knew I was instantly in love when she said she liked wearing silver, turquoise, and Mexican jewelry”. I think we have some silver options for you to choose from, John! (;