Project VW T25
With the outside looking slightly less Scooby Doo, we turn our attention to the inside.
Sorting the grotty trim and attending to some safety-critical items.
We spent most of last month trying to get the outside of the Caravelle looking vaguely presentable and although it’s not exactly concours standard just yet, it’s now looking respectable enough to drive round in without onlookers staring and pointing.
This left the inside in dire need of attention. After just a few minutes behind the wheel I realised that the keeper of the vehicle in recent years hasn’t exactly been a devotee of the ritual Sunday car wash to put it mildly. The interior looks as if it hasn’t been cleaned in several years and was quite simply disgustingly filthy.
First step was to break out the trusty Vax carpet cleaning machine which worked well, with the water coming out dark brown after running it over the two front seats.
The carpet though was another matter. When it left VW’s Hanover factory, the Caravelle was trimmed with blue door cards and carpets to match the blue velour seats, but the years of accumulated filth hadn’t done it any favours.
The carpet cleaner would only do so much and the solution was to replace it entirely. Luckily, project sponsors VW Heritage can supply a complete carpet set tailored for the cab area, manufactured by Newton Commercial which is well known in the classic car scene for their big range of carpets, seat covers and other trim products.
A blue is listed for the T25 but thinking it might be rather bright, we were going to go for safe old black until Andy at VW Heritage suggested a sensible compromise of grey.
The kit duly arrived and we set to work stripping out the old carpet, which is easy enough once the seatbelt mountings, handbrake surround and throttle linkage have been removed. The new carpet comes with basic instructions but it’s really pretty straightforward and with a can of suitable spray glue and a Stanley knife it’s an easy task for the capable DIYer.
We did come up against a slight hurdle in that our van is an automatic and the carpet set was for a manual but as you can see from the photos a bit of lateral thinking and a sharp blade sorted the problem and after about four hours’ work the Caravelle is a whole lot more pleasant inside as well as smelling rather nicer.
The next task is to trim the rear section in suitable matching carpet, since it’s currently finished in domestic carpet tiles which are similarly filthy.