It all began 10 years ago as I was uselessly studying business at my hometown University.
While all my classmates were struggling to find a decent internship during the economic crisis, I had another plan in mind. Leaving Québec to spend the summer helping out in a surf shop on the windy Outer Banks of North Carolina sounded way more appealing to me.
With that dream job secured, one thing was still missing: lodging.
That’s when the idea of living in a van instead of wasting hard earned moola on rent came up. But like any student, money was a rare thing in my pocket. Thankfully, something called “student loans” saved me. Trying to convince the lady at the bank that spending several thousand dollars on a 25 year-old van would help me graduate was no easy task, but I somehow managed to do so. Next thing I knew, I was sitting in a bus with my partner in crime, Étienne. We were on our way to Toronto to pick up a 1984 Westfalia that would later be named Miguel.
The years went by, the road trip/breakdown stories added up and I was now in need of another vehicle to fulfill my vdub mental illness: a Syncro.
For the ignorant out there, a Syncro is the 4WD version of a Vanagon, which means you can get stuck further and spend more cash on super-hard-to-find parts. But when you setup camp right on the beach and the standard Westy guys are parked at the beginning of the trail, it’s all – kind of – worth it.
Long short story, I bought this 1989 Transporter Syncro from a guy I met at the very first edition of El Campo. He happened to own two of these beasts, and after a year or so of discussions, he was kind enough to let me be the next dude to keep this legendary truck on the road. So I sold Miguel and began working on the Syncro’s interior over the winter. That same Étienne guy became a talented woodworker over the years and once again gave me a tremendous hand on my second Vanagon.
Don’t worry, this is by no means another “How to build a van interior” article. This topic is already well documented on the world wide web. Instead, please enjoy watching the process of such a project, captured by my buddy Julien-Pier.