Why We’re Restoring the Joy Bus and Chasing Dreams Together Episode #107

Aaron McHugh


My daughter and I are restoring our 1974 VW Joy Bus. This is the story of us chasing dreams together. Read the full Joy Bus story here. Here are some pictures from our adventure purchasing her in Portland, OR and then driving through five states, 1300 miles, to bring her to her new home in Colorado Springs, CO.

Just purchased and headed downtown Portland to check our spare tire to begin our journey back to Colorado.
Our first stop Multnomah Falls, OR 45.5762° N, 122.1158° W
Tough to get a good shot underneath a waterfall.
Game On-The Joy Bus Journey Begins. The heater only partially worked. The sun roof acted like a cold air intake. And we smelled like gas from all the exhaust fumes. Adventure!
Mollie’s Cafe in Snowville UT. A Hot home cooked meal before camping in twenty degrees. 41.9657° N, 112.7103° W
Laramie Wyoming nearing Colorado on Day three. No Mechanical problems. Just smooth VW cruising at 65 MPH. 41.3114° N, 105.5911° W
Matt and Aaron feeling the VW Zen from the hum of the highway
Joy Bus interior the day we purchased her. Great condition. The previous owner fixed her up a lot.
Laydown camper bed. Super comfortable and nice.
As she looked the day we bought her. Four speed automatic. 159K original miles.
Once we got her home, the scrubbing began. We make a great cleaning crew.
Averi and I last winter before we got the heater working. We had to bundle up to go for a drive.
We applied for specialized Colorado plates and got approved! The Joy Bus is official.
We stripped her down and started treating the rust spots and repainting to the original interior color.
We pulled out the bed, repainted and recovered it. Ready for the next mega road trip.
We recovered the bench & bed cushions with upholstery fabric. You can see the new vs. the old here.
The new fabric covered and installed. Note the new curtains we sewed ourselves after contacting an artist in LA who hand draws VW’s and surfboards on them. We purchased his artwork, had custom fabric made and sewed new curtains last spring.
We decided that our table needed some color. So we took our sticker collections and gave it some personal character.
We found this Jump seat at a VW salvage yard. I traded a box of extra parts for it. We stripped it down and cut a new birch wood face. We’re covering it with our curtain fabric.
Our curtain fabric RAD Cars with RAD Surfboards on them. VW’s only of all different kinds.
Anywhere we’ve found rust, we’ve cleaned it and prevented future rust to return. We replaced the headlights and put in new casings.
The master plan and punch list of items completed and in process. We’re hoping to finish it all up this weekend and be back on the road.

I will post finished pictures once we are wrapped up. Hope you enjoy our journey.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.