Here’s what’s going on this week at the Airkooled Kustoms VW shop in Hazel Green, AL.
From the VW Single Cab and Cabral’s Bay resting near Mazzie the VW Notchback and Miss Mabel, the 1959 VW Beetle Ragtop, we sneak up on Spook, who’s finishing up tuning Jesse’s Girl.
Jesse’s Girl is a 21 Window Ragtop 1965 VW Bus restoration project that has shop visitors stopping in their tracks. Spook’s been working on it, and working on it, and working on it this week. In fact, in a very real way, he eats, sleeps, breathes, and wears this project (if you count all the dust!). She’s just about done with this stage and will be primed and ready for paint soon. Going to be a show stopper!
Interesting thing with Jesse’s Girl – since her owner is currently living in the land of far, far away, we’re doing a bit of a workaround on getting her paint color nailed down. We’ll start with the basic colors he’s requested, and then create some kustom options as well for the color test. Then, while we’d usually send them on to the client (or have the client come in), instead, this time we’ll send them to his folks to make the final choice on his behalf.
After the cruise around the bus, we pass the Davis 72 Bay on the lift (we started out just doing a new suspension, but now we’re doing a full mechanical restoration, including brakes and a new engine). It’s funny how that happens. Almost like that book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie – or like some folks shop for clothes… one thing leads to another, and you figure while you’re getting one improvement made, maybe now’s the time to get another done, and another, and another… after all, it’s already in the shop, anyway!
Then we edge up the back of Sex and Candy, Fergie’s Ghia, where 00Dub, CUF, and DJ are having a pow-wow. Of course, getting 00Dub on video is nearly as tricky as getting the Loch Ness Monster on video – so that’s a win right there.
As you can see, we’ve got Dubs EVERYWHERE! Just like we like it.
The Airkooled Kustoms Classic Volkswagen Shop Internship Program
“We’ll rag on you. We’ll set you to work cutting up a Dub with a Sawzall. We’ll let you inside (maybe) only to sweep. You’ll think Cinderella had it made, at times. Oh, and no pay for the first half-year. But if you show up, and SHOW UP, and don’t cull yourself from the pack, you may just find not only a job that will leave your hands bruised, burned, and greasy – but one where you find your Zen zone and the joy of building Dubs – the right way.”
Susan here, would you like me to translate that from Spookeze for you?
Airkooled Kustoms has re-opened its internship program, as our last intern is now a full-fledged krew member. Here are some of the peculiar particulars:
The program is NOT for everyone.
It is NOT paid.
It requires 1-2 days a week, usually for six months.
You will work hard.
You will get dirty.
You may even say #)(#*(! now and then because you’re either not sure you know what you’re supposed to be doing – or because you ARE sure.
You’ll take on a temporary new name, until your shop name emerges. The new name is Timmy. (You’ll have to YouTube a clip of Dinosaurs TV Show – Timmy to understand).
No, you may not lick the Dubs, no matter how juicy and gorgeous their paint finishes look.
If, at the end of your internship, it becomes clear that you and the shop are an excellent fit, you may receive an offer of employment.
Some famous Timmy’s in the lineage of Airkooled Kustoms Krew include Crazy Uncle Floyd and Dammit John. Both began with the same first tool – a broom. Both worked their butts off doing every task nobody in their right mind would want to do. Both showed up, and showed up every day. Both were ultimately hired. And both would say being a Timmy was one of the best moves they ever made.
If this prospect interests you, you should either seek psychiatric help or contact Roger at the shop by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
About a year ago, the juniors at my school were taking the ACT. Because of this, everyone who wasn’t a junior got to do something that counted as a school day, but wasn’t school. I wasn’t going to do anything that the school offered, because “AP study groups” and “library volunteering” isn’t really my thing. Well, my mom got in touch with Spook and I ended up getting to come to Airkooled Kustoms for a day.
A year later, I get the enrichment day paper at school, and without a second thought, I knew I wanted to go to the Airkooled Kustoms VW shop. My mom and I got up earlier this time, brought the right brand of donuts, and got there even a little bit early. However, this time I wasn’t just going to be shadowing, I was going to be getting a preview of what it’s like to be a “Timmy”.
The first job Spook had for me was take a huge pile of trash to the ditch, and anything with metal components to the dumpster. That went by pretty easily. John showed me where to put the wheel-barrel, and even showed me the red convertible beetle that I got to work on a year earlier. We went back in the shop and I see Crazy Uncle Floyd holding some donuts saying, “I love it when this guy comes!”
The next job they had for me was to take-apart the front beam of a Karman Ghia. John told me how to get it off the chassis, and after I did that, we put the body on top of the chassis. He told me what parts to take off. It was weird because one side was easy to get the wheel off, and the other had so much rust John had to get a huge metal pole, put it on the wrench, and put his full body weight on it for it to snap loose. Then he had me do the same. Dismantling the entire front beam took me a while. I wasn’t exactly sure what to unscrew to get the parts off at some points. But, one thing that Airkooled Kustoms does that school doesn’t, is make you think for yourself. At school we get detailed instructions on how to do this and that, but at Airkooled, it was just “take it apart” basically.
For lunch, we had pizza, where Floyd said, “You need to come more often, dude!” I guess they don’t get pizza at work much. Afterwards, the beam was finally dismantled with the help of Spook, John, air-compression hammer, and fire. Then, I was handed over to Floyd.
He didn’t have anything for me to do, so he got me to sort screws. It wasn’t that bad, but I assumed it was one of those jobs where they had saved it for me because no one else wanted to do it, which was totally fine. I came for the “Timmy-experience”, anyways. Then, Floyd said he had something for me, which was taking parts off an air-compressor engine that wasn’t working. As I worked with that, I learned that you can play the chainsaw, as one of Roger’s songs by Jackyl featured a chainsaw solo.
As Floyd went to call the company about the engine, Roger had me and John empty the gas out of Bumblebee’s gas tank. But then, I got to do the “Timmy” signature job of sweeping. Floyd had said a year earlier that a Timmy’s first tool is a broom, and I was now sweeping up the shop. My mom came, and I finished the job. It was a pretty fun day. It wasn’t easy, but it was fun. I have no absolute idea if I will become an official “Timmy” at Airkooled Kustoms or not. I don’t even know really what I want to do for a living, yet. But, I enjoy going there and it’s an awesome place to be at. Thanks guys!