Rat Style Camper – finding a suitable subject

DragBus Rat Style part one – start with a rusty VW Bus

The build spec for this project was a solid deluxe walk through Bus in a Rat Style – with an engine. Rat style and hoodride campers are all unique – no two will be the same – vintage accessories and parts, air cooled engines, custom or stock wheels are a given but its the bodywork and how worn it is that makes the statement.


What we wanted was a lowered Camper running some cool wheels, with the bodywork as solid as we can get – maybe with seats in it so we can do the school run, and a big engine. Rusted out Campers are fairly easy to find but this time we wanted a walk through. This is what we found – curtesy John Harper Carolinas Vintage Workshop – way cool walk thru front seating – now mother can climb into the back of the Camper to talk to the children;
VW Camper walk through seating


A solid cargo floor – one of the high traffic areas and one thats frequently rusted out and missing altogether in a rusty Camper;
VW Camper cargo floor


Dash area confirms this is a deluxe model – the clock for the passenger to keep time with, and in this Bus a bonus in that the radio panel has not been cut – frequently done to put in a later style radio;
VW Bus deluxe dash original radio hole


And this is where the work is required – a new passenger floor, lower a post and probably a door is required passenger side;
Campervan rusted out front floor


This is probably why that corner had rusted – ouch – needs some panel beating here maybe;
VW Camper nose dented


The rear corners will need work;
vw camper rear corner dented


Rusted out battery tray VW Camper


Long side Sill is ok, but the passenger side will need work;
Campervan sill long side rocker panel


Campervan cargo door short sill rocker panel rust


Quite the challenge. Unfortunately the original paint on the Bus was not saved – about 20% exterior visible.

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