Friday, November 19, 2010

My Helms Bakery truck , AKA,My Hippy Van

My Doberman Buddy, is probably wondering what the heck is that thing?
I fell in love with the Helms bread truck when a gyro pilot friend showed me a picture of it many years ago. "How much will you take for it ?" , I asked. We came to an agreement and the bread truck was mine. I call it my Hippy Van because it is about the size and shape of a Volkswagen bus which was popular with the hippies in the 60's .
I rationalized needing it because we could use it when we traveled to fly-ins and air shows. It was an attention getter and it had room inside to carry all the items we took to display and it could also tow a gyro. Really, I just wanted the vehicle , plain and simple. My rationalizing didn't fool Docko...he knew I wanted the odd looking vehicle .
I intended to clean it up, paint it , etc. As happens sometimes, life got in the way and my hippy van ended up being stored outside for years in Northern California where it seems to rain all the time.
Finally it is home with me here in the desert . To say it looks sad is an understatement but I am up to the challenge of making it all pretty again. I don't plan to make it roadworthy because it's job from here on is to be a fancy gazebo sitting in the loop of our driveway. It's days on the road are done.
It is pretty rusty and some places the rust has eaten through the metal . I think with some rust inhibitor, bondo, or fierglass mat ( the mat chopped into fibers and mixed with resin to make a paste ) and a little paint I can get it looking OK again. I don't plan to replace any rusted out metal but fiberglass ,bondo and paint, I can handle.
It has a bellows for a horn...the horn is not working now but maybe eventually it will be. The engine instruments are very few. The ignition key is a toggle switch. It has a gas pedal, and a clutch/brake pedal. Push on the clutch/brake pedal a little and it acts as a clutch. Push a little more and it becomes a brake. The seat is shaped like an old fashioned bicycle seat and is mounted on a pedestal type arrangement. The seat can be pushed forward getting it out of the way allowing the driver to stand and drive.
It's roomy inside . Plenty of space to make a nice seating area and lots of big windows to view the scenery through. I think it will make a good get-a-way place to get away from cats, dogs, and birds for a little time out to myself when needed.
Till next time.
Marion Springer