by Tony "Tosh" Brooks
into The home straight
It was then onwards and upwards with fitting the external locker doors, entry door, toilet access and flush fillers, side windows, marker lights, sunroof, tv aerial, roof vent, etc, to the body, and we had a set of fancy led rear lights, rear view camera, new number plate, rear window and the spare wheel carrier to fit to the back end.
We deliberately wanted people to see the car from the back and be confused as to what it was. Is it just a regular, modern type caravan or motor home or what? So we fitted high and low rise led stop and tail lights & indicators, led fog & reversing lights and a high rise brake light, as you’d find on modern vehicles. Then with the old style registration plate and the spare Rostyle wheel hung on the back, along with the V8 3500 badges, it would make people realise this was no “ordinary” motor home!
My younger brother Tim had been hard at work, he had taken all the wood pieces from the cab interior, as well as all the chrome trims and door cards home and set about bringing them all back up to a beautiful finish, fit to go back on the car. He flatted, repaired and re-varnished the wood. Polished up the chrome trims, bumper and grille, and re-trimmed the door cards and dash parts with new black vinyl and velour, and fitted new fur flex trim and rubber door seals.
My wife Alison spent hours stripping down the front seats, re-stitching the splits, fitting new padding, feeding and colouring the leather and building them back together, and did a fabulous job of saving what I thought were a pair of seats beyond all repair!
Her next task was to make the seating, curtains and pelmets for the rear interior, as well as helping to carpet line the ceiling, and paper the walls. She had free reign with the interior design, and to go along with the Apollo theme of stars and glamour, she came up with black glitter carpet on the floor, silver grey curtains, and fabulous purple faux leather for the seating and pelmets. The seating then went one stage further with big diamante buttoning! It looks amazing and certainly not what people expect to see in a 60’s motor home!
I fitted a Truma gas and electric water heater, and fresh water tank with pressurised water flow system, which would pump hot or cold water to the smart round kitchen sink and bathroom basin. A 3 way fridge freezer and full cooker with 4 ring hob, grill and oven. The gas bottle is housed at the nearside rear and accessed from an external locker. The external locker on the off side houses the car battery and the leisure battery to run the 12v system, which is then connected to a 100w solar panel on the roof which is split switched so we can trickle charge either battery at any time. There’s a 240v hook-up too, connected to the mains consumer unit, and we have several mains sockets throughout, and can run the water heater and fridge on mains, as well as re-charge the leisure battery when hooked up.
We had smart bespoke worktops made in a glittery white laminate and tiled the kitchen area in purple and white lightweight tiles with chrome trims, which really finish off the look.
With the interior starting to look the part we needed to add some “in car” entertainment, so I added a 12v tv/dvd player on a wall bracket next to the entry door. It is the perfect position to watch tv from the rear seating area or whilst laid on the over cab double bed! The tv connects to a Status telescopic aerial on the roof with signal booster. Then I fitted a cd player connected to two ceiling mounted speakers which also double up for the cd player in the cab, as we didn’t want to put speakers back in the new door cards.
Overall, the only thing that we ended up using from the original camper is the main aluminium frame and the wood roof frame, which apart from a bit of rotten wood that needed replacing, was in pretty good shape, and the plastic wheel arch covers. Everything else is new, and although it looks similar to the original, if a picture of the before and after are put together, you will see they are quite different.
It’s quite obvious the rear end view is totally different with the new lights etc, but the sides look similar until you notice on the nearside, the window in the entry door, the curved led awning light, the gas locker door and the smaller side window, as well as the water tank filler, and the water heater exhaust outlet.
On the offside, apart from the smaller window, the differences are the toilet cassette access door and flush inlet, the fuel filler cap, the battery box door and hook-up inlet.
Next time - Tony reflects on the restoration and what he knows of Apollo's past
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