The Story of Clancy

In 1974 this orange Westfalia camper was born in Germany and managed to find his way to Australia as an independent import in what year we’re unsure of. 

The owner we bought him off had prepared him for a lap around Australia in the year 2000. He took off from Northern NSW and 1hr into his trip heading north he pulled up at an air-conditioning company and asked if they could fit him up with an aircon. To which they responded there wasn’t enough power in the engine to run an air-con unit so he did a u-turn, stopped off at a car yard on his way home and bought a commodore + caravan and parked Clancy under a tree where he stayed for the next 14 years to slowly rot away.

I was walking down the Esplanade of Cairns in 2014 on a little holiday when George called and said hey I’ve found you a 1974 Westfalia camper.  It was only a few days prior I’d asked him if he would restore another one of the Westfalia’s in the paddock for me and he’d laughed.  I mean what ever happened to what’s yours is mine?  

George was doing his usual daily searches online for kombi’s incase something great was out there when he saw Clancy. He was still under that tree inland on the border of NSW and QLD and had a lot of structural rust but knowing how rare his kind of kombi is, George knew $6k for this camper was too good to let go of so we purchased him and had him towed home.

He definitely looked quite rough however we could see past this and saw his potential to play a big part in our family one day.

In the winter of 2015 we relocated from Diamond Creek to Marcus Hill and around September sadly lost one of our dearly loved kombi’s to an accident so we looked at Clancy and knew it was his time to join the team.

We had two young German men backpacking with no kombi restoring skills step up to the challenge and over 7 stressful weeks they helped to transform Clancy back into his incredible self.  He had extensive rust repairs done, a full respray back to original orange and cream, new canvas in the pop top, reupholstered the front seats and door cards however the rest of his original Westfalia fit out was in excellent condition so we shampooed his back seats and scrubbed his cupboards.

Clancy has been a key player in our team and we have always felt like he is the tough one on the fleet. The kids love being able to draw and play games on his table while we drive, playing + sleeping in his roof and our family have really enjoyed our road trips with him.

In 2020 our business was hit hard from covid shutting down the country so with endless cancellations we decided to pull Clancy off the fleet so we could attend to some large rust spots appearing on him.

Unfortunately we had to put a stop to his restoration when we realised how long we would be shut for and he was covered with a tarp and pushed to the side.

It saddened us to see him pulled apart so we were over the moon when we opened up again and Mecca needed him to do an activation in early 2021.

It gave us the opportunity to push Clancy back in the shed but with another stressful deadline ahead of us. 

George once again found himself working around the clock and sleeping in the back seat of Clancy for a few hours at a time to get the full restoration complete in time.

He was using someone else's workshop at the time so the kids and I would take him breakfast, lunch and dinner and hang out with him and become his personal assistant.  On the last night before he had to be delivered to Melbourne I wanted to curl up into a fetal position and not wake up until someone told me it was complete.  The kids slept in a kombi in the workshop, I worked until 2am at which I was falling asleep in the driver's seat helping George bleed the brakes and at 5am I woke up to George still running around doing the finishing touches.  I felt so sick knowing George hadn’t slept for days and I had to go home to wash kombi’s and meet customers.  

As George left the workshop for Melbourne I cried as I knew he was so tired. I received a phone call 20 mins later from George saying he fell asleep at the wheel and had to stop. I got off the phone and thought why are we still doing this. I sent out lots of messages to friends asking if anyone could drive George to Melbourne and our mate Tommy came to the rescue.  He arrived to George sleeping in the driver's seat and George said he remembers the relief when he saw Tommy’s face. They were late by a few hours but we had by some miracle made another awful restoration deadline and Clancy is looking more beautiful than ever and was converted to an automatic.