Boscha our 1987 Vanagon Westfalia has not just been our sole vehicle for the past 2.5 years, but also our house and friend. We have asked a lot out of her as she has carried us around the country. At times our gross weight has exceeded 5,000 lbs yet she rarely complained as we crawled over mountain passes and drove the congested streets of major city’s. However, we always closely watched her, knowing that many of her old and tired parts would someday need attention.
We watched as the coolant leaked from the heads. Uh oh. Recently, with each passing week, the oil spots below the engine appeared larger. The old girl Boscha was starting to groan more than she ever had. We knew that the inevitable was around the corner. Boscha’s engine, with close to 300,000 miles including one engine rebuild, was ready to quit. Our troubles had not gone unnoticed though. GoWesty, our sponsor and the most reputable Vanagon aftermarket and restoration company, gave us the best news that any Vanagon owner could ever get. They were going to GIVE Boscha and our journey new life! This breath of life would come in the form of a brand new 2450cc engine, a complete stainless steel exhaust, a new coolant system, Plate steel bumpers, rear swing aways, swing away accessories, skid plate and many other small parts to get Boscha outfitted and running like a champ.
There was just one small obstacle that we would have to overcome before Boscha could receive her transplant. We had to complete the filming of our Kickstarter-funded modern nomads web series. The project would take us on a 5,000 mile journey from Maine to Key West and finally to Los Osos, CA, the home of GoWesty.
Knowing that Boscha was suffering from leaking heads, a leaking oil pump, most likely low compression and an old exhaust, we made her a deal. All she had to do was make it to the parking lot of GoWesty and then she would be given the makeover she truly deserved. After some last minute body work and new oil, we loaded Boscha up and headed south to film the web series.
The stakes were high during production. We interviewed 13 nomadic couple, families and individuals over one month, with little time to spare between interviews. Even a small breakdown would set us back and risk losing an interview opportunity. It was as if Boscha could sense the importance of this month, as she charged through the entire production without an issue. Over the entire 5,000 miles she would only give us two small problems in the form of a cracked coolant tank and bad CV joint two days after wrapping production.
As we merged onto the Pacific Coast Highway we felt a sense of relief. The the beginning of a new chapter in our journey was so close.
Finally, we were finally able to exhale as we pulled into GoWesty. Surrounded by many beautifully restored Vanagons, we felt at home. We did it. Boscha did it. Barely. Boscha knew that she had lived up to her end of the bargain, and her engine officially died just a feet away from the shop where she would receive her heart transplant.
Over the next two weeks the crew at GoWesty would touch almost every system in Boscha as well as add many amazing accessories. In the end, we would be happily reunited with our capable vehicle… our home and friend!