March 2, 2011 in Volkswagen Bus
I’ve always loved street food; especially after a few drinks. Maybe that’s why I like grilling so much. You’re taking about a guy that paid a taxi driver to drive around NYC for 1hr to look for a shish kabob stand that was still open after bar closing. Annoying drunk? More than likely, but I was really craving a shish kabob. Bacon wrapped hot dogs are not usually scary but at 2am in a dark parking lot in Tijuana…just a little. I for some reason love eating things out of carts or whatever vehicles of preparation.
So with this in mind, I had to figure out a way to get me one. The first thing was to figure out how to get the wife to approve it. First, she is totally against me opening another restaurant. Honestly, I was too. I was happy with one restaurant that I could be hands on with but I really wanted a food cart. So I decided to play that “no second restaurant” to my advantage. I kept on mentioning investors that wanted me to open another restaurant here and there to get a “no” reaction. Then when she was totally against it all, I said, “how about a food cart instead?” She said “ok, you can have a food cart” thinking that it was in the far future. She was also probably not thinking I was no going to restore a 60s era VW bus and converting it into a food cart.
It took me two weeks to develop a plan and pick the vehicle (see previous post). I told her my plan to buy a VW BUS I found in North Dakota and to make it into a food cart. Her words were, “I didn’t think you were going to do it right away” and that’s when she realized she fell into my trap. It wasn’t really a trap but a……ok it was trap. Childish thing for me to do? Yes. Did I mention, I really wanted a food cart and to make street food.
I picked up the 65 VW bus from ND in the late fall of 2009, hoping I could finish it for the 2010 season. That turned out to be a very difficult goal. The 65 bus needed body and engine work. There were a lot of rust holes that needed to be patched. I started rebuilding the engine that winter. I was half way done with the engine rebuild when I found the running bus. It was in better condition and had a rebuilt engine in it. I knew for sure it was drivable and all I needed to do was body work. After I got the VW bus home and the interior ripped out; we started working on the removal of the bus roof. By the way, I’m doing all of this in my garage. To be continued…