Zesty! ('74 VW Riviera)

1974 VW Type II Riviera

The heart of the site, my 1974 VW Riviera. Purchased in a non-running condition for $50, it had nothing inside except some plywood in back and a stock cab. A 2.0L engine combined with a progressive Weber carburetor made for a poorly powered Volkswagen. The interior was full of spare parts and the top appeared to not have been opened since the late 80's/early 90's. Front brakes were frozen, rear brakes were leaking and out of adjustment. No rust in the body apart fom the usual battery tray/marker light rust. Some "intersting" previous owner wiring resulted in start problems unless the headlights were on. After pouring some gas in the tank and hearing it fire up (although rather poorly), I was sold. Time to revive!

Stock Dash

Junk In Zesty

Zesty & I Unmodified


As pictured above, Zesty needed a lot of work to get things back into shape. If the bus was to be a reliable driver, it needed to be dressed out with all the refinements of a daily driver yet still be a comfortable weekend/week camper. Good heat, good brakes, decent power, fuel economy, and simplicty were of primary concern. Secondary was Zesty's ability to cope with the annual Burning Man art festival in the desert of Nevada. Self sustainability is the name of the game and the vehicle must be able to cope with the 1200 mile trip towing more than the average quantity of camping goods. Bringing Zesty back to stock form was first. From there, let the chips fly!

Building Zesty!