Marty Allen Heaters Article
Where in North America Is Marty Allen?
Marty Allen's hobby is just a lot of hot air and that's the way we like it. Marty is one of a handful of people in North America who salvage and rebuild gas heaters for air cooled vehicles. He sells nationally. Most of the time, you can find an ad in www.thesamba.com for Marty's wares. We are fortunate that he lives in the Denver Metro area.
In the 1980's I lived in Anchorage Alaska. My '66 had a German heater. More than a creature comfort, it kept the cabin warm enough to keep the windows from frosting up so I could see where I was going. It was teh warmest car I've ever owned. Roger Lozier and I spent an hour with Marty in his garage looking at heaters for bugs and busses whle getting an education on same. At right, you see Marty's purpose built rig to bench test rebuilt heaters. Understand that it is not enough to have found a working heater. You need all of the fussy peripheral bits to make it work in your car. There's a specialized wiring harness, fuel pump, multiple pieces that make up the intake duct, supply ducts, and the exhaust. All of these now rare parts work together to allow the heater to nestle under the bonnet, keep you warm and operate safely. They curve around bug and busses' distinctive shapes. If you are looking at a heater in a swap meet, and the seller says, "look, it spins around" - You are a long way from having it work in your vehicle. Club member Dan Jensen told me a couple of months ago, if you get a heater from Marty, it's a complete set up. All the parts are there, you get an operating manual and installation instructions.
At right, Marty fires up his model BN2 in his sharp, 1973 standard bug. In the long past, Marty did a demonstration for VWEC and I'll wager that if we had him back, it would be a very popular event for the club and the air cooled community as well. Marty's well kept '73 and his neat garage mirror a lot of what you see in Marty himself. Marty impresses as a fellow who is well organized and painstaking in his work.
Why does he do it? AS mentioned at the outset this is a hobby for Marty. In a typical year he may sell 3-4 heaters so it doesn't even pay the rent. Marty has contacts in the States and from coast to coast in Canada. Even with a net-work that has taken decades to build, Marty vouches that good, rebuildable heaters and the trimmings that complete them are getting harder to come by. Marty enjoys the challenge of traveling a continent to put together a puzzle that few have the specialized knowledge to solve. Marty's hobby is a stimulating brainteaswer that gets more challenging as time goes by.
Why does he do it? AS mentioned at the outset this is a hobby for Marty. In a typical year he may sell
Last Updated (Thursday, 08 April 2010 11:54)
3-13-2010 VW Radio Clinic Article
Roger Lozier article on the VWEC Volkswagen radio clinic
Yesterday (Saturday March 13) was a beautiful day in the Denver metropolitan area. It was a warm and dry, it was a perfect day for driving an old Volkswagen. Supplemental air conditioning (air or heat) was not required, traffic was comparatively light and fellow commuters were generally amenable to sharing the road.
We rallied at Bill and Rosie Walker's home for cookies, brownies and coffee on their deck. We socialized and kicked tires for awhile before convoying to the home of Rich Langenwalter. Rich specializes in restoring VW Sappphire radios manufactured between 1960 and 1967 encompassing the transition from 6 volt tube types to fully transistorized. For reference we each were given an illustrated adn informative article tracing the history of the Bendix and Motorola variations of the radios produced for installation in VW autos. Rich told us how he diagnosed his first radio malfunction. It was an inoperable Sapphire from his mid-60's Bug. Rich had the radio hooked up. He used himself as a continuity tester by licking his finger and putting it on the circuitry. Two fortuitous events occurred simultaneously. The radio began to play and Rich did not electrify himself. After the successful test Rich called someone who actually understood the inner workings and hidden mysteries of the radio who called him an (expletive deleted) dummy and told him to replace the capacitor on the opposite side of where he had placed an inquiring finger.now Rich is a master at diagnoses and repair of old VW radios. His engrossing hobby has developed into a side business that appears to be fun and profitable. We all enjoyed a fascinating presentation and I learned a lot. Primarily, I should use caution when poking in unfamiliar territory with a wet finger and the sound emanating from my radios' speaker is not magic. There are millions of frogs pedaling tiny bicycles hooked to sound frequency generators beneath Yellowstone thus explaining the recent occurrence of earthquake clusters in the region and the resurgence of acid rock.
AFter the radio seminar several of us went to Sonic for lunch. They offered free tater tots with a deluxe burger so I contributed to my fat cells and enjoyed visiting with the others. AFterwards Bill and I drove down to Louviers to discuss the proposed picnic, tour of the area and campout with resident Danny Magee. Danny wasn't home, but he invited us to meet him at hte work (Cold War) where they restore and sell military vehicles. We found Danny, his son and a friend busy converting a VW sedan to a Baja type Bug. There are a few more VW's on the site that are in various stages of transmogrification including Danny's roadster project. Bill and I wandered around looking at all the wonderful restoration work in progress. We met Patrick, the owner of Cold War and he introduced us to many of the vehicles being worked on. Codl War primarily acquires, renovates and facilitates the sale of European military vehicles from the 1960's and 1970's. They range from bicycles, to non-armored Mercedes Benz UNIMOGS, Steyr-Puch motorcycles, Haflingers and Penzgauers and British Land Rovers to fully armored battle tanks. I have it on good authority and one of the Haflingers was used by Bilbo in the "Goblin Wars". All together it was a wonderful and fascinating day.
Last Updated (Thursday, 08 April 2010 13:26)
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