[This is the third part of the true story of my ’76 VW Camper’s fire and resulting odyssey]

A good first step in finding a foreign parts store is the good old Yellow Pages. I asked for one at the dealer’s service counter, praying that it wasn’t a toy phone book like the one in the rolling hills of North Carolina. It wasn’t. We found a lone prospect and called them up to ask where they where. We were at the VW dealer, they asked? Yep. Well heck, they said. We were just two blocks away. Just on the other side of the new Comfort Inn from the dealer. Did they have VW fuel systems? Sure they did. Come on over.

I am not making this up.

It was truly amazing. I was flabbergasted. We left the dealer for the two and a half block walk to the parts store. As we walked, the history of the VW Bus ran through my head in the imaginary voice of the late Heinz Nordhoff, ex-President of VolkswagenAG (OK, it didn’t really, but hey, it’s my story, right? Keep reading…). “The Volkswagen Transporter began in 1952, with refinements up to 1967. In 1968, the body changed, and in 1972, the engine changed to the Type 4 engine. In 1974 the camper poptop changed, and in 1975, the Transporter gained a new fuel injection system that lasted until the model was superseded by the Vanagon in 1980.” I had a burned-up fuel injection system that would cost thousands to replace, but I had the same engine that’d used carburetors two model years before. This compatibility was my only chance. I knew there were carb retrofit kits–I’d seen them in magazines. Would I be lucky enough to find one or overnight one into the parts store? We walked into the parts store and I explained my problem. Could they get something in for me quickly?

The guy behind the counter just smiled and pointed up in the air behind him. There on top of the parts shelves, prominently displayed, was a Weber carb kit. It wasn’t a dual carb kit like I’d hoped, but it was there. I was looking at it. It was for my bus. I couldn’t believe they had it in stock.

The parts guy acted surprised. “Oh yeah,” he said. “We always have one in. It’s a very popular conversion.” Well, it was sure as heck a popular conversion with me at the moment. It was $235. I pulled out our credit card, reserved for emergencies. I hated to use it, but if I’d ever seen an emergency, this was it (you have to be careful about these credit cards–they can become a problem if unchecked).

Armed with our lifesaving Weber carb conversion kit, we marched back past the Comfort Inn to the dealership. I’d debated replacing the thing myself, but I felt better having the dealer do it. But would they?

Yes, they would. For straight time. As long as it took. And it wouldn’t be today, either. It was after five already.

We made the arrangements, grabbed some essentials from the van, and left the dealership. We headed over to the aforementioned Comfort Inn and checked in for the night. Tomorrow would hopefully be a better day.