Last weekend the 3rd International Vintage Volkswagen Show was held in the historic town of Lavenham in Suffolk, UK. I had helped to organise the first two shows which take place every four years but this on was organised by The UK Historic VW Club who I entrusted it to after deciding it need a bigger, dedicated team for it to continue to happen.
I set off for the 150 mile, 3 hour drive to Lavenham at 5.30am on Saturday morning. The sun was already out and the weather was looking promising for the day. When I arrived in Lavenham, I managed to park near the Market Square which was to be home to the oldest Beetles and Busses – following the same format as the previous shows. There was a great turn out with around 160 vehicles pre registered for the weekend, arriving from all over Europe. I hung around the Square taking photographs until it was full and chatted with some old friends who I’ve not seen for a while – probably the last show in Lavenham 4 years ago!
Moving on, I followed the ‘Vintage VW Trail’ which lead me to Lavenham Hall which was a new display area which hasn’t been used before for the show. The house and gardens made a fantastic setting for the Karmann Ghias and Commercial Busses. The house is home to sculptor Kate Denton and her sculptures are placed around the grounds and gallery, next to the house and barns.
Continuing along the trail, I was directed to the sports field which was the location of the sixties beetles, later split busses, military VWs and the trade stands. Lots more traders present this year which was great to see. I stopped to chat with Rob and Paul for a while over coffee and bacon rolls and then headed back to the market square just in time for the first rain shower of the day. The rain quickly passed and the sun returned for a while before the next shower rolled in. I headed home having had a great day as a visitor to the show. Thanks to The Historic VW Club and everyone involved for putting on a fantastic show, well done!
Click on the first picture for full screen images…
Last month I made it along to the annual summer classic car gathering in Stony Stratford, about 30 minutes drive from where I now live. It was a very hot day which was perfect for getting everyone out in their classics for the day. As usual, there were just a hand full of Volkswagens but the quality definitely made up for the quantity! I’ve posted some other pictures from the show on my other blog, MHPIX.
As is was a nice day, I decided to pop along to the Chiltern Hills Rally. I’ve not been to this car show before but, there have beed signs for the show on my route to work and I pass the show site every day. Out of the 1000 or so vintage vehicles there were only a hand full of VWs on display. The Chiltern Hills Vintage Vehicle Rally is organised by The Game Club to raise money for local good causes. The Rally is a well established annual event which enables the owners of classic and vintage vehicles to gather together in the Buckinghamshire countryside. Just for a change I took along my Sigma 10-20mm wide angle lens instead of my Canon 24-70 2.8L lens which is attached to my 60d most of the time. I think you’ll agree the pictures look a little different from the ones I normally take a t shows and post on here. Let me know what you think.
I have to say that the annual show at Stanford Hall is a long time favourite of mine and a show I always try a make a point of attending, whether in my beetle or in my daily driver. I tried to get my beetle out of hibernation a few weeks ago and it was having non of it. Even with a freshly charged battery it refused to wake up. On further investigation, I’ve discovered that there’s no fuel getting through to the carb so a fuel-pump rebuild is now on my to do list…
It’s so nice to see the sun out at a show in this country for a change. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I was getting a bit fed up of taking pictures with grey skies! This Show has changed very little over the years and there is always a huge variety of VW’s on display, from concourse entrants to club displays so plenty around to photograph. The fine weather had brought the crowds out in their thousands and I think this is the busiest I have ever seen it. I arrived nice and early at 8.30 and spent a good 5 hours exploring the show and taking pictures. I still think I missed some areas though.
My favourite VW I found at the show was a freshly imported, Black Low-light Karmann Ghia from California. Totally unrestored and in good original condition. It was in the sales area but there were no price details and the owner wasn’t around to ask. I wouldn’t mind trading my ’55 but I reckon that wouldn’t be enough! These are some of my pictures from the day. I’ll try and post some more over the coming weeks. Hopefully we’ll have a decent summer this year and I can visit a few more shows with my camera.
It’s always nice to take my beetle somewhere new and last Friday I went along the the first Volkswagen gathering at Jacks Hill Cafe in Towcester. They already hold regular Bike, Hot-Rod and Classic Car meetings at the Cafe so I guess a regular VW meeting, on the 4th Friday of each month will fit right in. It’s only up the road from me too, very handy!
As it was Silverstone Grand Prix weekend I took the back roads to avoid the heavy traffic and as you can see from the pictures the weather was pretty bad, so not too promising for the first meeting. As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve got used to taking pictures with grey skies but I managed to get a few pictures even with the light failing fast. Hopefully with better weather and no Grand Prix traffic there may be a few more VWs next month.
Some great photos from Volks ’n’ Roll on ‘a day at the races’…
Maybe this time i’ve gone too far: 158 photos in 1 post is just too much i think but it was almost impossible to separate them. I’ve tried (like i always do when it’s time to organize all the stuff i collect around) to find topics, stories, styles or whatever could let me divide the folder into different articles.
Forse questa volta ho esagerato: 158 foto in un articolo è davvero troppo credo ma è stato impossibile separarle. Ho provato (come faccio sempre quando è il momento di organizzare tutta la roba che raccolgo in giro) a cercare argomenti, filoni, storie o qualsiasi cosa mi permettesse di dividere la cartella in sottogruppi differenti.
But after all i understood that it was not the right way to approach a coverage of an event like the Volks’n’Roll. It would be a mistake to try to close off something among the rest because…
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I popped along to this years Stony Stratford Classic Car Festival last Sunday morning and this time, as it was looking like it would be nice and sunny, I took my ’55 Oval Window Beetle out for a drive. By the time I got there at 10am, the market square, which was home to all of the pre-1975 vehicles, was just about full and I was directed into the car park behind the health centre. Funny how the 3 nice, shiny E-Type Jags which arrived just after me were found prime spaces right at the entrance to the car park!
There was a very good turn out this year with a wide variety of weird and wonderful machines to look at parked around the town. Just the usual handful of VWs though, most from the local VW Club. They must have got their early as they were parked in a line together in the square. I’ll post a few of my favourite non-VW photos from the show over on mhpix.wordpress.com
On Sunday Alison and I made our way over Stanford Hall for this year’s annual show which is organised by the Leicestershire and Warwickshire Volkswagen Owners club. I usually take my beetle to display in the Historic VW line-up but, this year we decided to bring my Audi A3. Last year’s show was one of many which fell fowl of the appalling weather being postponed to later in the year. By the time we got to Stanford Hall, at about 10.30 am, the show was in full swing and looked to be busier than ever!
There were lots of great VWs for sale including some nice, early stock examples, along with the lowered and custom cars which are always in plentiful supply. One of several which caught our attention was a very straight and original split screen pick-up which was a fresh import from Ohio in the US.
The concourse area was packed with immaculate VWs of all kinds from early air-cooled models right through to recent vehicles including the Audi TT and New Beetle. The Splitscreen Van Club always have a huge presence at this show as they have their AGM the same weekend and then cruise to the show en mass. The Historic VW display was also impressive and seems to be getting better each year.
We left after lunch having enjoyed wondering around the show for most of the morning, in sunshine for a change!
Sunday 17th February was my first opportunity this year to visit a Volkswagen show. Still a little cold, but nowhere as bad as it’s been in recent weeks, I made the 90 mile drive up to Stafford for DubFreeze, a mainly indoor show at Stafford showground. I’ve been going to this show for many years. In the past, I’ve driven a beetle in convoy with other members of the Milton Keynes VW Club – in sub-zero conditions at a steady 60 mph, stopping regularly to scrape ice from the windscreen. This trip soon lost it’s appeal after leaving Stafford in freezing fog one year and breaking down less than 5 miles from the show. We got recovered eventually and had a nice warn ride home in the cab of the recovery truck! I think that was the last time I went in an aircooled VW, now preferring the warmth and comfort of a modern car in the winter!
After a two hour drive, I arrived at the show ground at 10am, no usual traffic queue, it was straight into the car park and then a short walk to the show. I had arranged to meet up with a guy who wanted to buy a 60s VW jack from me so I rang him and we met up at the doors to the hall. I had a quick chat with Barclay from Status VW Parts who always has a stand there selling parts. This year he only had two tables rather than his usual large stand. He explained that he makes more sales over the phone and online on the Monday morning after the show so will just be visiting shows with his barndoor bus this year to promote his business but not trading. I guess it’s a sign of the times when you can buy just about anything online for your VW. If I wasn’t taking photos, I doubt I would go again either.
There were definitely less VWs in the show-hall than last year but, still lots of people looking around them. Rat-look still still heavily represented and very popular but also a few restored aircooled VWs and a hand full of water pumpers too. It’s always difficult to get photos as you seem to become invisible when you stop and point a camera at a car. People will look at you, then walk in front of you and stop with their back to you, totally oblivious. You definitely need a lot of patience to photograph at car shows!