Photo of the week #80 – Saturday was a very hot day in the UK and we decided to venture into Brackley – where I couldn’t help but notice this red and white, ’66 Split-screen camper parked outside two estate agents in the town centre.
We parked near by so I was forced to take a few photos on my iPhone. You don’t usually see many air-cooled VWs around but the sun seems to bring them out of hiding, which makes a nice change!
Stony Stratford Volkswagens
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
In the weeds
Photo of the week #75 – This immaculate 1963 twenty-one-window VW Samba was photographed in the concours at this years VW show at Stanford Hall. It’s right hand drive too which makes it a very rare VW bus!
Correction – Someone has just pointed out that this bus only has 19 windows so, I’m not sure it’s a real Samba! I thought that a Samba had either 21 or 23 windows, anyone know the story behind this VW Bus?
Some interesting VW related photos from Stephane Bar, a professional photographer based in France who specialises in BMX photography.
Stephane trained as a photographer for 2 years at SEPR in Lyon through which he discovered different shooting and image processing techniques. This vocational training has allowed him to explore other worlds and develop some diversity in the services that he can now offer including: weddings, studio shots, pack-shots, portraits and advertising.
“It is the sport of BMX has given me the desire to capture and keep preciously unique moments, and then have the opportunity to share. This sport has the advantage of bringing together diverse disciplines whose figures have their own specificity. The Street – pretty rough around the edges, offers feats that impress the eye with the height that some riders can reach and by the unusual places where they can be exercised.”
You can view more of Stephane’s excellent work at http://stephanebarphotos.tumblr.com
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!