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.
Dom Romney is an internationally award winning automotive and motor sport photographer working out of London, England. At only seventeen Dom started as work as a press photographer before decided to set up his own business – Dom Romney Photography was born in the spring of 2010, and has grown quickly in to a brand with clients across the globe.
Working solely with editorial and commercial clients, Dom’s high contrast vibrant work has already won him numerous awards and recognition from his peers. Along with his success as a photographer, Dom also provides lectures at the world renowned Citylit centre in london, teaching on a mix of techniques and technologies.
Dom writes “I got the call from Fast Car magazine to shoot this awesome aircooled for their wild card section, however to do justice to its American barn-find heritage, it needed to be shot in barn! Typical English barns are normally of concrete and corrugated steel construction, a far cry from the traditional timber barns you get in the States and hardly a nice photographic backdrop. After locating a plausible wooden barn in middle england (a task that was harder than you’d expect) we set about shooting it. To add to the vintage, weathered feel and to give the image the same feel as that satin, suede patina, we processed the images with some warm muted textures which I think really make the feature. Here is a small selection of my favourite images from the shoot.”
You can view more of Dom’s photography at domromney.com
Photo of the week #43 – The Type 34 ‘Razor Edge’ is a rare Volkswagen. From the 45,505 made (the Razor was curiously never sold in America), only 1252 are known to survive, and are known to suffer badly from rust. So a Type 34 in superb condition is a rare machine indeed.
This Ghia, photographed in Lavenham this year, has only had three owners and has covered just 10,948 miles from new! The first owner, Mrs Dixon of Leamington Spa kept the car from new until 1990 when it had covered just 8,589 miles. The second, a Mr Vijay Solanki, owned the car until 2011, covering just 43 miles in his 21 years of ownership. Finally it fell into the hands of well-known Volkswagen collector, Wayne McCarthy who has brought the car up to show-winning standard.
Do you know where Birdingbury is? Well, neither did I until I paid a visit to the Back 2 Basics Vee Dub Show on Sunday 16th September. Birdingbury is a small village right in the centre between Coventry, Rugby and Royal Leamington Spa and it just happens to have its own show ground with mains water, showers and plumbed in (proper) toilets! What more could you want for a weekend’s camp-out with fellow Volkswagen fans?
I’d spent Saturday at Silverstone race circuit photographing Ferraris in bright sunshine and Sunday was just about as far removed from the previous day as as you could get. Grey stormy skies and what started life as cheap, affordable transport – ‘the peoples car’! This was my first visit to the Back 2 Basics VW show which is now in its fourth year and the first time at Birdingbury. Only a forty minute drive for me from my home, I got there at around 10am. Too early for some as a lot of the traders hadn’t yet opened shop and there were only a handful of early-birds lined up in the show and shine area. I decided to take a wonder around the camping areas in search of interesting VWs to photograph. A loverly red Karmann Ghia was parked on top of a hill and as I walked towards it, the sun decided to make it’s first appearance of the day. There was also a nice, completely stock, white ’66 beetle which was being loaded up with camping equipment. Most people were busy packing up so I left them to it and headed back to the show field.
There was a steady stream of VWs into the show area during the morning and what you could describe as a very diverse mix of styles and models: A stock, blue, very original and unrestored ’58 bug complete with battle scars was one of my favourites. There were ultra-clean and highly ‘pimped’ Water cooled models and a fair selection of ‘Rat-look VWs, one of which drew quite a lot of attention. The brown split bus had been imported from the Tennessee Mountains. The story goes that the owner had used the VW in the 60s to smuggle illegal Fireworks into the US from south of the border. After being caught several times he hid himself away in the mountains and was never heard of again. The bus was recently discovered up in the hills, hauled back down and shipped to the UK where it’s had a complete mechanical overhaul before being put back in the road, the body however remains as it was found! Another intersesting ‘vehicle’ wizzing around the show ground was the motorised armchair which had everyone laughing in disbelief. Certainly something for everyone at this small, local show which lives up to it’s name. Well done to all involved for a great show.
Our second Vintage Volkswagen Show took place in Lavenham, the beautiful historic Suffolk village, on Saturday 23rd June 2012. Our first show was four years before, way back in 2008, and expectations were high as the next show was to be double the size – with 165 stock, pre-1967 Vintage Volkswagens registered for 2012. June has turned out to be a very wet month in the UK, with many outdoor events, including car shows, being cancelled or postponed until the weather picks up a bit. The weather leading up to the Lavenham show was ‘mixed’ to say the least with forecasts for the Saturday changing by the hour, depending on which weather report you read! Thursday evening was bright and dry but Friday started with showers and it wasn’t until about 11.30 am that we actually got the final go-ahead from the Parish Council to use the common for the show, quite a stressful morning!
By the time registration opened in the village hall at noon, things had got a lot better and it was now a warm but cloudy afternoon. There was an occasional patch of blue sky and the sun even made an appearance from time to time. There was a steady flow of people around the Village Hall signing-in throughout the afternoon and evening, with several stopping a while to chat or tinker with their cars. Fingers crossed for Saturday’s weather!
Well, the crossing of fingers worked as Saturday was a great day. As we were finishing out breakfast in our hotel on the Market Square, the cars were starting to assemble outside. The Market Square was to be home to the oldest VWs: Kubelwagens, Split window and Oval window beetles, Karmann and Hebmüller Convertibles, Barn-door busses and a special display of standard-model beetles. Mainly vehicles built before 1957 which was the last year of the oval shaped rear window. There were three Hebmüller Convertibles on display from Germany, Belgium and Italy. Andreas from Italy had set off on Wednesday morning for the show. Apparently he had been sleeping in his car en-route. Arriving in dover at midnight on Thursday, he got to Lavenham on Friday afternoon, signed in then headed straight to his hotel for some well deserved rest.
Other long distance visitors included Carsten Andersen from Denmark and Fernando and Joaquim who had driven their beetles all the way from Portugal (around 1500 miles). There were several visitors from Wales and Scotland who had actually driven further than some of the visitors from overseas! Richard Tricker brought along his amazing 1952 Karmann Convertible. Originally used as a border patrol car by the German police, this car hasn’t been seen at a VW show for many years. There were 35 Oval window beetles on display which was an excellent turn out, ranging from some very original unrestored examples to many superbly restored cars.
A short walk from the square was Lavenham Press where you found a display of beetles from 1965-1967 – the last beetles with sloping headlights. There was also a very rare 1963 Beutler pickup on display, brought over for the show from Belgium by Raoul Verbeemen. It’s one of only three that have survived. Just around the corner from the press was Lavenham Common with some trade stands, refreshments and even more vintage volkswagen displays: Karman Ghias, Type 3s, 1958-1964 beetles and over 60 1956-1967 splitscreen campers! The weather stayed fine for the rest of the day and in the evening we had a party in the village hall with a meal, laid on by Karat catering. This went down well after a busy day and was a chance to chat with everyone you missed during the day over a drink.
For Sunday morning we had organised a cruise around some of the neighbouring villages, so everyone assembled on the common again for an 11am departure. Not the 109 who had registered though, probably due to the change in the weather as it was starting to look pretty grim! We headed off for the 35 mile drive and ended up at the village green in Long Melford for Lunch. The perfect end do a great weekend.
I’d just like to say a big thank you to everyone involved with the show. Rob Amos and Barclay Stainton who helped with the organisation before hand and over the weekend, The People of Lavenham for their assistance and for allowing us to hold the event there again this year, including Lavenham Parish Council, Lavenham Merchants Guild, Lavenham Community Council, Lavenham Press and 1st Lavenham Scouts. Our sponsors and supporting organisations including The Historic Volkswagen Club, The Split Screen Van Club, Pre67vw.com, Status VW Parts and VW Camper & Commercial Magazine. All of the people involved with marshalling on Saturday, visitor parking, registration on Friday, the party on Saturday evening and the Sunday cruise. These include Adrian Chalmers, Karl Grevatt and his parents, Rob & Pippa, Jack Norman, Neal Smart, Phil Taylor, Rob Meekings & crew, Scott & Liz Furness and all at Karat Catering, Scott Spencer and Jacqui Hobbs & team. Also thanks to everyone who brought their Vintage VWs to Lavenham from near and far and all who visited the show and created such a great atmosphere. It really was a team effort so thank you.
It all started back in 2005 after driving back to the UK from the vintage VW show in Hessisch Oldendorf, Germany. “Why don’t we have a Vintage Volkswagen show like that in England?” Well, now we do!
Lavenham is regarded as being the finest surviving example in England of a mediaeval town, with superb ancient buildings – over 300 of them listed as being of architectural and historical interest.
I was one of the organisers of the first Lavenham Vintage Volkswagen Show in 2008 which was a great success, with over 100 Vintage VWs arriving in Lavenham for the weekend from all over Europe. For our second show this year, things have had to get a little bigger to accommodate the 170 vehicle that have registered. The Market Square will be home to pre-1957 vehicles. Lavenham Press has the Big-window beetles while you will find Karmann Ghias, Type 3s and over sixty splitscreen type 2 campers in the meadow along with the trade stands.
On the Sunday we have organised a cruise around the narrow Suffolk lanes through some of the regions most beautiful villages. With over 110 VWs taking part in the cruise it should be quite a spectacle!
So if you’re in the UK and looking for something to do on Saturday 23rd June, why not come along and spend a day in Lavenham – It’s free to visit but don’t forget your camera! http://www.pre67vw.com/lavenham
You can read the full report on the 2012 show, with lots of photos here: