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…
Photo of the week #54 – Throughout it’s long production run the Volkswagen beetle sedan changed little from year to year with just a few detail enhancements and improvements but, one of the biggest and most noticeable changes was to the size of the windows, the rear in particular. In 1953, with improvements in glass making technology, VW introduced the curved, oval shaped rear window which replaced the previous split-window which was made from two flat pieces of glass.
The oval-window body continued until the 1958 model year when the shape of the rear window changed to the more familiar and larger rectangle shape along with the dashboard design which was changed to the layout which continued to the end of production in the 70s. This photo was taken at the Lavenham Vintage VW show where we had no less than 36 oval -window beetles registered from all over Europe. All basically the same car but each one completely different and individual!
Photo of the week #48 – Where were you in ’72? Well, add another 40 years and you’ll be nearer the mark for the date this photo was taken. I’ve been playing around with trying to achieve a vintage film look, which I think works well with this picture. I may have to pick some more and do a series of retro photos…
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.
Photo of the week #33 – Dave Mitchell drove his 1953 oval window beetle all the way from Glasgow in Scotland to the Lavenham Vintage Volkswagen Show in Suffolk. This was a trip of around 1,000 miles through some dreadful weather making this one of the furthest driven vehicles at the show! Thanks to Dave and Jean for being so enthusiastic and making the long journey.