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…
VWs at the Palace
On Sunday I made my first visit to the annual VW & Mini show at Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire. The magnificent home of the First Duke of Marlborourgh was built in the early 1700s and has been used as a location in many films including the recent Gulliver’s Travels staring Jack Black.
Due to bad weather, the show had been moved from the grass to the large hardstanding area in front of the house which, from a photography point of view, was an excellent decision! I got there at half ten and had to queue for 15 minutes to get in, so very busy with lots of people visiting for the day, helped I’m sure by some sunshine.
There were plenty of Volkswagens (and Minis) on display both outside the palace and on either side of the road leading down to the bridge, nothing particularly old apart from a couple of 60’s split screen campers and handful of similarly aged beetles.One of my favourites has to be the red and cream split screen bus belonging to Terry Lee from Bloxham. A random selection of trade stands, mostly Mini related, were situated at the front entrance. The only one that tempted me to spend some cash was a burger van at lunch time!
I think the palace makes an excellent backdrop for classic cars and it’s a shame that they don’t allow cars to be displayed there more often. Maybe this will be the start of a new permanent show area. We’ll see what happens next year!
Stanford Hall 2012
Stanford Hall is a stately home built in the time of William & Mary, it’s located near Lutterworth in the UK and is the location for the Leicestershire and Warwickshire VW owners club’s annual Volkswagen show. This year’s show took place on Sunday 1st July having been postponed from May due to bad weather and was blessed by some sunshine during a day of dark clouds.
I arrived early as my oval window beetle was to form part of the Historic VW display in front of the main house which is organised by the Historic VW Club each year. You get in for free if you take part in the display so it’s a good incentive to register and bring your VW along! There was a good turn out for the display this year including several military VWs, Split window and oval bugs and quite a few in the recently added pre 1960 line up.
I parked up and took a wonder around the show armed with my camera. After a walk through some of the vast array of trade stands, I headed for the VWs for sale area. I real mix of Volkswagens were on offer from a very nice 1955 Devon Camper right up to T4 campers and new beetles, with just about everything in between. Other VWs that caught my eye were a red 1965 beetle called Ruby which was an ex-concourse winner which was now for sale and a very low blue single-cab splitscreen pickup.
Past a few more trade stands was the concourse area where everyone was busy cleaning and polishing before judging started later in the morning. The ’67 beige Beetle of Rob Evens was looking perfect to me and a strong contender for an award this year. Matt Lancaster, Known as ‘Baron Von Kronken’ had bought along both of his busses, a sign-written panel van and his very original 1956 Krankenwagen VW ambulance. One thing I did notice was the number of razor-edge Karmann Ghias which are surfacing at the moment. Another VW worth a mention was the 1950 Karmann Cabriolet owned by Russell Ritchie from Scotland. Russell had only decided at the last minute to bring his cabrio along to the show and I’m glad he did! It’s always nice to see the rarer VWs being brought out for people to admire. It seems that all of the restoration projects are finishing at the same time! The Split Screen were there in force as usual with long lines of vans, every colour, model and height you could care to imagine.
All in all another great show, and a Sunday well spent. I’m sure I’ll be back in 2013 again for what many regard as one of the best VW shows on the UK calendar. Well done to all involved.
Stony Stratford Classic Car Festival 2012
On Sunday 3rd June I popped along to the Stony Stratford Classic Car Festival. It was my first visit to this show even though I’ve lived just five minutes drive from the town for the last 10 years. I now live about half an hour away so even though it was raining, I decided it was worth a visit.
I’ve read that the show has grown steadily year on year but I guess Sunday’s show must have been the exception due to the appalling weather. Quite a few cars did brave our British weather and quite a high percentage were from the local VW club – which was very handy!
Hopefully the weather will be a bit better for next years show and it will get back on track.
The VolksWorld Show 2012
Last Sunday I drove down to Sandown Park in Esher for this years VolksWorld Show. Advertised as Europe’s premier Indoor and outdoor VW show it occupies all three floors of Sandown Park race course along with a huge car park and outdoor areas for club displays.
As in previous years the weather was great, the show usually seems to mark the start of spring with lots of sunshine, which is always handy for an indoor show! I spent a while looking around the car park before going in as there were still queues of people waiting at the doors. There were a few interesting vehicles in the for sale area including a white ’52 split window beetle on a trailer. Plenty of incorrect parts and a price tag of £25,000!
I ventured inside and straight out into the paddock area which was ringed by vans, beetles and a few trade stands. Some nice busses here including a pale blue pickup which was for sale. This is a great show for custom VWs, particularly Rat-Look busses which are always plentiful. Never too much in the way of stock Vintage VWs at this show but, there was the Grundmann’s fantastic VW38 Prototype Beetle which was on display by the VolksWold magazine stand. It was nice to see it on display but It looked a bit out of place in these surroundings!
It’s always nice to see your photographs published in some way so when my good friend Barclay Stainton of Status VW Parts asked me to design new covers for his parts catalogues, I jumped at the chance.
So far there are two featuring my photos from The Vintage Volkswagen show in Hessisch Oldendorf and there’s a third one coming soon for performance parts.
Photo of the week #8
I took this photograph during my first visit with my Hebmüller to The vintage Volkswagen show in Hessisch Oldendorf, Germany in 2005. (It’s the one on the left!)
Photo of the week #1
This loverly split screen pick-up was photographed by Andrew Coles at Volksfest in Port Adelaide this year. You can read about the show and view more photos at Sambacentral…