Photo of the week #47 – Terry Lee is the proud owner of Katie, this red and cream 1964 split window VW Bus. Fully restored earlier this year she is available for weddings – as is Terry who is a professional photographer! You can read more about Katie over on Terry’s website – retrosplit.
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.
Photo of the week #37 – A 1967 high top panel van in Dove Blue pictured at Stanford Hall earlier this year. This very rare VW-built Panelvan with a high roof was designed to allow for taller loads, often used in the garment industry or as ambulances. The maximum load varied according to body type from 580 for an ambulance to 830 kg for the panelvan. I have read elsewhere that there are only around 50 of these VW hi-top models left so, extremely rare!
This 1964 VW Split Screen Dormobile was purchased by it’s current owner, Mr Malcolm Railson, in 2005 and she’s considered part of the family ( despite not being taken out too frequently these days). She won ‘Van Fest’ in 2004 and achieved ‘Best Original Split’ at the Christchurch Air-cooled Show.
‘Dormobile’ was the famous trading name of Martin Walter Ltd, who manufactured and fitted camper conversions on all sorts of vehicles, but notably 1960’s and 1970’s VW vans.
The company, Martin Walter, was founded in 1773 and finally ceased trading as recently as 1994. They were one of the first to cotton on to the idea that a small commercial van could be easily converted for use as a camper. The first Dormobiles were based on early Bedford vans with factory conversions being carried out in the UK, but the company also sold kits under license to other countries and the VW Camper evolved as one of the most popular models.
One of the main visual differences that can be used to recognise a Dormobile against another camper conversions is that the Dormobiles featured a side hinged folding roof as opposed to one that popped ‘straight up’.
Silverstone Auctions at Chris Evans’ CarFest
CarFest is the brainchild of DJ/Television presenter and all round car nut Chris Evans, who is working with 1979 Formula 1 World Champion, Jody Scheckter, to run an exciting classic car, live rock music and food festival over the August Bank Holiday weekend at Laverstoke Park Farm, near Overton in Hampshire.
Silverstone Auctions is very proud to be hosting the ‘Pride & Joy’ Auction, which takes place on Saturday 25th August at CarFest. Are you thinking of selling your Pride & Joy? This is your opportunity to get the best price for your car and help Children In Need at the same time! Even if you weren’t lucky enough to get tickets for CarFest, you can still enter your car and drive it through the sale!
To help Chris Evans raise as much as possible for his chosen charity, ‘Children in Need’, Malcolm has generously agreed to donate ALL of the sale proceeds from this fantastic camper to the charity. Silverstone Auctions have also cancelled entry fees and sellers commission on this Lot to join in with the spirit of the sale of this vehicle.