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…
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.
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?