Saturday, 14 January 2017

Slough Swapmeet 2016 (part 1 of 3)

This weeks blog review is a 3 part review all about the Slough Swapmeet 2016, which last year was held on Sunday 6th November at the Montem Leisure Centre, Montem Lane in Slough in Buckinghamshire. SL1 2QG. This annual event is organised by Vince and Robin, and it's a great place to pick up some air-cooled bargains. The Slough Swapmeet is held inside the sports hall and is a table top sale / auto jumble that caters for primarily the air cooled Volkswagen's, although water cooled VW's are more than welcome as is anything German including old Porsche's. Being one of the last events of the season it's a great place to socialise with old friends, and even make new friends. The Slough Swapmeet has been going for at least 10 years and I have been attending this event for the past 6 years. The organisers present trophies for the 'King of the car park', which is for the best vehicles parked up in the leisure centre car park. The venue for the swapmeet is only 51 miles from my hometown so it was a great chance to get out in my early bay one last time as this is the last show / event of the VW calendar for the year. Even though the weather forecast was for dry sunny weather, don't let the photos fool you, it was still bitterly cold with the temperature hovering around freezing all day but then it was November in the U.K.! 
To see all my other blog entries, go to ‘My Blog Archive’ to the left of this page. Simply click on an arrow for a particular year, then click on an arrow for a particular month, this will then give you a drop down menu for all the blog entries for that month.

My 1969 microbus parked up in the leisure
centre car park. It pays to arrive early to this
event as the car park get full very quickly with
Volkswagen's of all descriptions. I squeezed
in between a yellow late bay and a cool looking
lowered beetle.

I arrived about 40 minutes before the doors
opened but already the car park was almost
full. I think sections of the car park were meant
to be for bays, splits, beetles etc but by the time
I arrived it was just a free for all and a case of
just park where you can. Even though it was
November and bitterly cold the turnout of air-

cooled VW's was amazing.

This stunning 1964 split screen panel van looked
great with that bright lime green paint shining in
the winter sunshine. I do like panel vans and 
this beauty looked just about perfect.

Although the swapmeet is primarily an air-
cooled event, water cooled Volkswagen's are
more than welcome. This T4 caught my eye
and I had to do a double take as it looks very
similar to my own T4 with it's urban camouflage
paint scheme. I did like the tinted sun visor on
this van which not looks cool but is very practical.  

Looking down the side of the urban camouflaged
T4 at the car park that was crammed with quality
Volkswagen's of all descriptions. 

This high riding 1973 late bay with it's distinctive
spare wheel cover belongs to a guy called Rich, 
who runs the Wolfsburg Bus Crew (WBC) group on
Facebook. Rich always seems to be at a lot of
shows that I attend and his bus is becoming a
regular on my blog! Next to Rich's bay is another
member of the WBC (I think) with their seriously
lowered RAT looking split panel van. 

Just a very small selection of the Beetle's that
attended the swapmeet. The various models
spanned numerous years from the early 1960's
 to modern day which made a fantastic display.

The variety of buses was also vast, from early
split screens to late bays. Here a cool looking
split is parked behind an equally cool looking late
 bay with a very unusual high top roof. 

This black 1964 RAT looking split looked cool
 parked up in the leisure centre car park. I did
like the chrome towel rail bumper with the old
rope tied around it and the 2 bow rack above
the cab.

This race themed Karmann Ghia looked tough.
The lowered stance, the door decal and the
red rimmed wheels all help to make this car
look as though it's ready to race anyone.

There is only one thing better than a RAT look
split screen panel van, and that's a sign written
RAT look split screen panel van. This lowered
early bus did look nice with it's paint job and
sign writing.

Under that RAT look exterior the bus looked
to be very straight and solid looking. It's a shame
the winter sun was so low in the sky causing
shadows from other buses as this bus looked
so good in the flesh.

This orange early bug has appeared on my blog
before and looking this good, will probably feature
again in the future. I love the low stance, the
choice of wheels and low profile tyres and of
course the patina'd paint. The yellow head light
lenses and the sun visor are cool accessories that
enhance this cars looks.

This gorgeous early oval window bug stood out
in the car park. The body was perfectly straight
and finished in that lovely blue colour paint. I
did like the colour coded roll cage and those
huge tyres that fill the rear arches perfectly.

You can see just how straight this car is and how
well the paint has been applied by the reflection
across the bonnet and wings. I did like the small
aftermarket clear indicators which gives the wings
a smooth cool look.

More beetle's of various years basking in the
winter sunshine. The various styles and colours
looked great.

This RAT looking 1967 beetle looked cool with
it's unkempt look. I did like the hot rod style red
painted steel wheels with the chrome hub caps.
Other cool accessories included the retro roof
rack and the blue tinted sun visor. 

Poking it's head over the top of the old wooden
crate on the roof rack was this small toy rat,
quite a fitting touch on a RAT looking bug.

This old bug stood out in the line up. I did like
the rear window blind and the chrome blade

Two more beetles parked up at the Slough
Swapmeet. The matte black 1967 beetle is
owned by a guy called Matt and I think he lives
in, or near my hometown. This is such a cool
looking car with some nice detailing that I didn't
photograph ! The other cool bug is a white
1972 model that looks to be seriously lowered.

This stunning light turquoise early bug drew
plenty of attention form the public and it's easy
to see why. The body was perfectly straight
and that reflection in the door is perfect. The
body colour against the chrome towel rail bumpers
and the Fuchs style wheels looks gorgeous. 

This really was a lovely old bug, I did like the
rear fender skirts that give the car a period look
and that rear window blind suits the car perfectly.

The front wings had been treated to some
simple two colour pin striping that just finished
off the look for this car.

This 1970 early bay looked like a very clean
and solid bus. The colour was unusual but it
really suited the bus, as did the clear front
indicator lenses and the deluxe bumper trim.

This T4 crew cab was featured on last years
blog review of the Slough Swapmeet, and it's
back again. This really does stand out for so
many reasons, mainly for having a caravan
mated to the back. This creation is so 'off the
wall and outrageous it's simply brilliant.

This really is a wild creation and while it may
not be to everyone's taste, you have to admire
the work that's gone into creating it. Personally
I think its great and it certainly stands out.

This all white 1963 Type 3 1500 (Notchback)
looked gorgeous. It was perfectly straight and
so solid looking and looked to be all original.

Just one of the many rows of allocated parking
spaces for classic Volkswagen's in the leisure
centre car park. The car park wasn't exclusively
for use for people attending the swapmeet,
 but due to the sheer number of classic
Volkswagen's that turned up I don't think the
 public coming to use the leisure centre had
much chance of parking up.  

This stock looking very early bug looked great
with it's patina'd original paint. This old bug was
riding at stock height with stock wheels. It just
goes to prove you don't necessarily need a
flashy £15k paint job and shiny chrome wheels
 to make your ride stand out.

A sunny day with a gorgeous blue sky and
although it was bitterly cold, 
hundreds of 
vintage Volkswagen's attended the swapmeet
including a very nice patina'd early split panel 
van and a gorgeous olive and light green (?)
split green bus. 

This split screen bus had an unusual chrome
 'stickshift' script badge on the tailgate that I 
haven't seen before, but I did like it.

So that was the first instalment on the Slough
Swapmeet 2016. The next instalment will be
next Saturday where you can see plenty more
quality air cooled vehicles, so be sure to come
back next Saturday. 

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Brighton Breeze 2016 (bonus blog review)

Welcome to my first blog review of 2017, and I would like to start by wishing you all a very Happy New Year. To kick the new off off this weeks blog review is a bonus blog review (as I took more photos than I thought I had!) about the annual Brighton Breeze VW show, which this year (or rather last year) was held on Saturday 1st October 2016 on Maderia Drive in town of Brighton. The Brighton Breeze show is organised by the S.S.V.C. (The Split Screen Van Club) which founded in 1983 by a group of guy's who loved the split screen buses. The main purpose of the club was to preserve the pre '67 Volkswagen split screen and all the expertise needed to maintain and restore them and keep them on the road. The S.S.V.C. attend many shows throughout the year, and each year they put on their own show, called The Brighton Breeze. The show is held in the same location every year, along Maderia Drive in Brighton, West Sussex on the south coast of England. Maderia Drive runs East / West from Brighton Pier to Black Rock and is only a stones throw from Brighton's infamous South facing pebble beach. Brighton Breeze is always held on the first Saturday of October, and this is a show I have attended for many years. Being a south facing beach, if the weather is good, it is really good, however if the weather is bad, then you really are in trouble. Over the years I have experienced 70 degree heat with blazing sunshine (including getting sun burnt) to storm conditions with high winds and almost horizontal rain with freezing temperatures and as it's held in October this shows success really is in the hands of the weather. This year's forecast wasn't good with rain forecast all day but that didn't put me off, I mean how bad could it be!? So early on the Saturday morning I set off for the South coast. The review continues as I carry on wandering around the show trying to avoid the heavy downpours of rain.
To see all my other blog entries, go to ‘My Blog Archive’ to the left of this page. Simply click on an arrow for a particular year, then click on an arrow for a particular month, this will then give you a drop down menu for all the blog entries for that month.

This easily recognisable spilt screen bus belongs
to a Facebook friend of mine, Nick. It's always
good to see this bus at a show as it looks so
nice. As I type this, Nick's 'Marmite' bus is in the
workshop having a makeover and I think possibly
a respray.

I can't wait to see the new look 'Marmite' bus
and see what modifications Nick has had carried
out. I just hope the bus will continue with it's
'Marmite' theme, which I'm sure it will

There were numerous beach buggies at the
Brighton Breeze show but this green Bugle 2
model (I think) looked fantastic. I do like the
beach buggy, and if I was a hardier person or
lived in a warmer climate I could easily have
one to cruise around in. 

Classic bugs and buses line the entire length
of Maderia Drive in Brighton. 

New and old side by side. Although the event
is organised by the S.S.V.C. the show is open
to any type of Volkswagen.

This mango and white split screen looked cool
parked up in the sun. It's unusual to have the
mango colour on top and the white as the lower
body colour, normally it's the other way round but
this old bus did look really nice.

A great selection of air-cooled Volkswagen's
parked up along the sea front of Brighton. Here
2 late bays are parked up at either end of an
early Westfalia bay.

As I was wandering around taking photos this
lovely 1966 pastel blue and white split screen
slowly cruised past looking for somewhere to
park up. 

Buses of various types and years all parked
up together in the sunshine along Maderia Drive.
Once the rain cleared we had a lovely blue
sky with plenty of sunshine.

Early bays, late bays and split screens of all
years and styles parked side by side. The
sheer number of vehicles, and the diversity
of styles really does make for a fantastic

It isn't all buses at Brighton Breeze as this
stunning white 1964 Karmann Ghia proves.
This really was a clean and straight example
of this classic car.

 A great photo showing the diversity of just
two of the split screen buses on show at
Brighton Breeze. A lowered RAT looking
crew cab pick up and an immaculate bus in
pristine condition.

The 1961 split screen crew cab pick up belongs
to a mate of mine, Josh. This bus was imported
from the West coast of America after a journey
from it's home of Peru.

Josh's pick up has an 1841cc engine and IRS
rear suspension. It has been lowered and now
runs on those lovely Radar wheels.

If you like your split screen panel vans with a
RAT look then you'll love this beauty. The overall
look was great with the patina'd paint, full length
roof rack and Fuchs wheels.

I did like the look of this old panel van. The
two small windows that have been added looked
just about right, as did the sir scoops.

I'm not sure what this recess would have been
originally for but it now houses a electric hook
up plug.

An abundance of colour from all the classic
Volkswagen's parked up at Brighton Breeze.

This 1971 bay looked super low which was
enhanced by the black wheels. This was a 
lovely clean bay that looked great in the winter

Another blue bay was this 1969 imported bay.
This was another solid looking bus that looked
cool parked up next to the beach.

Bug's and buses parked up in the winter sun-
shine. As I've mentioned earlier the variety of
both air cooled and water cooled Volkswagen's
that attend this one day show is immense.

This lovely 1971 Jurgens Autovilla. Jurgens
Caravans were an established motor caravan
conversion company based in South Africa. The

Jurgens Autovilla is actually the predecessor of
the Karmann Gipsy. The Autovilla was very well
equipped with a built in shower, safari rear 
window, 2 burner gas hob with grill, sink, fridge
and sleep four people.

Since arriving in the U.K. the Autovilla has had
a microwave and a propex heating system fitted,

something which the owner doubts would have 
been needed back in South Africa!

A cool looking 1971 Cal Look beetle parked
 up next an equally cool looking white over 
green late bay.

Looking out towards the English Channel and
along the rear of this gorgeous 1974 metallic
bronze late bay.

This is the front end of the lovely 1969 blue bay 
(above) with it's painted Union flag on the front
clip. The patina'd ensign looked cool.

A fantastic display of vintage Volkswagen's
in the sunshine. 

A small part of the split screen van line up, well
apart from my early bay that I sneaked in.

Looking down at Maderia Drive from the top of
the promenade. You can see just how close this
great one day show is from the beach / sea.

The Brighton Breeze is held in an ideal location
right on the sea front, and if the weather is
good it's a fantastic place to spend the day.

Looking West towards Brighton town centre
and the pier. Maderia Drive is crammed full
of Volkswagen's of all descriptions. The line
up of vehicles goes to virtually down to the pier.

And looking East towards the marina (the dark
coloured buildings jutting out into the sea)

This lovely early bay was another vehicle that 
came over from Europe, either France or
Belgium probably... and it looked fantastic.

Just a handful of bugs that attended the Breeze.
The patina's early bug in the foreground came
over from Belgium. I did like the patina on this
car and the overall look.

This gorgeous 1970 beetle had been painted
in the famous 'Gulf' racing colours and looked
stunning. I did like the matching Fuchs styles

Another European bus to venture over to
Brighton was this early bay camper. I have to 
admit I'm not sure what this is, or even whether
it's a factory built unit or homemade, but I did
like it.

It's shape is unique and looked to have plenty
of room inside. This really was one cool ride.

So that was the bonus review of the Brighton
Breeze VW show 2016. (if you missed the main
3 part review on this show you can find them at
the top left of this page under 'My blog archive'
Even though the weather started off wet, it did
brighten up around lunchtime which always
makes an outdoor show more enjoyable. Overall
this was a great day out, and I can recommend
this show if you haven't been before. There is
so much to see and do, especially as it's
 located so close to Brighton city centre.
Next week's review is a 3 part review of the Slough
Swapmeet. So don't forget to come back next week.