Saturday, 20 May 2017

Big Bang VW festival 2017 (part 3 of 4)

This weeks blog review is part three of four reviews all about the annual Big Bang VW camper and bus show which was held at the world famous Santa Pod Raceway in Northamptonshire over the weekend of 21st - 23rd April 2016. This huge Volkswagen festival at the home of the FIA European drag racing championships seems to get bigger and better every year and is billed as the friendliest VW show on the U.K calendar, despite the high octane drag racing and two live music arenas. This festival is a laid back affair and very family friendly. The big bang weekend consists of 3 days of non stop action on the drag strip, including (RWYB) Run What You Brung, music and various types of entertainment every day / night, show and shine, fun fair, monster truck display, jet car, and plenty more to keep both adults and the younger children occupied all weekend. The Big Bang VW festival is a local show for me, being only 40 miles away from my hometown of Aylesbury, in Buckinghamshire so it was nice leisurely drive over to Northamptonshire on the Saturday morning. The blog continues as I wander around Santa Pod admiring all the quality Volkswagens.
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.


To start this weeks blog we have one of the nicest
split screen buses on the VW scene at the moment, 
(that I've seen anyway!) This is a 1958 LHD Swiss 
Army radio communication bus. The gorgeous bright
red paint may look fresh but the bus underwent a
bare metal respray over 4 years ago. It's not only me
who think this bus is nice, as it's already been featured 
in the S.S.V.C. (Split Screen Van Club) club magazine
and also in VW Camper and Commercial magazine.

This bus not only looks gorgeous, it's also very 
solid and has never been welded!. The engine
is a very respectable 1776cc unit with Porsche 944 
disc brakes on all four corners to help stop the bus.
The wheels are Gas Burner replicas although the
owner James, says these are soon to be changed.

Talking of nice split screen buses this 1967 all
white example looked gorgeous. I did like the fact
that it looked original with it's high ride height and
those lovely painted steel wheels with white wall
tyres.

This imported bus really was so clean and tidy
and the turret top with twin roof racks finished
off the look perfectly. The check curtains also had
a period look about them.

Another 1967 vehicle I spotted was this stunning
dark blue bug. This slammed bug looked lovely
with it's Fuchs style wheels and being so low. How
perfectly straight is that reflection in the drivers 
door?

You can see just how low this bug is from this
angle, the narrowed front beam add to this cars
cool look.

One of my Facebook friends Paul, attended the 
show in his black and flamed 1998 T4, that he 
has christened 'Betty the Bitch' as Paul has a
liking for Betty Boop! The van has an old skool 
hot rod theme with the flame paint job and
 the red painted steel wheels.

Betty the Bitch is so recognisable and often gets
complimentary comments/ Paul painted the bus
himself including the flames.

At these shows you do see some weird and
 wonderful creations and this low rider push bike 
caught my eye. I watched as the owner rode past 
and I have to say it did look hard work peddling 
that bike!

This early 1960's RAT look splitty looked cool
with it's patina paint and having been lowered
so much. The narrow front beam ensure the
front wheels are tucked right under the cab.

This really was cool looking bus that looked just
about right from every angle.

Parked alongside the above split screen was
another RAT look splitty of similar vintage. The
RAT look is still massive over here in the U.K.
and it's easy to see why.

This bus has also been slammed and also has
a narrowed front beam. I did like that very retro
full length roof rack which suited the bus perfectly.

The British RAT look in all it's glory. A pair of
lovely RAT look splits at Big Bang VW show.

As I walked along the row of display vehicles I
noticed another pair of RAT look buses, this time
an early single cab pick up and a late bay.

I do like the single cab split screen especially
when they look this nice. This early SC oozed
patina and looked so much nicer for the fact
that it was riding at what looks like stock height.

I did like the look of this bus and the fact that it
had the hoops and canvas over the bed, which
is quite rare to see. This lovely bus had just the
right amount of patina paint over the Dove blue
(or similar colour) original paint.

The second of the RAT look buses was this 1972
late bay. I did like the patchwork paint and the
painted Maltese cross on the door. The narrowed
 front beam add to this buses low slammed look.

This really was a nice bus, the opening rear screen
looked cool. Although this bus had a ratty look,
it was actually quite solid.

No comment from me needed as the decal on
the rear wheel arch says it all!

This old skool gasser style caddie looked great
with it's black and flamed paint job. This really
did look like an out and out racer.

Looking up into the engine bay, I couldn't see
what motor the caddy had, but suffice to say it
was a V8 of some description.

High riding front end with big and little wheels,
this really looked good and so old skool.

From the side you can see the caddy in all it's
gasser glory. I would have liked to have seen this
run down the 1/4 mile, but if it did run, I missed it.

This stunning all white 1960's Karmann Ghia
looked fantastic in the sunshine. The KG has
been lowered and has what looks like a narrow
front beam.

This really was a lovely straight and clean car,
and the chrome sparkled in the sunshine.

The last vehicle in this weeks blog is this lovely
slammed 1969 early bay crew cab pick up. This
bus really has been slammed and the super narrow
front beam adds to the overall look.

This old bus had what looked like the original
paint which was just starting to show it's age, and
it looked great. The canvas cover over the pick up
bed was a neat sought after accessory.

Next weeks blog will be the fourth and final instalment
on the Big Bang VW show 2017, and you will be
able to see plenty more bugs and buses including
a lovely patina'd beetle with a very unusual feature!
so be sure to come back next Saturday.

Saturday, 13 May 2017

Big Bang VW Festival 2017 (part 2 of 4)

This weeks blog review is part two of four reviews all about the annual Big Bang VW camper and bus show which was held at the world famous Santa Pod Raceway in Northamptonshire over the weekend of 21st - 23rd April 2016. This huge Volkswagen festival at the home of the FIA European drag racing championships seems to get bigger and better every year and is billed as the friendliest VW show on the U.K calendar, despite the high octane drag racing and two live music arenas. This festival is a laid back affair and very family friendly. The big bang weekend consists of 3 days of non stop action on the drag strip, including (RWYB) Run What You Brung, music and various types of entertainment every day / night, show and shine, fun fair, monster truck display, jet car, and plenty more to keep both adults and the younger children occupied all weekend. The Big Bang VW festival is a local show for me, being only 40 miles away from my hometown of Aylesbury, in Buckinghamshire so it was nice leisurely drive over to Northamptonshire on the Saturday morning. The blog continues as I wander around Santa Pod admiring all the quality Volkswagens.
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.


As I wandered around I saw numerous slammed
bugs and buses and I thought I'd seen it all, that
was until I saw this 1969 lime green Westy that
literally was, sat on the grass.

You physically cannot go any lower and as Uncle
Jesse (from The Dukes of Hazzard) would say,
this is lower than a rattle snakes belly in a tyre
track, and let's face it.. Uncle Jesse doesn't lie!

The super narrow front beam add to the buses
low look. I did like the bright green colour and the
humorous take on the Westfalia logo on the poptop.

The exhaust exited through the rear bumper, this
to me means that the bus may have had the engine
and gearbox raised enabling the body to sit
lower than normal.

I did like the look of the matt black chopped and
channelled Volksrod. Those tall wheels and white
wall tryes really suited this old rod

There really is nothing better than a chopped
bug without fenders, they just look so tough.

From the back you can see just how severe that
roof chop is. The hot rod tail lights were a nice
touch that suited the rod.

From the front you can see just how close the tip
of the bonnet is to scraping on the tarmac.

Another neat touch was the hot rod style head
lights with the chrome centre bullet.

This 1956 oval window rag top beetle caught my
eye due to it's striking colour. This old bug has
been around since the 1980's, albeit in various
guises and colours. Today the car has had a front
disc brake conversion and a 2" narrowed beam.

This old retro bug also has over sized wings with
frenched tail lights. This car is actually a 1956
body sitting on a 1968 floor pan.

I do like panel vans, and yellow is my favourite
colour so this 1971 van ticked all the right boxes.
This really was a nice clean van. 

The big block of a single colour shouldn't work
but somehow it does on this van. I did like the
contrasting black on the wheels and bumpers.

The show was held at Santa Pod raceway so
you'd expect to see a few race cars, and this is
one of them. A lovely old oval window beetle.

This old bug looked tough with it's nose down
stance, those huge rear wheels and that massive
stinger exhaust sticking out the back!

I'm not sure how big the motor was, but the twin
carbs on this motor look big enough to me. 

Another race car was 'Strip Poker', an early bug
with what looks like a glass fibre front end to help
reduce weight.

The stance of this bug is all out racer, and those
custom wheels suit the car perfectly.

If a race car, any race has wheelie bars sticking
out the back there isn't any need to ask if it's
fast or not as they are there for a reason.

The engine bay looks somewhat cramped due
to that massive turbo.

This stunning kit car, named the Phoenix featured
on my blog a few weeks back and as it was at
the Big Bang show, and as I like it so much, here
it is again. 

Back in the 1970's the plans for these kit cars
cost around $15 and that was all you got, a set
of plans. The kit sits on either a splitty or early bay
chassis and the body panels would all have to
been made by hand using foam encased plastic.

I think these may be like Marmite, either you love
it or hate it, personally I love it. The sides fold
down to create a huge living space inside.

Santa Pod is the home of European drag racing
and there was plenty of racing going on all week
-end.

Watching the racing in the sunshine is a great
way to kill a few hours with a few surprising wins
for some of the racers. 

Another way to kill some time is to watch the
monster trucks. Santa Pod has it's resident
monster truck called Podzilla, but they also have
this passenger carrying truck called Red Dragon.

This truck gives the paying public an insight what
it is like to crush cars as it drives around the arena
in this V8 6.5 litre beast.

This sign written 1969 double cab pick up looked
great and like a true workhorse. It goes to show
that your ride doesn't have to be nice and
shiny to stand out.

Parked up near to me in the day visitors parking
area was this trio of cool looking classic bugs.

All three were mid to early 1960's and each one
looked cool in it's own right. I'm not sure if they all
arrived together or whether they just got lucky and
ended up parking next to each other.

This immaculate 1967 bright red beetle looked
awesome in the sunshine. The chrome trim added
just the right amount of sparkle to compliment
that gorgeous red paint on this stunning bug.

This gorgeous 1965 deep burgundy and gloss
black split screen stopped me in my tracks. The
unusual colour choice helped this old bus stand
out as did the super straight body.

A better photo showing the two tone colours in
all their glory. The polished Fuchs style rims
looked fantastic against the burgundy paint.

This U.S. imported bus really was straight, just
look at the reflections in all the photos.

Walking through the camping area I spotted this
gorgeous pair of beetles parked up, and I just
had to get some photos.

The first was this gorgeous pastel yellow 1965
bug with painted steel wheels and polished hub
caps that suit this classic car so well.

This lovely bug looks to be riding at stock height
that suited the overall look as did the polished
chrome towel rail bumpers.

The second beetle was this gorgeous teal or
similar coloured bug. This also had painted
steel wheels except that this one has been
lowered all round. 

You can see just how low this bug really was from
this angle and how nice those painted steel
wheels looked.

The whole of Santa Pod was crammed with top
quality Volkswagens both air and water cooled.

This early 1960's split screen kombi looked
gorgeous in it's unusual two tone colour scheme.
This really was a lovely looking bus, I did like
the twin roof racks and the single spot light fixed
to the front rack, and of course the colours.

Not all the vehicles were straight and shiny as
this cool looking 1972 T3 square back shows. I 
think every panel was scrapped or dented and 
also a different colour... but it looked fantastic.

The type 3 ( all variants) are really cool cars that
we just see enough of, so stumbling across this
RAT looking square was a real find.

To finish this weeks blog we have the side profile
of a stunning all white early bay. This bus was so
clean and straight it was amazing, you can just
make out the reflection down the side of the bus.
(if you click on the photo, it makes it bigger!)

So that was the second of four installments on
this great weekend show. The next installment
will be next Saturday where you can see plenty
more bugs and buses and so much more, so
be sure to come back next week.