Saturday, 23 June 2018

Stanford Hall Show 2018 (part 1 of 3)

This weeks blog review is the first of three reviews all the Stanford Hall VW show which this year was held on Sunday 6th May and is an annual one day event organised by the Leicestershire and Warkickshire VW owners club. The show is held in the grounds of Stanford Hall, which was built in the 1690's in the beautiful village of Stanford-on-Avon, near Lutterworth in Leicestershire, LE17 6DH. The manicured lawns of the hall also has the River Avon gently flowing through the grounds, and provides a spectacular backdrop for a VW show. As Stanford Hall is only about 60 miles from my hometown, and as the weather forecast was good I decided to drive up. I have been to this show over the past 5 years and there is always a good collection of top quality VW's of all varieties with plenty of trade stands and an auto jumble and all set in the beautiful grounds of Stanford Hall. This show is seen by many as one of those 'not to miss' shows and it always gets busy there.
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.


When you arrive at a VW show and one of the
first buses you see is a slammed patina'd bay,
you just know it's going to be a good day. This

really was one cool looking bus.

Even before paying my £10 entrance fee and
entering the show I noticed that the public car
park was like a VW show itself. This pair of early
beetles looked great in the morning sunshine.

Another vehicle in the public cat park was this
awesome early bay Doka. This velvet green ( I
think) double cab really was clean and straight
and the single colour, including the roof really
made this bus stand out.

You can see just how clean this doka really was
from this photo. Look at the tail gate and the back
of the bus, that really was a fantastic reflection from
the perfectly straight body panels and the perfectly
applied coat of paint.

From one extreme to another, but equally as nice
in it's own right was this super cool looking early
split screen 13 window. I loved how original this
bus looked.

Another stock looking split was this 1967 bus.
Again this bus had plenty of real patina and with
those stock wheels and the what looked to be
original interior this old bus got my attention.

I was certainly getting my patina fix at Stanford
Hall, as this gorgeous early split oval shows.

This lovely bug looked cool with it's slammed
stance, and those shiny Porsche wheels looked
great against the paitina'd body panels.

This type 3 fastback was up for sale, and although
it had seen better days I'm sure someone at the
show struck a deal with the owner.

Although the dreaded rust had taken its toll on
virtually all the body panels, I'm sure the £1000
($1300 approx) asking price was too good for
someone to resist.

One of the many catering vendors at the show
had this amazing converted split screen bus that
they used as a mobile bar. 

Whilst wandering around the show, I happened
to bump into John who where there promoting
his 'Run the Ring' VW M25 charity cruise. It was
originally John's idea to have a convoy of VW's
driving around the M25 London orbital motorway
to raise money for charity. Now in it's 3rd year,
this years event promises to be bigger and better
than last year. I will be taking part in this great
event for the third year running and to be honest
I can't wait. You can find out more about the Run 

the Ring' charity cruise, and sign up for this years
RTR  here:  https://run-the-ring.myshopify.com/
(you may need to copy and paste)

Amanda, John's better half was caught striking
a pose by her, sorry I mean John's Canterbury
Pitt. Both John and Amanda (and all the others
who help organise this event
) work very hard to
promote this charity event, so the least you could
do is sign up and join in, right?

Around the oval drive in front of Stanford Hall is
where all the concourse vehicles were parked.
This is where you will see some exceptional
original beetle's and of course this gorgeous
Hebmuller.

The Hebmuller convertible, or Type 14A to give it
it's official title, was only produced from 1949 -
1953 with only around 700 being produced. Out
of that number only around 100 are believed to
still exist.

The standard and quality of the beetle's in the
concourse area was incredible. Each of these
beautiful cars was 99.99% original/

A lovely badge I spotted on the 'A' panel on one
of the concourse beetle's. I'm guessing the car
took part in a rally at the Nurburgring in 1958.

Having just said that all these cars were 99.99%
original, I've just seen this bug which clearly isn't.!

Although it is very nice though...

Early bugs from all years and all models were
in the line up, it made for a fantastic display.

There is just something about the shape of an
early bug that looks just right, and when they are
this clean and straight, and of course original then
so much the better.

This stunning white split oval window 1951 deluxe 
(Type 11D) was absolutely stunning. This gorgeous 
car is a South African import and a rare right hand 
drive model.

The car was imported into the U.K. in 2008, and
the present owner purchased the car in 2009. The
car had had a partial restoration but the current
owner carried out a full restoration,

A vehicle doesn't necessarily have to be painted
and shiny to be desirable, as this early bug proves.
I did like the look of this car, the patina'd hood
with the leather strap across it and the single
yellow spot light helped this bug stand out.

But there again, if you do have a painted and
shiny vehicle, you could give off some awesome
reflections like the reflection in the side of this
early bug of Stanford Hall.

This super cool looking Jungle green (L315) 1952
standard beetle (Type 11E) was delivered on 30th
July 1952 to 151 Vehicle COY at Lippstadt for use
by the British Forces. There is anecdotal evidence
that this very car was used to extract poor unfortunates
from East Germany through 'Checkpoint Charlie'.

The car returned to the U.K. in 1962 when the
Military Chaplin, who owned the car returned
home to Lincolnshire. The car was striped down
in preparation for a restoration, which never
happened. The current owner purchased the car
as boxes of bits and spent the next 3 years putting
all those bits together into what you see here.

This stunning 1960's Porsche 356B looked great
in it's all white paint. The 356B was produced from

1960 - 1963 and differed from the previous 356A
with various body modifications.

One of the body modifications was replacing the
single engine grille to twin grilles. Other small
modifications included an external fuel filler cap
and a larger rear window.

The super shiny hub cap on the 356 gave a great
reflection.

The split screen van club were at Stanford Hall
and they came in force with hundreds upon
hundreds of split screen buses of all descriptions
and years turning up.

Ooh, yes please! I did like this high top split. A
few years ago these were the ugly ducklings

of the split screen world but now these are so 
desirable, and it's easy to see why.

The perfectly straight rear panels, and the depth
of this paint on this split screen provided a perfect
reflection of all the other buses that were parked in
close proximity.

OK, I was trying to be artistic with this photo, I
tried to get the reflection of the split identical on
both sides... it almost worked, but its still a good
photo.

Stanford Hall is one of the split screen van club's
biggest meetings. There were so many splits to
look at, and each one was different.

A fantastic variety from all years made for a great
display, and a great photo opportunity. 

The early summer sun did get quite hot, and this
lovely little fellow had the right idea, get in the back
of a splitty with the rear hatch open and have a 

snooze.

The weather at Stanford hall couldn't have been
better, glorious sunshine all day made for a very
relaxed chilled out show.

I do like a shiny bus that gives off a nice reflection
of another bus.

This T25 Syncro has to be one of my favourite
vehicles at the show. Why? well because for one
it's all original and never been butchered about,
and two the owner who I had a quick chat with
has no intention of changing anything.

This gorgeous van has very low mileage and as
original as it left the factory. How many buses do
you see that have never had any changes to them?

The owner was saying that he has no intention
of selling it, and intends to keep it just the way it
is. The inside is just as clean as the outside.

So that was part one of three about this great one
day show. Next week will be the second instalment
where you can see more quality Volkswagen's
including more buses, bugs and Karmann's,
so be sure to come back next Saturday.

Saturday, 16 June 2018

WBC Milton Keynes Division Fun Day 2018 (part 2 of 2)

This weeks blog is part two of two all about the Wolfsburg Bus Crew's 'Milton Keynes and surrounding area's' branch meet up at Irchester Country Park, in Northamptonshire on 22nd April 2018. Unless you've been living under a stone for the last couple of years you must have heard of the Wolfsburg Bus Crew. The WBC started by Rich Coxhill as a London based VW club for local Split, bay and T25 owners, but the WBC now has a midland branch and also a Milton Keynes and surrounding area's branch. Milton Keynes WBC members James and Ken organised the whole fun day and I have to say what a fantastic day it was. The last minute change of venue was probably for the best as the country park is an ideal location for a Volkswagen meet. Both Ken and James put a lot of hard work in to organise the event, advertise it, generate interest and find a new location at short notice due to the original location being flooded! Ken and his good wife provided bacon rolls and cups of tea to all WBC members which I can vouch for were both very nice!! I arrived quite early with my two dogs and as the sun was shining the constant flow of cool Volkswagen buses kept arriving with a total of 21 buses arriving in total. The blog continues as I wander around looking at all the cool buses and chatting to the owners.

This gorgeous 1961 single cab belongs to Simon
and has to one of the nicest single cabs I've seen. 
The two tone colours, the low stance and the decals 
are all just about perfect. The air brushed decals
look fantastic and the font is an exact replica of the 
original 7up artwork.


Simon's SC has a narrowed front beam with a
disc brake conversion on the front and  type 3
rear drums and shoes with a remote servo. To
see where he's going this lovely pick up has had
a halogen conversion on the head lights.

The rear lights are LED items which are super
bright which allows Simon to run the all red tail
lights. For safety Simon has a fire extinguisher
linked to a fuel cut off solenoid. This really is a
lovely bus, which ever way you look at it.

This super bright yellow 2.0 litre Westfalia is
owned by Oliver but it used to belong to a
Doctor in it's previous life back in California, but I
doubt it ever looked this good. The new low stance
 is thanks to the accu air ride suspension set up
with air bags on the rear and air shocks on the front.

Other mods on this cool looking bus are; power
steering, LED lights, and a flip out Sat Nav with
parking sensor, other than this Oliver says it's
almost original.... except that he had a rust problem
on the front which was sorted and painted, but the
new paint didn't match the doors so the doors
were painted, but they didn't match the sides, so
the sides were painted but then the sides didn't
match the rear and yep, you've guessed it, the rear
was also painted... apart from that it's all original!

Mark came along in his multi coloured Devon
Moonraker. This bus started life with a standard
white over orange paint scheme, but due to having
had some light restoration work and the occasional
small accident damage it has evolved into this very
distinctive colour scheme.

Mark has owned the bus for around 20 years,
and like most buses, the list of things to do and
repair continues to grow. The engine in this old
Devon is a 2.0 litre unit after the old original 1.8
litre motor blew up. The interior of Mark's bus,
which he calls 'Velma' has an original Devon
Moonraker cooker, sink and cupboard and a lot
of other thing which Mark has fabricated himself.

This immaculate 1979 Devon Moonraker double
top is the pride and joy of Deborah and Brendan
who have owned this lovely bus for about 10 years.
Both Deborah and Brendan call their bus 'Dolly'.

Dolly has a 2.0 litre engine and in the time the
Deborah and Brendan have owned her, she has
taken them all over the U.K. from Scotland down
to Cornwall, and even across Europe from Spain
(Bilbao) up through France to Calais. Deborah and
Brendan also visit many music and scooter festivals
in their lovely (reliable) Dolly.

Out of the 21 buses that were at this fantastic
day, this stunning '69 / 70 early bay panel van is
the only bus that I couldn't find out anything about,
 which is a shame as I really like panel vans and this
one in particular. 

The two tone paint job with the red against that
light grey colour worked perfectly, This really was
a lovely imported ( I think) van and those BRM
wheels looked fantastic.

This gorgeous 1965 Harvest Moon beige Cali 
import was totally stunning. The lucky owner is
 Dean who after getting some inheritance started 
looking for a bus. After looking at lots of buses
Dean went to see 'Lily' and as Dean says, 'It was
love at first sight'.. even though Lily has tested his
love at times by not behaving.

Dean's bus has a 2054cc all singing, all dancing
engine mated to a pro street gearbox. It also has
a 4.5" narrowed front beam with matching trailing
arms and Spax shocks with Porsche 944 turbo
brakes on all four corners. The wheels are rare
16 x 7 Porsche Teledials which look so cool.

The interior of Dean's bus (which I didn't manage
to get a photo of!) features a gorgeous walnut
and ivory leather interior, with LED lighting, a full
sound system and an Eberspacher diesel heater.
The bus has been converted to 12v by Pdubz.

As if all the above wasn't enough Lily also has
some of the coolest pinstriping. As a sign painter
and would be pinstiper, I was very impressed with
the standard of this, which must have been done
back in the U.S.

This beautiful white over red 1966 Canterbury
Pitt belongs to John which believe it or not was a
barn find that needed a total restoration. This bus
was originally a 9 seater RHD microbus that was
finished in green and white.

It has been a passion of John's to own a split
for a long time so when he and his partner,
Amanda saw this which was at the right price,
they just had to have it. Although John says that
Amanda has laid claim to the split and drives it
more than John! John and Amanda organise the
'Run the Ring' the VW charity cruise around the 
M25 motorway to raise money for charity. To find
out more, and to sign up check out their FB page:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/M25VWRunTheRing/

The Wolfsburg Bus Crew, Milton Keynes and
surrounding area's club meet was a great success.

My 1969 microbus was in good company with
Nichola's '72 Danbury on one side and Jai's 
'68 bay on the other.

Just a few of the WBC members buses on show
at Irchester Country Park.

Just a few of the WBC members buses on show
at Irchester Country Park. Simon's gorgeous
single cab in the background with John's (or should
that be Amanda's?) '66 Canterbury Pitt in the centre
of the photo.

This really was a chilled day out with friendly WBC 
members and their gorgeous buses.

Gorgeous buses in a gorgeous location. The WBC
members really done well and turned out in force
which helped make the day a total success.

I took my two dogs to the meet, Susie is keeping
guard by the door, or maybe planning an escape

over to Nichola's bus.. again!! while Boobie dog 
is just chilling out on the buddy seat.

Jai's unique patina'd front end on his '68 bay.

Each WBC member at the event had a voting
form, and they voted for the best bay window
bus at the event. The winners choice was Julie 

and her 1978 Westfalia Berlin which was the
first bus in last weeks review. Here Julie receives
her trophy from one the organisers, Ken. Well
Done Julie, a well deserved win... it must have 
been the new curtains.!!

Just a few of the WBC members buses on show
at Irchester Country Park.

Julie's Westy Berlin  (voted best bay on the day)
next to Dave's '70 single cab and Robin's
lovely panel van.

Just a few of the WBC members buses on show
at Irchester Country Park. My microbus is just
peeking out from behind Nichola's '72 Danbury.

Susie's hub cap on her '67 11 window split gives
an almost perfect reflection of Si's '64 split screen.


So that was my two part review of the Wolfsburg
Bus Crew's, Milton Keynes division's club meet
at Irchester Country Park. Overall a fantastic day
with super friendly members and lots of gorgeous
buses. A huge well done to Ken and James (and
anyone else that helped out I don't know about) for
organising the day, which I'm sure everyone who
attended will agree went perfectly. I for one am 
looking forward to the next meet, wherever it
may be, because I know it'll be a great day out.
Next weeks blog review is all about the Stanford
Hall VW show, this great one day event attracts
some of the best (and oldest) VW for miles around,
so don't forget to come back next Saturday.