Monday, 6 October 2014

Brighton Breeze 2014. Part 1 of 3.

The Split Screen Van Club (S.S.V.C.) was 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 Brighton Breeze, which is held 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. I have experienced 70 degree heat with blazing sunshine to almost storm conditions and freezing temperatures at this show and as it's held in October, this shows success really is in the hands of the weather. Having said that, the U.K. has had the driest September since records began so all being well the weather forecast looked promising. The S.S.V.C. also arrange overnight camping at Brighton Race Course on the Saturday night for those who want to camp over, which I have done on several occasions. This show is a favourite with members of all the local VW clubs and we either arrange a convoy down to Brighton or tend to meet up once there. This year a few of the Outcast VW club members decided to travel down on the Friday night and stay in a hotel for the night, I couldn't do this so I travelled down alone early on the Saturday morning, to meet up with them later that day.

For some bizarre reason the S.S.V.C. will not
let any VW's onto Maderia Drive until 09.00am.
I arrived in Brighton at 08.20 and as I could not
get onto the sea front I drove around the corner
and bumped into some old friends from another
local VW club, Oxdubz. They had arrived slightly
earlier than me and were parked up just waiting
until they could get on Maderia Drive. Anthony
had his green notch, and Nathan had his dark
red early bay. I think the red bay with the white
pop top was also from Oxdubz but I don't know
who owns it.

As we had plenty of time I took the opportunity
to cross the road and get a photo of  Brighton's
Pier and beach. The sea looks a bit choppy
and the clouds look as though they are full
of the wet stuff, let's hope it stays dry, for
a few hours at least.

While we waited for the Drive to be opened
a few other VW's joined us and also parked
up. One of the VW's that joined our queue
was this RAT look Beetle. It was real rust on
the body work and a real 'Rust-eze' decal on
the door!.

Another VW parked up with us was this split
screen crew cab pick up, complete with a long
board on top. This is a lovely looking split with
a narrowed front beam and was lowered nicely.

A group photo of VW's waiting patiently. The
light blue bay and convertible Beetle had also
joined us, as they had also arrived too early
on the sea front.

While I was sat in my bus killing time, I decided
to get all arty with this cool photo looking into
my door mirror.

By about 08.45 the city centre and the sea
front was wall to wall VW's, with hundreds of
both air cooled and water cooled VW's cruising
around waiting to get onto the sea front, an
awesome sight when every other vehicle that
goes past is a Volkswagen.

A very RAT looking split screen cruises past
our group as they kill some time until they can
get on the seafront.

Once we were allowed on the Drive I parked
up and took a wander about. I was one of the
first onto Maderia Drive but the constant flow
of various VW's onto the sea front was endless
and went on for a few hours as more and more
people arrived.

The first vehicle to catch my eye was this 1957
oval Beetle. It was an import from the sunny
state of California, OK it's a project but it
has plenty of potential.

A lovely looking Bug that requires some work,
but it's all there and quite solid. For the asking
price of £5,500 new floor pans were included
in the sale.

The stock motor may need some TLC but again
it's all there and shouldn't require too much to
get it running again.

Another vehicle for sale, and on the other end
of the price scale was this 1966 split screen.
This really was a nice looking bus. Finished
in ivory over green, lowered and with a narrowed
front beam. The single yellow spotlight on the
towel rail bumper is a nice addition.

A very clean and straight bus that doesn't need
anything doing to it, and it could be yours for
 for a mere £27,000.

This olive green oval Beetle with real patina
wasn't for sale but was gorgeous. These oval
Bug's were produced from 1953-1957, I'm not
sure what year this one was, but it didn't really
matter. How low does this Bug sit, and the
camber of those rear wheels is amazing.

The oval rear window Beetle is such nice
looking car. This one has some patina just
starting to show, which suits it perfectly.
A super narrow front end hides the front
wheels, while the back ones, with that camber
stick out from under the arches, as do the rear
wheels on the orange Bug parked up next to it.

If you like the RAT look with patina, then you'll
love this Split screen. The complete roof was
rusting as was the full length roof rack, and
many other body panels including the front
clip and doors.

A while ago I joined the 'early bay' forum which
is a great source of information, with very
friendly members, who have a wealth of
knowledge between them about the early
bays, and this is some of the 'early bay' line
up. They did put a post on the forum about
having an early bay display at Brighton and I
was tempted to put my name down, maybe
next year.

The other end of the 'early bay' display on
Maderia Drive. A glorious selection of early
bays. Well done guy's, an excellent line up.
You can check out the 'early bay' forum here

The thing that caught my eye on this early
Beetle, apart from the Porsche head light
grills, and it's low stance, and the single spot
light and period roof rack was the super straight
body panels. The reflection on the door was like
a mirror. This really is one super straight Bug.

The standard of some of the vehicles at the
Breeze was amazing. This white over bright
orange 1965 deluxe split screen was immaculate.

A gorgeous single cab split screen pick up.
Sometimes you don't need a £10k paint job
to make your vehicle stand out, sometimes
you just need to leave it as it is.

An amazingly straight 1964 'notch back' at the
'Cool Flo' stand. The paint finish on the inner
wheel arches was better than a lot of the
paintwork on the bodies of the vehicles at
Brighton. A excellent promotional vehicle for
'Cool Flo'.

This early / mid 1950's split oval Beetle was
almost perfection. It looked to be in all original
condition. When you have a sought after car
like this, it's best just to keep it the way
Volkswagen had intended.

This really is such a lovely looking car. The
paint also looked original and the body work
had a few minor knock and bumps, which just
added to it's character.

An unusual colour choice on this navy blue
over sky blue deluxe split screen, but I like it
a lot. This chrome deluxe trim and the chrome
bumpers break the colour up perfectly.

I'm not sure if this young lady owned this early
split screen or whether she was just helping
out, but she was doing an excellent job. Look
at that reflection on the rear body panels.

From one extreme to another, this very RAT
looking late spilt screen didn't have the same
standard of paint as the one above, but it is
equally as nice in it's own right. A super narrow
front beam with polished 5 spoke wheels add
the required bling to this beauty.

This 1965 splitty stood out in the October sun
on the sea front. I did like the light grey over
orange paint scheme. another unusual choice
but again, it works very well.

This lovely blue and white early bay must have
been riding on air suspension as it's sitting so
low. The very low profile tyres also help the
stance. This really is a nice looking bay window.

This early Beetle finished in an off white colour
was simply stunning. Everything about the Bug
looked just about right. From the single colour
choice, to the stance to the detailing.

A very nice and straight body painted in a
lovely single colour and only broken up by the
all red U.S. rear light lenses and the body trim.

This early bay in beige was gorgeous. The
matching pop top canvas was a nice touch.
The chrome headlight mesh and the clear
indicator lenses broke up the colour scheme
nicely as did the deluxe body trim.

This 1970 early bay was one of my favourites
at the show. Why? because it's just so different.
I loved the high riding stance with those huge
off road tyres. This U.S. import certainly caught
my interest.

This really is nice, I like everything about this
bus.The name of the game is to do your own
thing, don't follow the trend and this early bay
was leading the way in being different.

A late split screen parked up on Maderia Drive
at Brighton Breeze. This lovely bus had the
turret pop top and looked gorgeous.

Again, from one extreme to another, this early
split screen was full of patina and riding lower
than standard. The narrowed front beam added
to the overall look of this RAT bus.

You can see in this photo just how narrow that
front beam really is. A really lovely looking bus
that is a show winner in my eyes.

Parked outside the gym on Maderia Drive was
this baby blue Karmann Ghia. Simplicity is the
name of the game here. A super straight body
painted in a lovely coat of paint, a set of chrome
steel wheels with whitewall tyres is sometimes
all you need to make your car stand out in
the crowd.

This 1970 early bay was just like new. It was
totally immaculate and finished to a very high
standard. Again, an unusual colour choice, but
it works so well. The body was so straight, you
can see the almost perfect reflection in the rear
body panels.

Another 1970 early bay finished in a beautiful
coat of what looks like Chianti red but in a satin
finish. This lowered type 2 looked great with it's
chequered red bra and lowered stance. A really
nice bus, in a really nice colour.

The variety of VW's on show at Brighton was
immense. Here an immaculate type 3 fastback
finished in an off white colour parked next to a
late split screen panel van finished off in a
satin coat of two tone green. Both vehicles were
finished to an amazing standard.

This early Beetle was parked on the sea front,
a stones throw from the beach and it looked
gorgeous. The olive green paint, along with
the slight rake in it's stance and those huge
rear tyres made this Bug grab my attention.

My '69 bay parked up on the sea front with
mixed company. A lime green late bay and
a black T4 ensure the visitors have plenty
of variety to look at as they wander along the
sea front.

More variety along the sea front. A late bay
window crew cab pick up alongside a late
split screen with pop top and another late
bay finished in white over orange. It's no
wonder this show is always a well attended
event both from exhibitors and the public.

A guy called Ali owns this 'Bugle' bodied beach
buggy finished in a lovely metallic green colour.
There were numerous buggies at the show but
this one stood out for me. I did like the unusual
position of the headlights and the body shape in

So that was part one of The Brighton Breeze
2014. This show is the penultimate VW
event here is the south of the U.K.
We do have the Slough Swap meet in
November, which I will attend and write a blog
review about, but then after that the winter
arrives, and everything is put on hold.
The next VW show will be the Volksworld
Show in March 2015. As I took so many
photo's at the Breeze, part's 2 and 3 of my
Brighton Breeze blog review will be a few
weeks apart, to ensure my blog has new
entries throughout the winter months, and
also to keep you, the reader occupied until the
new VW season starts again in 2015.


  1. Nice but you didn't buy me an ice cream

  2. All you had to do was ask...

  3. That is a bugle beach buggy, correct!

  4. The bugle is mine.
    She has an original 1971 green flake gel coat body on a 1955 beetle chassis.
    She is called Toni and like some women, gives you a great amount of pleasure but can also be temperamental at times!

  5. Thanks anonymous for confirming I was right in identifying your buggy. If you had left your name I would have updated the blog and put a name to the cool looking beach buggy.

  6. Ali is the name for the bugle owner.
    Good blog. Keep it up!!

  7. Thanks Ali, I'll update the blog.

  8. anyone got a contact for ali the buggy owner

  9. ali my email is bulliporker