Saturday, 26 September 2015

Blackthorn Classic Car Show.

This week's blog review is all about the first ever Blackthorn Classic car rally, held in the village of Blackthorn in deepest rural Buckinghamshire. My good friends Matthew and Caroline invited me to join them at this inaugural event. The location was only about a mile from Matthew and Caroline's home, and only about 10 miles from me, so it would have been rude not to attend. I had arranged to meet Matthew at Matthew's home and then we could drive the very short distance in convoy to the show. I arrived in good time and after a very pleasant welcome from both Matthew and Caroline, Caroline asked if we had time for a bacon sandwich... Really? there is always time for a bacon sandwich, right?. It was great to catch up with them both over breakfast as we don't seem to meet up much anymore due to both our own work and family commitments etc. After a wonderful breakfast cooked by Caroline, Matthew and I hit the road for the 1 mile drive to the show. 
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Once in the show we pakred up side by side.
Both buses are 1969 early bays, and both were
imported from California at the same time by
the House of Dub. As they were registered at
the same time they have sequential registration
numbers with only 1 digit different. It's always
good to watch the public walk by and see their
faces when they suddenly notice the 
registration numbers.

Matthew's white over blue bay, and my green
bay parked up in the show and shine. We
must have parked on the only slope in the field
which is why the buses are leaning towards
each other.

This gorgeous yellow and sliver spilt screen
was parked up just along from Matthew and I.
 The two tone colour choice suited this bus
perfectly, as did the matching trailer.

A gorgeous Austin Healey sprite, commonly
know as the 'frogeye' sprite. This one is circa
1960 and was totally immaculate. These little
sprite's had a top speed of about 83mph which
back in the 1960's was quite fast.

I think this beautiful grey Morgan was the 4/4
model. All the Morgan cars are built in the UK
by hand and the factory based in Worcester-
shire produces about 800 cars a year and
there is a very long waiting list.

This stunning bright yellow convertible Mk3
Jenson Interceptor was one of Matthew's
favourite cars at the show, and it's easy to
see why. The Jenson Interceptor was made
from 1966-1976 and this 1974 model sure did
look good in the sunshine.

This immaculate white Lotus Esprit had some
decals on the rear quarter stating '4.2 V8'
I'm not sure if it did have a V8 or not, but if
it did you can bet this car was fast!

This 1967 Morris quarter ton pick up looked
fantastic in it's immaculate dark green paint
with the matching green pick up cover. These
quarter ton van and pick ups were produced
from 1953 - 1973.

This Mk1 Ford Escort had a 1700cc X-flow
engine, with a 38 Webber carburetor and a
4 into 1 exhaust. The body is a standard MK1
body with the fibreglass wheel arches.

The show was full of beautiful classic cars,
and also some weird and wonderful creations
like this, err, I'm not sure what it is. It had a
very distinctive look as the body was covered
in artificial grass.!

A close up of the artificial grass that covered
the entire body and wheels.

Another weird and wonderful creation that was
made from an old school buddies of mine,
John and Geoff. It is based on a Deawoo
Matiz and is an exact full size replica of the
'Little Tikes' children's pedal car. This amazing
creation only took 5 months to build.

This is a photo of the 'Little Tikes' pedal car
from the Little Tikes website. You can see
the similarity to John and Geoff's creation.

This 2000 model PT Cruiser was somewhat
deceiving. It looked as though the weather
had got the better of the bodywork, but in
fact the rust effect all over this car is created
with aerosol paint cans. The plastic front
bumper and door mirrors looked like they 
are rusted metal items.

This gorgeous 1969 beetle belongs to a guy
who lives about 5 miles from my hometown of
Aylesbury. I often see this lovely bug at various
classic car shows around the county.

This really is a nice looking bug. The all red
U.S style rear light lenses, and the deck lid
mounted rack add to this car great looks.

This stunning Lancia Stratos Stradale looked
great in it's bright yellow paint. I don't know if
this an original or not, but I suspect not due
to the registration prefix letter. But that didn't
matter it was still a stunning vehicle.

The build quality, and authenticity was truly
amazing. This had to be one of my favourite
cars at the show, mainly because they are
so rare, whether it's an original or not.

I did like this Ford Consul MK2 convertible in
bright red. The Consul had a 1700cc engine
and Ford designed the body along the lines
of the Ford Thunderbird and the Fairlane which
were very popular in the states at the time.

Another stunning convertible was this lovely
Mercedes 230SL automatic. The 230 model
was unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in
1963 and production continued until 1971.

The simple clean lines of the body are a test
of the design as the car still looks as good
today as it always has. The 4 speed automatic
box is the best option as it enables you to
cruise the classic beauty effortlessly.

The colour matched interior of the 230SL is
looking a bit dated compared to the body, but
I bet it's still a very pleasant place to sit as the
miles roll by.

Now the Jaguar XK150 roadster is a true
British classic, and they don't come nicer than
this bright red example. This really was in an
'as new' condition. The super straight body,
the flawless paint and the immaculate chrome
trim along with the traditional chrome wire
wheels helped to make the Jag stand out.

Another true British classic is the E-Type
Jaguar. This series one model looked stunning
in it's light blue metallic paint. You can easily
identify the series one by the glass headlight
covers. The series two didn't have the glass

It's almost compulsory to have a few American
muscle cars at a classic car show, and the
Blackthorn show came up trumps with this
1965, 289ci white Ford Mustang. I did like the
American 5 spoke wheels which suit the
Mustang perfectly.

Another American muscle car at the show
was this 1960 Chevrolet Corvette. The 'Vette'
was produced from 1953 - 1962 and the later
models (from 1958-1962) had the twin head-
lights and prominent grille.

This bright green Ford Escort RS2000 looked
fantastic. These Escorts were around when I
was a teenager and a few of my friends had
them, so I have a soft spot for them.

Back to the classic British Jaguar's and we
have a 1969 MK10, 420G finished in dark
blue. This Jag had the 4235cc engine rather
than the smaller 3800cc power plant.

So many Jaguar's, so little time.! This MK1
Jaguar had the larger 3.4 litre engine rather
than the smaller 2.4 litre engine. The 3.4 model
had a larger grille than the 2.4 for better cooling.

The 1957 Chevrolet is probably one of the
most recognisable American cars of all time.
This gorgeous aqua blue and white estate
version is know as a 'Nomad' is a true classic.
This Nomad had the 283ci V8 engine (4.6

These really are a classics in the true sense.
The body styling with those huge rear tail fins
make the '57 Chevy instantly recognisable.

The interior of the '57 is pure nostalgia. The
colour coded dashboard, huge white steering
wheel and period instruments scream 1950's.

Remember the 1960 Chevrolet Corvette from
earlier in the blog review, well here is an earlier
model. They both have very similar paint
schemes but this early model has the single
headlight and a different grille.

I like going to classic car shows because every
so often you something that is very rare, like
this 1927 Oldsmobile model 30, series E.
This Oldsmobile had the 2770cc engine.

This stunning white Mercedes 250SL really
was immaculate. The 250SL was produced
from 1966 - 1968 with the 2496cc engine.
You could choose between a manual or auto-
matic gearbox and an optional limited slip 
differential and rear disc brakes.

Classic Mercedes styling that didn't change
much over the years, but when your this
close to perfection, why change?

One of the attractions at the show was this
fantastic old organ. This organ had been
totally restored and it not only looked great
it also sounded great.

This gorgeous baby blue 1972 beetle was
parked up with some late comers to the show.
It looked fantastic in that shade of blue in the
glorious sunshine.

This bug looks as though it has been lowered
as those lovely chrome wheels fill the rear
wheel arches perfectly.

This lovely beige 1934 Ford Sedan Hot Rod was
parked up at the show. This fully fendered '34
looked great in it's single colour paint scheme.

These '34 Sedans looks so good with the full
length wings and running boards. I did like those
5 spoke alloy wheels which suited the overall
look of this cool hot rod.

This is a stunning example of a Ford Escort
MK 1 'Mexico'. Finished in an brilliant white
with the traditional Mexico strips in black.

This very bright and very unusual car is a
MEV Rocket. It is a kit car with a tube space
frame chassis and can be built using parts
from a donor vehicle.

By building a kit car from your own choice of
donor vehicle, makes each MEV Rocket totally

I think this lovely dark blue AC Cobra was a
kit car, although I could be wrong. It was built
to a very high standard so it was difficult to tell.
It did have the '427 Cobra' badge above the
side wing vents, a badge which many copies
do not have.

Looking around this lovely Cobra, everything
seemed to be correct, so now I'm not sure if
it is a replica or not..?

Just a small selection of the numerous classic
motorcycles that attended this fantastic show.

This weird bicycle was built by Brevetti Moto
Garelli in Italy and features a 2 stroke 38cc

Looking across the show field, the field was dry,
the grass was short and the sun shone.. nothing
else is needed for a classic car meet, apart from

hundreds upon hundreds of cool classics.

So that was a brief review of the first ever
Blackthorn Classic Car show. Many thanks
to my good friends Matthew and Caroline
for inviting me along to the cracking little show,
and hopefully it won't be too long before we meet
up again. This has to become an annual show 
due to the fantastic turn out of classic vehicles.
The site was perfect, the vast array of vehicles 
was amazing and to top it all the weather was
glorious. A special thanks to Caroline for
the lovely bacon sandwhich and for making
feel so welcome in their home. There will not
be a blog review next Saturday as I shall be
in hospital for my long awaited operation. So I
will post the next blog review on the first 
Saturday once I get home.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Endless Summer VW Show 2015

This weeks blog review is about the 'Endless Summer' VW Show that was held on Sunday 16th August at The War Memorial Park in Basingstoke, Hampshire. The location of the show was only about 54 miles from my hometown, so as it wasn't too far and as the forecast was good I decided to jump in the bus and go and check out this new show on the VW calendar. The show which was billed as " a great one day family VW event in Hampshire" and was organised by Allan Shepherd who has been part of the VW scene for over 15 years. Allan decided the show could raise money for 2 local charities: Naomi House & Jacks Place. Entry to this show was a modest £5.00 ($8 approx) and the money went to the named charities. This was the first VW show that Allan has organised so it could so easily have ended in disaster, but Allan had obviously taken notes from other VW show's he had attended and this event was an instant success. The location was ideal with easy access and plenty of well kept grass in the park to park all the VW's on. There were numerous clean portable toilets to use, and enough traders selling everything to suit everyone. The shows Marshal's were numerous and unlike some shows I have attended, actually knew what they were doing and when to do it, which made a nice change. 
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On entering the park the first vehicle I noticed
was this stunning gloss black Type 181
Kurierwagen (known as a Trekker in the U.K.)

This really was a gorgeous 181, the gloss black
panels were perfectly straight, and it's looks
were enhanced by the lowered stance.

My 1969 microbus parked up at the 'Endless
Summer' VW show. I got directed to park in the
RAT category area where there were plenty of
other RAT looking vehicles.

One of those vehicles was this lovely 1970
early bay crew cab pick up. It was finished in
white but had loads of patina. This pick up
belonged to Nathan and Emma who came
along with their 2 kids. I got speaking to them
and they were a really lovely couple, who it

turns out only live about 50 miles away from
my hometown.

Nathan's pick up really does look good, I loved
the patina and the pick up hood.

The interior on the crew cab was as cool as the
exterior. The upholstery and door cards was
fresh and a combination beige vinyl and a

snake skin effect vinyl.

A neat touch was the use of a skateboard
chuck as the door pull, as was the tap head
fixed to the window winder.

This immaculate red T25 was sitting at stock
height which caught my eye. The bright red
paint was flawless and those red painted steel
wheels with white wall tyres finished off the
look. I also like the visor and the roof rack.

There was a great variety of buses at the
Endless Summer show to cater to every ones

This lovely looking pop top early bay was
gorgeous in it's white over olive green paint.
The white 5 spoke wheels complimented the
olive green body perfectly. 

The interior was stunning. I don't know what
interior this is (Westy / Devon / Moonraker etc)
but I did like it. The upholstery was turquoise
and white vinyl and the wood units looked


Compared to my non walk through model, this
bay seems to have much more room. I did
like that buddy seat in matching vinyl.

This white over light blue early bay looked great
with it's red and white chequered roof. I also
liked the pin striping by the fresh air vent.

This lovely white over red early had what looked
a Dormobile style roof. This early bay really was
a nice clean bus and looked great in the sun.

The interior was just as nice as the outside.
The owner had a book of photos on the buddy
seat showing the restoration in stages that
this bus has undergone.

If clean and shiny isn't your thing, then you may
like this pair of RAT looking Beetles. They both
had plenty of patina to suit everyone's taste.
The blue (ish) 1970 Bug had at least some of
the paint left...

...Compared to this Bug which was had no 
paint left what-so-ever. Both had the chrome
headlight peaks which suits a RAT Beetle.

Friends of mine Matthew, Julie and the girls
attended the show in their lovely beige early
bay with it's white roof. Matthew's bus is

currently being featured in the Sainsbury's
ad on TV, where a woman see the bus and
dreams of getting away from it all. It's always
good to catch up and have a chat
to both Mathew and Julie.

Matthew's early bay always looks immaculate
which is probably why it was featured in a
magazine recently. If you want to get your
bearings at a show, just look for the 2 BMX
cycles on Matthew's roof that stand above
the roof line of most other vehicles.

Parked up next to Matthew's bay was this
 lovely blue 1966 Beetle. Those white painted
steel wheels, the chrome Porsche style head
light grilles and the swan neck mirrors along
with the body colour made this Bug stand out.

This 1972 white over turquoise early bay micro-
bus was gorgeous, it's quite rare to see a bus
with the microbus interior layout, as most owners
including myself remove the 2 rows of seats in
the back and replace with some sort of
camping interior.

This 1985 white over a mustard colour T25
looked as though it had come straight from the 
beach, with the wet suits hanging up. I did 
like that cool pop top.

This lovely 1963 Cal look  Beetle looked great
in it's cherry red paint. The Fuchs style wheels
suited the look of this Bug, and did the nerf

This beautiful light turquoise 1960's Karmann
Ghia looked fantastic. It was totally immaculate.
The Karmann is such a beautiful car and the
colour choice on this one with the matching
wheels just adds to the cars beauty.

This car really like new, it amazes me how
owners keep their vehicles so clean. The body
panels were so straight they gave off an
amazing reflection.

As you would expect with such an amazingly
clean car, the engine and engine bay were to
the same high standard.

I did like this teal coloured 1971 pop top early
bay window. It didn't have a flashy paint job, or
some mega expensive wheels, it was simply
a lovely looking bus.

This lovely 1966 split screen bus looked great
in it's white over blue paint. This bus had a
1600cc engine with a 1303 Beetle gearbox
with quick shift. It also had a 4" narrowed beam
with adjusters and had a front disc brake

This gorgeous 1963 Beetle had a 1400cc
conversion with adjustable front beam.

Those 8" banded rear wheels painted in
bright white looked awesome against the
grey paintwork. This Bug has also been
seriously lowered.

The interior was immaculate and looked
original. I do like those red and white door
cards, and the red tuck and roll vinyl seats.

This T25 stood out in the row of vehicles, the
two tone colour scheme was absolutely perfect
for this vehicle. The custom wheels suited the
overall look of this bus. I really did like this.

I first saw this British Racing Green 1971
Beetle down at the 'Simply VW' show at
Beaulieu earlier this year, and it still looked
as good at the 'Endless Summer' VW show.

This Bug had some seriously cool looking
custom wheels and this neat bonnet decal that
featured 'The Hulk' cartoon character.

The thing that caught my eye about this super
clean white over sky blue 1970 early bay was
the almost perfect reflection along the side of
the bus. This really was a straight bus.

This 1969 lowered Beetle looked awesome
with it's patina paint, narrowed front beam and
those lovely wheels. The old skool roof rack
added the finishing touch.

On the 'Beetlelink' trade stand they had this
gorgeous looking 1963 Beetle. Which looked
great, even if it was covered in hay.!

Another Beetle on the Beetlink stand was this
red Bug. I don't know what cc this engine is,
but with that huge turbo bolted to it, it didn't
really matter.

This early bay panel van had to be one of my
favourite vehicles at the show. I do like panel
vans anyway, this bus was riding at stock
height, and finished in what looks like Dove
Blue with some lovely Porsche decals along
the side,  it was almost perfection.

One of the most visited bay's at the show was
this grey crossover bay that had been converted
into a 'burger van'. The roof was a novel touch.

This gorgeous early Beetle looked awesome
with it's patina and sign written doors. Those
painted steel wheels looked the perfect choice
to suit this old Bug's appearance.

Looking at the show from one direction. This
really an ideal location for a VW show.

Looking across in another direction showing
just a few of the vehicles parked up at the
'Endless Summer' VW Show.

This white Lamborghini Huracan was on display
at the show, needless to say it drew plenty of
attention from both the exhibitors and the public.

Another vehicle I remember seeing at the
Beaulieu VW Show was this pastel yellow
181 Trekker. This 181 really is a nice looking
car that is ideal for a hot sunny Sunday.

This Porsche 356 speedster replica was also
at the show and up for sale. The body sat on
a 1972 IRS chassis, and was running a
1600cc engine with twin carbs.

This replica had a cool registration number
and has only done 600 miles since new.
The asking price for this was £19,000
($29,800 approx)

The interior looked cool, even though it wasn't
an exact copy of the original. I'm not if you can
see from this photo or not, but the accelerator
pedal had a skate board wheel fixed to the
pedal, so you just rolled the wheel with your
foot to depress the accelerator.

I do like Beach Buggies and this 1970 model
looked great in it's electric blue metal flake
paint. These have to be the ultimate VW
for driving when the sun shines.

The Karmann Ghia has a beautiful body shape
and when they are painted in a single colour,
and have been lowered they just look gorgeous
as this white one shows.

The variety of Volkswagen's at the Endless
Summer show was incredible, here is just a
handful of the bays that attended the show.

This lovely 1972 early bay had a Dormobile
style pop top and was riding at stock height.
This really did look like a nice solid bus.

The interior was just as nice as the outside and
looked very comfortable. Bay's with pop tops,
whatever the style of roof have so much room
 inside compared to the tin tops.

Another row of bay's parked up in the sunshine
at this great little show.

Regular readers will recognise this lovely
1970 early bay panel van. I saw this van at 
the BeachBuggin show a few weeks ago and I 
took a photo of it from virtually the same angle. 
must really like this bus.

For the first ever Endless Summer show, the
sheer numbers of vehicles, and the quality of
the vehicles was amazing. This surely has to
be an annual show now...

Just a small selection of the Beetles at the show.
The were so many styles including: Cal Look,
Stock, Retro, RAT and so the list  went on.

I remember seeing this lovely old army green
oval Beetle a few weeks ago at another show.
It has some neat decal's, although I have no
idea what or who 'Telefunken' is.

This really is a nice oval Beetle, the colour and
the decals work really well together.

This Cal Look turquoise Beetle looked fantastic
parked up. The smooth lines of this classic Bug
with those centerline  wheels looked great. 

Beetle's and Bay's on display in the glorious
sunshine at the Endless Summer VW Show.

This was a nice combination of a split screen
bus with what looks like an Eriba Puck caravan
in tow. Both were painted in matching colours.

This RAT look split screen crew cab pick up
looked great with it's patina paint. I did like the
roof rack which suited this old crew cab.

This lovely early split screen bus looked so nice
in it's white over grey 2 tone paint scheme.
Looking down the side of this bus the body
panels were perfectly straight. I did like the
original ride height on the gorgeous bus.

The interior of this split screen was awesome.
It looked all original, I don't know the name of
this interior, but it was gorgeous.

This interior was simply stunning. Buses in this
condition are so hard to find, the owner must be
very proud of their bus.

The owners of this 1967 split screen bus knew
who to relax at the show with their gorgeous
two tone bus. 

 This 1963 split screen looked great in it's
white over red paint scheme. This 52 year old
bus looked so clean and it was just like new.

This 1697 white over light green split screen
bus looked fantastic. The body was super 
straight, with a lovely coat of paint and that
original interior was stunning and like new.

This pre 1963 split screen crew cab pick up
looked sweet. The multi coloured blue body
panels looked great and did the cyclopes
light on the cab roof. 

Adrian, Natalie and the girls were trading at the 
show. Adrian is a member of the Outcast VW
 Club and transports all his VW goodies in
his lovely 1978 Fire Bus.

The T25 owners had a fantastic display of their
buses. This is just a small selection that were
at the show. It was great to walk along the line
up and see so many different variations of the
humble T25.

There was also a great turnout from the T4 / T5
owners. This is just a handful of T4 / T5's that
attended the show, and as with the other VW
models, the diversity of T4's and T5's was

As usual, after wandering around the show for
a few hours it was time to put the kettle on and
have a cup of tea. Nathan's crew cab looked
great looking out from my sliding door.

Remember Matthew's bay from earlier, I said
if you loose your bearings just look for the BMX
cycles on Matthew's roof, well this is how easy
they are to see.

Just a few more of the T25's at the show. Again 
so many different styles and so many different

This 1984 T25 crew cab pick up caught my eye,
due to it's very distinctive camouflage paint job.

The T25 crew cab pick up is so versatile, and
can be used for most applications.

A couple of members of the Oxdubz VW
Club were at the show. Tony (aka Big T) in
his 181, and Anthony in his notchback.

Anthony and Tanya came along in his cool
looking Type 3 notchback. This notch just
oozes patina and looks just about perfect.

Anthony's T3 looking so good in the sunshine.
The judges also felt the same way as Anthony
won first prize for best T3. Well done mate.

Big T and Emma came along in Big T's newly
acquired 181 Trekker in a lovely chocolate
brown colour. Big T has not surprisingly
christened his 181 ' Sweet as Chocolate'.
The judges also liked this 181 as much as Big

T does because the Trekker won first prize in
 the 'Other VW' category. Well done mate.

This trekker does look good in the satin brown
paint. This 181 is really solid and Big T says
it's such fun to drive, and fast.

The interior is cool, the cream with brown
chequered design seats suit the 181

A gorgeous trio of Karmann Ghia's at the
Endless Summer VW show. The location and
the weather were both excellent and thus the
show drew huge crowds.

A good photo showing the diversity of bay's
at the show.

This stunning 1970 type 3 square back in bright
red looked immaculate. The Fuchs style wheels
complimented the bright paint perfectly.

Wandering the trade stands at the show I spotted
this guy painting a mural onto a bonnet using
aerosol paint. The painting is still in progress
but by the time he had finished it looked great. 

This 1968 red early bay looked good parked
up. I did like the patina on this deluxe bus.

By mid afternoon I was ready for a sit down with
another cup of tea so I got a chair out of the bus,
made a brew and relaxed in the sunshine. A
nice photo of my bus parked up at the show.

So that was a review of the first ever 'Endless
Summer' VW show. As I mentioned earlier for
a first show this was really well organised, and
well planned out. The location was ideal and to
top it all off, the weather was fantastic. A huge
well done to everyone who helped getting this
show organised, and hopefully it'll be an annual
event. The sheer number of owners who brought
along their Volkswagen's, (including hundreds of
air cooled dubs) was amazing, and I for one,
can't wait until next years show.