Saturday, 28 May 2016

Chiltern Hills Classic Car Rally 2016. (part 1 of 3)

Hi, firstly I'd like to thank each and every one of you who have visited my blog over the past 5 years as last week my humble Volkswagen related blog reached 100,000 views!! This is truly incredible and it's all down to you, the reader so thank you so much. Anyway, This weeks blog review is all about the Chiltern Hills Classic Car Rally, which was held on Sunday May 15th at Weedon Park, which is located on the A413 just outside Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire. This annual classic car show is one of my favourite shows of the season, not only because it's only a couple of miles from my home, but also because it is always very well attended and crammed full of classic cars of all descriptions. military vehicles, bikes and commercial vehicles. There is also a huge auto jumble and attractions for all the family, and all the entry money goes to local charities. I had arranged to meet my mate Claude and his partner Jean at my house as it's en-route to the show. The show opens to the public at 10.00am so we decided to get there for about 09.30 to enable us to get and and get parked up.
To see all my other blog entries, go to ‘My Blog Archive’ to the left of the 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.

Claude's '58 low light and my '69 bay parked
up and ready to leave for a very short cruise
over to the Chiltern Hills car show. Claude also

owns a lovely 1960 split screen kombi.

Claude led our mini convoy out of my estate
so I could get a photo of the low light driving
on the street. At the end of the road, Claude

allowed me to pass so I could lead the way.

En-route to the show we had to stop at a red
light, so I glanced in my rear view mirror and
thought I had lost Claude. After a few seconds
I noticed I could just see the top of the Ghia's
roof at the bottom of my rear window. You can
see how low this Karmann is by the height of
the car behind Claude.

After about 10 minutes we arrived at the show
field, where Claude had to slowly navigate the
smoothest route over the bumpy field to the

show and shine line up. 

My 1969 VW Microbus parked up at Chiltern
Hills classic car show. I'm so glad I chose the
velvet green colour when my bus was recently
repainted, as I think the colour gives the bus an

'old' look. 

Claude's 1958 low light Karmann Ghia parked
up at the Chiltern Hills car show. Believe it or
not but Claude has recently raised the ride
 height of his ghia due to it being to impracticable
for use on the rubbish uneven British roads.

Claude and I are parked up on a lovely sunny
Sunday morning. The show looks a bit empty
at the moment, but we did get there early. The
show field soon filled up with every conceivable
 classic car you can imagine including many
other air-cooled Volkswagen's.

This lovely 1969 metallic green early bay arrived
shortly after Claude and I, and parked close to
us. This looked very similar to mine, with it's
green body, white roof and bumpers and sitting
at about the same height.. but that's where the
similarity stopped. 

Whilst I was looking around this lovely clean
bus I noticed the fuel filler cap was in an unusual
place, and that there wasn't any air vents, that
got me somewhat confused...

The engine lid was open so I had a look to see
what engine this bus had, which would maybe 
explain as to the fuel filler cap location and the
lack of air vents. I was surprised when I looked 
inside as the engine bay was now a boot with 
no sign of any engine. Now I'm really confused.

Looking inside this bus, the interior looked very 
nice, but something was puzzling me, the floor
seemed to be higher than normal.

Looking into the cab area, again it was finished
to a very high standard, and the mini DVD
player was playing the movie 'Hot Rod' (one
of my favourite movies) but there still wasn't any 
sign of an engine... then I spotted a magazine 
the owner had left out with an article about his 
bus. This very trick bus has a  2.0 litre Toyota
 water cooled engine mounted under the cab 
and access is via under the passenger seat

This is a photo from the magazine showing the
2.0 litre engine in situ. It sure is a tight fit! This
photo is looking through the passenger door
with the passenger seat tilted back.

This lovely white 1966 beetle is a car I often 
see around and every time I see it I think how
good it looks. It really does look nice and solid
and pretty much original.

The original look really suited this old bug. I
do like the U.S. style chrome towel rail
bumpers and stock wheels.

This satin black 1968 bug was anything but
original but still looked really cool. This lowered 
bug had a narrowed front beam and was 
running on red painted steel wheels. 

The old '68 looked tough with it's satin black
body and colour matched bumpers. I did like
the all red U.S. style rear light lenses that suited
the overall look of this car.

This 1970 U.S. imported early bay looked
 amazing with it's baby blue paint and super 
straight body. This really was a nice straight
bus, and the alloy side step looked good 
against the blue paint.

The polished Radar wheels were a great choice
of wheel to compliment the overall look of this
lovely bay.

One car to catch my eye was this gorgeous
dark blue 1968 MK1 Jenson Interceptor. These
cars were hand built in West Bromwich, near
Birmingham between 1966 - 1976. They had
the Chrysler 383 cubic inch (6276cc) V8 so 
they not only look gorgeous they also go well.
I do like these cars and when my numbers
come up on the lottery...

There is always a very good display of various
 military vehicles at Chiltern Hills, and this year
was no different. This pair of Willys jeeps,
(complete with props) were just a few of military
vehicles that attended the show this year.

This Ford C800 fire pumper was massive. This
real fire truck is from the Flemington Fire Brigade
in the state of New Jersey, U.S.A. and this actual
truck attended the 911 tragedy along with many
others. It has also been seen in the film 'Dark
Shadows' starring Jonny Depp.

This stunning series 3 1959 Ford truck looked
great in it's all white paint scheme. The quad
headlights were introduced by Ford in 1968
replacing the old duel headlights. In 1969 the
body also changed and had integrated cab 
and front fenders and the clam shell bonnet 

The interior of this lovely old truck looked to
be original, it was very basic but functional.

There wasn't too many mod cons available
back in '69.

These old Ford trucks do look nice and they
are so versatile and can haul heavy loads with
it's 292 cubic inch V8 engine. Another design

change in '69 was the integration of the pick
up bed and body, this one has ( I think) the
'styleside' body as opposed to the Flareside.

This ready to race 1966 Oldsmobile Cutlass
looked tough with it's themed livery. I did like
the bronze coloured steel wheels and the
400 cubic inch motor nestled under the hood. 

These are tough looking cars when they are stock
but add the paint job and painted wheels ans they
they look super tough.

The gorgeous interior of a 1960's American
muscle car, it really doesn't get much better
than this for classic styling.

A gorgeous 1961 Ford Galaxie finished in a
lovely grey colour. The 1961 model had a 
revised body from the earlier models. This 
one has also been lowered and looks great.

One of the most attractive features on this car,
in my opinion are those lovely 'pie plate' round
tail lights, they just look like something out of
the Jetsons cartoons.

 This stunning jet black 1956 F100 truck was
was immaculate. The 1956 model is easily
identified by it's vertical windsheild pillars which
were a one year only body modification.

Another 1956 body change was the introduction
 of a wrap round back window. This one has
 got a flat rear window so I'm guessing it's an
early '56. This really was a lovely looking truck.

This immaculate 1975 beetle was so clean it
looked as though it had just driven out of the
showroom. This really was an amazingly clean
and original car.

Every inch of this car was like new. The engine
was also like new and so clean, and with no oil
leaks! How much effort must it take to keep this
41 year old car in such nice condition??

A friend of mine and a fellow Outcast VW Club
member Colin, attended the show in his 1970
imported early bay. Colin's bay is recognisable 
by the black and white chequered painted roof 
and truck style mirrors.

This lovely old bay is Colin's daily driver come
rain or shine and goes to prove you can drive
these early Volkswagen's on a daily basis.

The interior of Colin's early bay is cool and he
has a great collection of U.S. licence plates.

This bright yellow MK1 Ford Popular certainly
caught my eye in the bright sunshine. The 100e
was produced from 1959 - 1962 and over
126,115 were produced, although they didn't
look this nice.

This Deluxe model has bright fresh paint and
super shiny chrome wheels that helped this
little Ford stand out in the crowd.

This lovely metallic blue 1987 type 3 T25 was
a gorgeous example of this sought after vehicle.
These T25's are really nice and very versatile and
a great alternative to a bay or split screen. 

This bus was so clean and straight, and T25's
in this condition are selling for good money, not
that I'd imagine the owner would ever sell this.

This 1968 Aston Martin DB6 saloon was simply
stunning. This one had the 4 cylinder 282bhp
engine with a double overhead camshaft, and
a 5 speed ZF manual gearbox and those sexy
chrome wire wheels with knock off centre caps.

The DB6 had an Aluminium body shell which
was much lighter than steel and therefore this
car could reach a top speed of 145 mph, with
a 0 - 60 time of just 6.3 seconds which 48
years ago was almost supersonic. The initials
DB actually stand for David Brown, a tractor
manufacturer who bought the company in 1947.

A glorious sunny Sunday looking along a line
of American classic cars at the Chiltern Hills
classic car show, what could be better.

This lovely 1959 Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner
was a show stopper it was that clean. The 
Skyliner has a retractable hardtop which was
unique to Ford at the time. The 500 Skyliner
is huge and has a wheelbase of 17.5 feet that's
excluding those massive chrome bumpers.

This lovely Ford looked stunning in the white
over pastel yellow paint scheme. I wouldn't
fancy driving this around on the U.K.'s narrow
roads as it's so big, it's really designed for the
huge arrow straight U.S. freeways.

So that was part one of this fantastic car show.
Next weeks blog will be part 2 where you can 
see plenty more cool V-dubs along with some
American classics and some real true British
classic cars, so be sure to come back next

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Big Bang VW Festival 2016 (part 3 of 3)

Welcome to the third and final instalment on the annual Big Bang VW festival which was again held at the Santa Pod raceway in Northamptonshire over the weekend of 22nd - 24th April 2016. This huge Volkswagen festival at the home of the FIA European drag racing championships seems to get bigger 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 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. A lot of my local VW friends don't like this show for some reason, so It was just me, myself and I that went for the day... although I did know a lot of people that were camping for the whole weekend so I was sure to bump into someone I knew. The blog review continues as I wander around the festival looking at all the quality air-cooled Volkswagen's.
To see all my other blog entries, go to ‘My Blog Archive’ to the left of the 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.

Remember the trio of beetle's I saw in part two
of the blog review?, well this is the third bug
and although it's a later model than the other
two, it still looks as good in it's own right. The
painted on rust look looks cool as does the
fully loaded roof rack. 

This old looking bug had some nice touches
such as the strap across the bottom of the
bonnet and the aftermarket indicators below
the headlights.

I did like the overall look of this late bug, the
rope tied around the nerf bars helped to 'age'
the bug, but the thing that I liked most about
this bug......

...was the wheel and tyre combination. Those
highly polished B&M 4 spoke wheels with
the red and white wall tyres looked fantastic
against the rust coloured body panels.

In the area reserved for vehicles for sale I saw
this lovely yellow and brown 1972 Dormobile. 
It came with a current M.O.T. and it had been
fully restored in 2008 / 9 and it still looked very
nice and solid 7 years later.

This bus had a standard 1600cc engine with
 twin dellorto 36 carbs. This lovely bus was 
up for sale for £16,500 ($23,840 approx)

This lovely Sierra Yellow 1971 Westfalia, was
a recent U.S. import, and as usual with an
American imported vehicle it was very solid.
This bus had been U.K. registered and benefited
from a new roof canvas and clutch. This lovely
Westy was up for sale for £12.995 ($18,776)

This super cool looking bug was also up for
sale. It's a 1967 with 3" Atomwerks drop spring
 plates, and a 4" narrowed front beam and Fuchs
style wheels.

This old bug was also riding on air suspension.
This gorgeous blue bug could be yours for the 
reasonable price of £7,995 ($11,551 approx)

This light olive green bug was amazing. The
body looked so solid and straight, and those
Fuchs wheels looked amazing against the
green body. The chrome Porsche head light
grilles were a nice addition. This really was
a show standard car but it had a hidden

Those huge rear tyres that filled the rear arches
perfectly and that massive 'Stinger' exhaust
gave a few clues as to this cars pedigree.

The interior consisted of just one single bucket
seat and a monster tachograph bolted onto
the dashboard gave the game away. This bug
not only has the show, but it also has the go.
I didn't find out what motor this bug had, but
I'm guessing it wasn't a 1300 cc single port. 

This stunning white over black early split screen
was parked up near the pit area and looked
awesome. The super straight body gives off
an almost perfect reflection of the white T4
parked up next to it.

This has to be one of the straightest buses I
have seen. I did like the chrome towel rail
bumpers that were in stark contrast to the
glossy black paint.

I saw this Plymouth Roadrunner arriving on
the back of a low loader, Unfortunately I never
got to see it race but I bet it would have been
good. Those huge Hoosier slick tyres on the
back of this Plymouth must provide plenty
of traction when lurching off the start line.

This 1969 Plymouth Barracuda was parked up
in the pits having just run the 1/4 mile. These
are tough looking cars...

But when you have what looks like 15" Hoosier
slick tyre's tucked under the rear arches the look
just gets even tougher.

Walking through the traders area behind the
drag strip I noticed something that made me
stop in my tracks. It was a genuine Rocketeer
Wagon. These are as rare as chickens teeth, 
especially here in the U.K. These were made
by Glide Ride in Sacramento, California. (where
my bus came from funnily enough) They were 
only made for a short time before the company 
went bankrupt. It was for sale for £350 ($505)
 which is a bargain as a similar one on the U.S.
 e-bay site was recently going for £865 ($1,250)

I spotted this lovely 1964 Caravelle camper on
the back of a trailer and it was for sale. It was
 freshly imported from southern California, so
it was bound to be almost rust free. It came 
with 5 new whitewall tyre's and new truck style 

This interior was all original and looked to be
in very good condition and complete. This
really was a nice looking bus.

OK the interior was starting to look old and
tired but after 52 years in the Californian heat
it's only to be expected, the main thing is it was
complete and pretty much original.

This bus looked so nice and was very desirable.
The Caravelle was up for sale for the reasonable
prices of £16,495 ($23,834 approx)

I was just about to leave the drag racing and
have a wander around when I saw the resident
jet car, Fire Force getting ready to run down the
track, needless to say I stayed and watched the
jet car action.

Fire Force is powered by a Pratt and Whitney
J60 engine from a Sikorsky skycrane helicopter
that produces 10,000 BHP. After warming the
engine with plenty of smoke and flames Fire
Force was ready to run. As it launched off the
line, the noise almost made your ears bleed.
Unfortunately the run wasn't timed because
the jet car passed the timing lights with such
 force it knocked out the whole timing system.
This car does however regularly run 5 second
passes down the 1/4 mile strip at Santa Pod.

Walking back towards my bus through the
camping area I saw this lovely brown early
bug with red tinted perspex windows. It sounds
like a terrible colour mix, but it looked great.

The low stance, the narrowed front beam and
those centerline style wheels all helped to make
this bug stand out.

On my way back to my bus to make my way
home I came across this lovely old sign written
split screen. I'm not sure why I was drawn to
this bus, maybe because it was painted in my
favourite colour, or maybe it was the old skool
faded sign writing.. whatever it was I did like
this cool retro splitty.

So that was part 3 of 3 of my review of the Big 

Bang VW festival that was held at The Santa 
Pod Raceway. I hope my blog has given you 
an idea of the sort of festival this 3 day event is 
all about. If you missed the first 2 instalments 
you can find them in 'My Blog Archive' at the 
top left of this page. Next weeks blog is all 
about the Chiltern Hills Classic Car Rally, 
where you'll be able to see not only cool 
vintage Volkswagen's but also lots of rare 
classic cars / trucks and bikes, so I hope 
you come back next Saturday.