Saturday, 7 May 2016

Big Bang VW Festival 2016 (part 1 of 3)

The annual Big Bang VW festival 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.
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.

After parking up and making my through the
campsite and funfair I headed towards the
staging lane to the rear of the drag strip where 
I saw this lovely 1960, sealing wax red split 
screen panel van.

This bus looked to be 100% original and was
really solid. This lovely old imported van was 
for sale, it had been UK registered and it also
had a current MOT certificate.

This really was a nice stock looking panel van,
I did like that single side window which was 
unusual. All this bus for the price of £17,995
($26,340 approx)

This light gold coloured early 1960's beetle
looked great parked up in the camping area
in the sunshine. The narrow front beam and
those Porsche nipple hubcaps helped this
low bug stand out.

This really was a nice example of an early bug.
Those early tail lights, the low stance and the
colour really do suit this car.

As well as the world famous drag strip, Santa
Pod also has an off road area where you can
take your vehicle off road and judging by the
look of this off road beetle the owner has taken
full advantage of the facilities.

I loved the look of this high riding bug with all
the mud splattered all over the car. Those huge
rear tyres looked they could provide plenty of
grip when the going gets tough.

Split screen buses everywhere you looked. This
was just a handful of splitty's at Big Bang.

This rusty single cab pick up caught my eye. I
do like the patina look and this bus had more
than enough patina to satisfy my cravings. The

colour matched canvas cover over the bed 
looked really cool and suited the overall look.

Another bus with plenty of patina was this mid
60's sign written split screen. This bus did look
nice in the sunshine with the safari screens
open. I did like the 'Roo' bars, also known as
'Boing' bars in South Africa, as that's the noise
they make when something hits them!

Nice and low with real patina... the truck style
mirrors suited this old split. This really was a 

nice looking split screen.

This lovely sunburnt 1969 westfalia SO-67
 tintop was another vehicle that has been
imported from the U.S. The body was 100%  
original was as the Westfalia interior, it had a
rebuilt 1600cc motor with powder coated tin-
ware, and rebuilt brakes. It had also had been
slightly lowered. It has been UK registered 
and even had 11 months MOT on it. This
lovely patina'd bus could be yours for the
bargain price of £11,500 ($17000 approx)

Having an early bay with an 100% original body 
means you get these battle scars for free. Every
dent tells a story as they say, and I hope that the 
new keeper keeps it looking like this.

Just a few of early and late bays in the bay
window line up. The variety was immense.

Meet 'crack bus charlie', she's a 1970 U.S import 
form Jackson, Mississippi. The original owner
 had the bus for many years before handing it
 to his son who had a serious crack problem. The
bus was then traded for some drugs to some 
dealers who were going to customise it and take
 it apart. The bus was saved and imported to the 
U.K. 5 years ago where the present owners saw
 it advertised on e-bay.

I do like early bay panel vans and this lovey
low sign written van won the best van award.
The faded signwriting and retro stripes have
been clear lacquered to preserve them and
all the 'ratty' bits on this bus have been left.

This cool T25 Doka looked great in it's army
green paint colour. I do like these T25 crew
cabs, especially as this hasn't been lowered
by too much.

Just looking along some of the type 3's that
were on show at the Big Bang VW festival.

The 1966 Notchback was another vehicle that
looked to be, or very close to original. I think 
the trend is changing over here in the U.K
 from replacing panels and painting your ride
 in bright shiny colours to keeping your vintage 
Volkswagen looking as original as possible, 
as I have seen no end of Volkswagen's with 
this new cool look.

This super low Square back looked fantastic
with it's narrowed front beam and those black 
Fuchs wheels, obviously the judges in the show
and shine thought so too as it won 'best other' 
award at Big Bang.

A Better photo from the other side that was in
the sunshine (which is quite rare at the Santa
Pod raceway!) You can see just how narrow
that front beam actually is.

Another 1966 car in O.G. condition was this
lovely old Fastback. It was a bit RAT looking
but that just added to it's charm.

This RAT looking beetle looked super cool with
it's opening windscreen and rusty body. This
old bug has been seriously lowered and sat
just about right.

I did like the look of this bug from the front, the
rusty hood, the single spotlight and not to
mention that opening screen all added to the
super cool look of this ratty beetle. 

This 1972 green beetle caught my eye, I think
it was how high it sat and how well those big
 tyres sat under the stock arches that grabbed 
my attention.

Just a handful of the beetles on display behind
the staging lane at the Santa Pod drag strip.

This is the 'Rothfink' beetle that attends many
shows throughout the VW season. It's a 1963
rag top and has a very Ratty look. This really
is one of the better RAT look bugs around at
this time.

I have to admit, I don't know what wheels they
are but I do like them and they suit the bug

This early 1950's grey beetle looked like it was
pretty much standard including the original paint
which was starting showing it's age. I did like the
overall look of this classic bug.

Considering the beetle was designed over 60
years ago, you have to admit, it is still a lovely
looking design. This standard bug looked great
and so original that
and I wouldn't be surprised 
if it still had the original air in the tyres!

This post '58 matt black Volksrod looked as
though it may have had the body channelled
as it sits so low. I did like those tall skinny
tyres on the painted steel wheels.

I did like the deep dish banded rear wheels
with the whitewall tyre combination. The roof
chop adds to this cars aggressive look.

This 1968 white bug looked like a nice car
that was clean and tidy. I did like the steel mesh
screen visor that I think suits the beetle.

However as I walked around the back I noticed
the fire damage which the owner has decided
to keep as it is, and has applied a coat of lacquer
to the damaged paint. It doesn't matter what VW 
you drive, or how much you spent on it, always 
remember to regularly check your fuel lines.

A friend of mine, Neil had his 1997 T4 parked
up at the show and shine. Neil's T4 has a Hot
rod theme to it with the scallops down the sides
and those red steel wheels with the white wall
inserts. This cool bus is for sale for the bargain 
price of £3300 ($4800 approx)

The sheer variety of not only split screen buses,
but also almost every conceivable Volkswagen
at the Big Bang festival was truly immense.

I noticed this Plymouth roadrunner heading
towards the race track on the back of a low
loader. I think this could be the 'Daytona'
version of this classic American muscle car.
More photos of this in the next blog entry.

This gorgeous white over light blue 1965 split
screen was immaculate. The body was so 
straight which was complimented by the lovely
coat of paint. The 2 bow roof rack looked a nice
accessory that suited the bus.

You can see just how straight this 51 year old
bus really is. I did like the Porsche 356 chrome
wheels, which are the same as I have on my
1969 microbus.

I spotted this 1963 sign written single cab pick
 up parked just a few spaces away from my bus
in the day visitor car park, and I think the RAT 
look on this SC looked great. 

Although this pick up had the RAT look, it was
surprisingly solid looking. I did like the bare

framework and lack of the canvas over the bed.

So that was part one of three blog reviews on the
Big Bang VW festival at Santa Pod Raceway. The
next instalment will be next Saturday, where you
will be able to see plenty more bugs and buses

and other quality Volkswagen's and some 
action photos from the drag strip.

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