Saturday, 14 May 2016

Big Bang VW Festival 2016 (part 2 of 3)

Welcome to the second 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.

I was drawn to this super bright yellow oval
window rag top beetle that was parked up
near the auto jumble area. The brightness
of that paint gave off a yellow glow the
 spring sunshine.

This really was a solid looking car and in such
an amazing condition. The super bright paint

 was finished to such a high standard and 
complimented the super straight body work.

The side profile shows this amazing bug in all
it's glory. The stance this bug had, with it's

nose down in the weeds looked fantastic.

This lovely all white 1969 Westfalia was a 
California import and looked absolutely
stunning. It had been lowered and had a narrow
front beam, and that super straight body looked
so solid and finished in a gorgeous coat of
white paint. The white pop top canvas suited
this bus so well. 

Walking from the day visitor car park towards
the drag strip I saw this lovely old 1964 white
over green split screen slowly cruising towards
me, well, it would have been rude not to take
some photos.

This lovely RAT look bus was so low and the
road to the day parking wasn't that smooth
so this guy is slowly trying to miss the pot of the downsides of having a 
cool looking bus.

I saw this 1967 Sierra yellow early bay parked
up in the camping area. This is another bay
that had been lowered and with a narrowed 
front beam. This looked like a good honest bus.

Regular readers will know I do like a nice panel
van, and this 1969 early bay hit the spot. This
van was so straight and looked gorgeous in 
that white over green colour scheme.

Another vehicle I spotted in the camping area
was this lovely grey 1967 beetle. This bug had
a nose down stance that looked fantastic, and
those super shiny chrome Fuchs style wheels 
were a perfect choice for the car.

The front end looked great sat down in the
weeds, and the chrome Porsche headlight
grilles were a nice touch that suited this cool bug.

The rear end looked just as sleek as the front,
those all red rear light lenses and the chrome
nerf bars helped this old bug stand out.

Those gorgeous Fuchs style wheels had the
Wolfsburg logo engraved onto the centre caps. 

This split screen bus had been converted into
a catering vehicle and had an awesome hot rod
paint job. The traditional black and flamed paint
looked fantastic and well at home at the home
of European drag racing. Then as I looked at
it I noticed it's proportions were all wrong...

The body was much bigger than a standard
split screen. You can see how much bigger the
body is by looking to see how small the stock
 wheels look. This was really trick and very well

Santa Pod's resident monster Truck called
Podzilla put on several shows each day and
here it's doing what it does best, crushing
old cars. Podzilla has a 502 cubic inch blown
methanol motor which produces 1,350 HP.

There was plenty of racing to watch all day, on
both days. I watched the 'Outlaw Anglia's' as
I used to have a Ford Anglia many years ago. 

I did like the black and flamed paint job.  

The Pro Street Anglia put in a very impressive 
time down the quarter mile with a 8.5 second
 run, and reaching 154 MPH.

Another Outlaw Anglia preparing to race a
VW Beetle named 'Schools a drag' d
own the
1/4 mile drag strip. 

After a while this top fuel dragster was towed
onto the strip, and was prepared to run the

1/4 mile. This dragster always draws the

The mechanics have to make sure every little
thing is OK and that the massive big block engine,
that runs on pure methanol is also good to go.  

As the top fuller lurched off the line the noise
was incredible, and although the driver backed
off the gas at half track distance it still ran a
very impressive time of 6.14 @ 108 mph.

This lovely old pre 63 split screen single cab
pick was parked by the staging lane, and looked
fantastic. I do like original looking Volkswagen's 
and this SC looked 100% original, including
the patina paint.

This really was a lovely truck, everything on this
SC was 'just right'. The canvas cover on the bed
looked like a repro item, but that's OK because
it just enhanced the overall look.

Whilst walking around the pit area I noticed
this stunning black and flamed Fordson E494A
van in the staging lane. The original E494A
had a 10HP, 1172cc engine that had a top speed
of 57 MPH and a 0-50 MPH time 58 seconds...
It now has something slightly bigger 
under the hood in the form of a 540 cubic inch 
big block motor.

The old saying in drag racing goes 'if you don't
need it, loose it'. The stripped out interior had
the usual ally interior with integral roll cage,
a few dials, a single bucket seat and that's it.

This tough looking 1974 Karamnn Ghia belongs
to 'Shiftin Ghia Racing' who are a small yet
very independent drag racing team currently
 running in the VWDRC sportsman class 1 

Another car I spotted in the staging lane was
this blue 1969 SS Chevelle that was running in
the nostalgia superstock series. Back in the day
 these cars were billed as  'America's most popular
mid sized car' and it's easy to see why.

This SS did look tough, The slight rack to the 
front and those 10 x 15 rear wheels with
Hoosier racing slicks, not to mention the wheelie
bars sticking out the back give off this cars
racing prowess.

As you would expect from a VW festival being
held at the drag strip, there were plenty of bugs
and buses wanting to race down the 1/4 mile.

Just a couple more beetle's in the staging lane
at Santa Pod getting ready to race. I did like
the look of the grey bug as it reminds of cars
being painted in grey primer back in my Hot
Rod days

Another 1960's American muscle car preparing
for a run down the strip was this 1969 Plymouth 
Fury 111.  The standard fury 111 had the 225ci
motor but I think this has something much bigger.

This Fury, finished in diamond white looked
so tough and those grey 5 spoke American 
racing mag wheels really suited the car.  

This 1965 bright yellow split screen panel van 
named 'Banana Split' was parked up opposite
the staging lane and looked awesome. The
super straight body looked fantastic and that
super bright yellow paint complemented to the
overall look.

This really was lovely clean van in my favourite
colour, so it's not surprising that it stood out
and caught my eye.

I spotted this trio of beetle's parked up next to
each other. Although they were all beetle's, they
were all so different and all so nice in their own way.

The first was this early bug with what look like
original paint with lots of sun burnt patina. I did
 like this car with it low stance and the faded
rusty paint.

Although this original look may not be to every
ones taste, personally I love it. The old bug
looked really solid despite it appearance.

The second bug was this lovely slammed
split oval. The super low stance must be due
to it riding on air suspension, and those Fuchs
style wheels look fantastic

This early bug also had some patina, not as much
as the first bug, but just enough to make it look
just about perfect. I do like the early split oval,
and oval window beetles, they just look so nice.

So that was part 2 of 3 of my blog review about
the Big Bang VW festival. The third and final
instalment will be next Saturday where you can
see the 3rd of the above trio of beetle's plus

many more buses and bug's, and Fire Force 3
the resident Santa Pod jet car. If you missed part
 one, you can find it in 'My Blog Archive' at the
 top left of the page. 

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