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.

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