Saturday, 19 August 2017

Stonor Park 2017 (part 1 of 3)

This week's blog review is all about the VW Expo show at Stonor Park, (or the Wolfsburg Bus Crew club meet as I think it should now be called!) which is now in it's 33rd year.  Each year The Association of British VW Clubs organise the Stonor Park VW Expo Show. It is held in the grounds of one of England’s oldest manor houses, being built around 1190 and it has been owned by the same family of the same faith for 850 years. The house and grounds are situated in a beautiful setting in rural Henley on Thames in Oxfordshire. The house contains a remarkable collection of Old Master Paintings, European sculptures, stained glass and contemporary ceramics, and for one day a year the grounds contain a remarkable collection of Volkswagen's, both air cooled and water cooled. The show has something for everyone including: Trade Stands & Auto jumble / Concours d’Elegance / Club Displays / Miss VW contest and a Children’s Fancy Dress (for the under 12’s). This year I had arranged to meet up with good friends of mine Matthew and Caroline in their '69 Westy to drive the 25 miles or so to the show. We had also arranged to park up inside the show with the Wolfsburg Bus Crew, who must be one of the biggest VW clubs around, with members from all over the world. Rich Coxhill who runs the club had posted on Face Book about this show and the interest shown by members in going was encouraging. You can find the Wolfsburg Bus Crew on Facebook or at:  99% of the vehicles is this weeks blog review are all members of the WBC. There are so many members that I don't know, so apologies if I don't mention you by your name!
To see all my other blog entries, go to ‘My Blog Archive’ to the left of this 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.

Matthew's white over blue 1969 Westfalia and
my 1969 microbus. Both buses were shipped
over from California around 7 years ago in the
same container and registered with the D.V.L.A.
at the same time, and consequently the buses
got sequential age related number plates.

As we approached the show there was a slight
queue of show vehicles. But the sun was shining,
and I was following this really cool bug.

Once we had parked up in the show, it was time
to get the priorities right, so as I made the bacon
rolls, while Matthew made the tea.

Matthew, Caroline and I parked up in the Wolfsburg
Bus Crew's line up. This has to be the biggest
club display ever at Stonor Park. We parked
up near the end just in front of the WBC banner.

Matthew's Westy and my microbus parked up
in the WBC line up. Matthew was showing off
his air conditioning unit, and I'm not jealous at

The WBC line up goes as far as the eye can see,
There was a total of 39 vehicles of all descriptions
and all of them were Wolfsburg Bus Crew members
which made for a fantastic display.

This gorgeous grey T25 twin slider is a WBC
vehicle that I know a bit about.. It belongs to a
guy called Davyd, and this slammed bus not
only looks good, thanks to the Rayvern hydraulic
suspension but also goes very well thanks to a
2,5 litre Subaru engine having been fitted.

The lovely 1991 twin slider is perfectly straight
which provides an almost perfect reflection in
that grey paint. Davyd recently won 'Best T25' 

at the Camper and Bus show and it's easy to 
see why but organiser's forgot to get any
trophies so Davyd received a hub cap with a
sticker on!. At least you know you won Davyd.

This immaculate '76 late bay belongs to a mate
of mine, CJ who is also a WBC member. His
Senegal red (L181) and white bay sits low to the
floor thanks to have been lowered. Since taking
this photo CJ has fitted an air ride suspension.

CJ's interior features fully trimmed seats, a full
width rock and roll bed, new cabinets, LED
 lights and a roof mounted T.V.

The pretty motor is a stock 1600cc unit that CJ
has pulled out and painted / polished.

A blue 1969 early bay, a 1964 blue and white
split screen and a 1971 beige bay, all part of the
WBC line up a Stonor Park.

A white over green 1977 late bay, a 1970 grey
and white late bay and a 1971 white over light
blue were all part of the WBC line up.

This cool RAT looking 1970 beige deluxe bay
belongs to another mate of mine, Derik (!). This
bus sits nice and low thanks to adjustable rear
spring plates on the rear and a 'Red9Design'
front end and with the low profile tyres gives the
bus an overall 8" drop in height.

Derik uses the bus often and attends many shows
throughout the year. The motor is a 2054cc unit
which provides plenty of power.

A 1977 white over green late bay, a yellow 1986
T25 Doka and a slammed red T25 crew cab
were all part of the WBC line up at Stonor Park.

Yet more WBC members in the amazing line up
were this super shiny dark brown 1989 T25 crew 

cab, a 1989 T25 California and a 1987 T25 

The super shiny and not to mention super straight
T25 crew cab (Doka) looks black but it is actually

very dark metallic brown. This slammed pick up is 
owned by a guy called Simon and you'll not be 
surprised to know this had picked up various 
trophies at shows this season. This doka looked 
great with its low stance, and those yellow head 
light lenses look great against the jet black paint. 

You can see just how clean and straight this old
pick up really was. The aftermarket wheels were
a nice addition that suited the truck.

The T25 California was a lovely stock looking
bus. I do like these California's as they have a
really nice camping interior. The twin headlights
looked cool.

The 1987 Caravelle (again!) a gorgeous 1968
split screen and a 1971 white over olive early
bay were again all part of the WBC line up.

The stunning 1968 split screen in the above photo
belongs to Will and Mandy Fryer and it started
life in Brazil as an 8 seater kombi before being
 lovingly restored into what it is today.

The bus known affectionately as 'Muxley' to Will
and Mandy is not your average restored split
screen bus, this gorgeous bus has been turned
into a hearse!

The rear deck is finished in white oak with chrome
fittings that are truly eye catching. The really would
be a nice place to take your final drive in VW.
You can check out Will and Mandy's web page for
more info on the funeral hire Volkswagen hearse:

A lovely 1971 white over green early bay and a
gorgeous black over red 21 window samba.
This splitty is the only vehicle in the WBC line
up that isn't a member of the WBC, but when
your bus looks this good it doesn't matter. This
bus is a member of the S.S.V.C.

A better look at the red and black split screen
samba. This really was a lovely looking bus. It's
just a shame he isn't a member of the WBC as
I'd love to find out more about this bus.

The bespoke interior was gorgeous and finished
to the highest standard. The interior of this bus
probably costs more than my microbus is worth!

How comfortable do those seats look? The
attention to detail was amazing and everything
looked 'just about perfect'.

These two white over blue late bays helped to
make the WBC line up what it was... The light
blue 1975 bay was super clean and owned by

a mate of mine, Luke, and the darker blue 1972 
Westfalia is well know in the VW world.

This white over blue 1972 Westfalia is owned
by Rich who runs the Wolfsburg Bus Crew, and
he does a bloody good job! Anyway his bus was
actually registered in 1974 and has only covered
60 odd thousand miles on the original 1600cc
engine. The crocheted spare wheel cover was
made by his mum, after Rich was sent some
photo's of hot rods in Singapore.. apparently
the hot rodders out there make crochet covers

 for their bumpers !!?

'Margo' as Rich has named his bus, also has the
original Westy interior, but with a few modern twists.
Rich uses his bus whenever he can and he and
his family often drive down to see family in Devon. 

What every split screen / bay window and T25
needs to complete the look, a WBC sticker!
Simply join the WBC and you too can have one.

I first met this gorgeous split screen a two years 
ago when I took part in the John 'O Groats to 
Lands End charity cruise. This lovely old bus also 
did the cruise, however as they left John 'O Groats 
they lost 4th gear. The owner Philip, wanted to 
complete the 1000 + miles so did the whole trip 
with just 3 gears. The bus is now affectionately
know as 'Freddie 3 gears'!

Phillip's bus is lovely and clean and super straight
as you can see from this photo.

This super cool 1957 split screen panel van has
featured several times on my blog, and no doubt
will again in the future. This Californian import
where it was used as a shop van for a repair shop
called 'Marina Porsche and Audi' as you can
probably tell by the sign written sides on the van.!

The van sits low thanks to a full remote hydraulic
suspension system, which allows the chassis to 

actually sit on the floor as all the running gear
including the engine / gearbox have been raised.

The motor in this cool van is a rebuilt 1956cc
unit with 'all the goodies'. The wheels (which you
can't really see due to the van sitting so low) are
rare 1970's Brazilian Titianio items.

A lovely white over bright green early bay in the
WBC line up with the 1957 split screen panel

van and 'Freddie 3 gears'

The very bright and cheerful 1971 early bay
named 'Tallulah' belongs to Steve, who bought
the bus back in 2009 and he put her in to be
professionally restored, unfortunately the rest-
oration wasn't carried our correctly and it took
Steve a lot more money and two new engines
to get her right. Tallulah has a 1776cc engine
with twin 34 ict webbers and a 'slightly warm'
cam and a Vintage Speed exhaust. Tallulah
recently completed a road trip to Scotland and
covered 2275 miles without any problems.

The WBC line up at Stonor really did go on and
on and included this 1969 lovely blue early bay,
and this 1969 pearl white (I think) Westy. 

A 1974 dark oranhe and white late bay, a beige 
1969 early bay and an orange 1978 late bay also 
came along to make the WBC line up a Stonor 

This cool retro looking 1971 yellow and white
early bay, named 'Little Yellow Bus ' is owned by

a lady called heather. a lovely creamcolured SO42 
spilt screen belonging to a guy called Paul and 
Simon's green and white single cab split screen 
pick up. The Wolfsburg Bus Crew members all 
helped to make the line up of one biggest, if not 
the biggest line up of a single club ever at Stonor 
Park. It was a fantastic day and was glad to be 
part of it. The next WBC event I shall be attending
will be their 2nd Birthday bash at The Ace Cafe,
London on Sunday 3rd September. This promises 
to be a fantastic evening. There are lots of prizes
to be given away to category winners. The amount
of vehicles attending this event is growing by the 
day and you'd be mad to miss this event.

So that was part one of three all about the WBC
club... Oh no, sorry, all about the Stonor Park VW
Expo 2017. Next weeks review is the second
instalment where you can see some lovely

vehicles that are not part of the WBC including
split screens from the S.S.V.C display and also
a gorgeous slammed T25 single cab, plus so
much more so be sure to come back next Saturday.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Just Kampers Open day 2017 (part 3 of 3)

Welcome to the (slightly shorter than normal) third and final instalment all about the Just Kampers Open Day. My favourite parts supplier for my microbus is 'Just Kampers' based in Odiham in Hampshire over here in the U.K. They are my favourite supplier because the prices are very competitive, the customer service is extremely good with very knowledgeable staff and and any parts ordered are normally in stock and always sent out for next day delivery (and normally with a free small packet of sweets!). The website is also a bonus as it's so easy to navigate and find what you want. Every year Just Kampers hold an open day at the distribution centre with weekend camping available. The open day, which this year was held over the weekend of 17th - 18th June, and attracts hundreds of customers / visitors and most arrive in their prized Volkswagen, of all descriptions, there also traders and caterers on site which all help to make this open day, a great day.! I have been to this event several times in the past, although I have never camped over, so once again I decided to have a drive down into deepest Hampshire to the village of Odiham, which is about 60 miles from my hometown of Aylesbury. On the Saturday morning the sun was shining, and the forecast was good so I put some cool tunes on the stereo and Fiona (my 1969 microbus) and I set off. Just Kampers do not only sell parts and accessories for campers and buses but also Beetle parts, and no end of water cooled parts and accessories, camping gear and even motor insurance. You can check out the the very easy to use Just Kampers website here:  The review continues as I wander around the show.
To see all my other blog entries, go to ‘My Blog Archive’ to the left of this 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.

Another random photo looking across the back
of an early bug towards the campsite. The amount
of people, and vehicles that camped over for the
weekend was incredible and something I shall
definitely look at doing next year.

A better look at the early bug that I was looking
across in the above photo. This original looking
beetle, although it had a few knocks really did
look solid. 

The baby blue body looked as though it was the
original paint and holding up well. The luggage
rack was cool as were all the period accessories.

Again looking into another part of the camping
area, this time looking across the front of a very

clean lilac and white late bay.

The 1974 lilac and white bay did look so clean
and tidy with it's unusual colour combination.

This 1978 bay was cool with all it's accessories.
The steel mesh sun visor, clear front indicator
lenses, two bow roof rack and roof ladder all
helped to make this bus stand out.

This really was a lovely clean bus. The tube rear
bumper helped this bus to be different from all
the other bays at the show.

This 1969 light blue bug was gorgeous. The pastel
blue colour suited this old bug and made the 
whole car look so crisp and clean. The BRM (I
think) wheels also suited the overall look.

You can see just how clean this old '69 was from
this photo. The car looks to be pretty much stock
and that helped to make it stand out.

This creamy coloured '72 bay looked good with
it's (possibly home made) bull bar / wheel carrier.
Again this bus looked pretty much stock, I did like
the opening 1/4 light windows on the rear side
glass, which would give good ventilation when
sleeping inside. 

This old '72 really did look a good honest bus,
with plenty of character. 

I bet the first thing you noticed about this 1971
white over sky blue bay was those amazing
electric blue tinted windows, as that's the first
thing I noticed whilst walking around the show.

Without the reflection of the clouds you can see
the true colour of the windows. This really was a
lovely clean bay that may have been a Devon
conversion..(?) that had been slightly lowered.

The two bow roof rack over the cab looked cool
as did the chrome air vent grille.

This gorgeous 1966 21 window samba deluxe
was simply stunning. The perfectly straight body
panels gave off an almost perfect reflection as
you can see. 

This old '66 really was immaculate. The chrome
Porsche wheels looked great and matched the
chrome bumpers perfectly. I'm not sure what size
engine this bus had, but judging by that huge
exhaust sticking out under the bumper I'd have
a guess that it isn't a stock 1600cc motor.

The matching interior was finished to the same
high standard as the outside. This bus is so
clean I'd be afraid to use it!

That lovely old green Coca Cola cool box was
a neat accessory that suited the bus perfectly,
as did the green vinyl covered seats.

There were numerous caterers there that catered
for most tastes, including mine! The white and
peppermint green split screen was selling ice
creams and the Airstream trailer in the background
sold burgers and hot dogs etc.

As I sat in the shade to escape the burning sun-
shine I kept looking at the Airstream trailer, I wasn't
sure why until I noticed the 'Ice Cold Beer' sign
then I knew why!!

This lovely old split screen crew cab had had
the rear bed converted into a pizza oven. I didn't
try one of their pizza's but they did look and smell
very nice.

This ratty looking 1970 baja is not what it seems,it
may look like a 'work in progress' or an unfinished
project but this is in fact  'Betty the Baja Bug'. On
16th July this old baja set off on the 'Mongol Rally
2017'. A 20,000 mile trip (10,000 miles each way)
from the U.K. to Mongolia and back again to help 

raise money for 'Claire House Children's Hospice'
and the 'Cool Earth' Charity.

Colin and Heather Maddox are the couple taking
on this crazy adventure. I had a good chat to
Colin and he was saying that there will be no back
up vehicles, no GPS systems, no breakdown cover
and only a limited number of spares, donated by
Just Kampers. 

By now they should be about 3 weeks into their
epic trip and as I write this review, they have
just left K
azakhstan. They have had their fair share
of breakdowns already, but all have been fixed
with the help and assistance of the locals they
met along the way. You can follow their progress
throughout the trip on Facebook, just search for
'Betty Maddox' (their profile pic is of Betty the Baja)

So that was the 4 part review on the Just Kampers
Open Day 2017. Next year I will be camping over
on the Saturday night as I've heard nothing but
good reviews. Next weeks blog review is all about
the Stonor Park VW Expo Show, or as I think it
should be called from now on, The Wolfsburg Bus
Crew's club meet. (all be become apparent next
week) So be sure to come back next Saturday 
to read all about this show.