Saturday, 14 October 2017

BeachBuggin VW Show 2017 (part 1 of 4)

This weeks blog review is part one of four all about the 'Beach Buggin' VW show which this year was held on Sunday 6th August which is now in its 17th year, and is the ultimate VDUB show by the beach due to the amazing location on Southsea Common in the heart of the Portsmouth seafront, on the South coast of England. You can walk on and off the site all day and make the most of all the local attractions including the beach, (which is only about 100 feet from the show ground) amusement arcades and of course the award winning pier. This show always attracts plenty of enthusiasts, clubs, and general public, and of course plenty of quality Volkswagen's of all descriptions. The show is unique as it's free to the walk on public who come on mass attracted by the amazing displays. The show originated with a group of beach buggy owners displaying their vehicles way back in 1998 and is run with 3/4 of all the money generated from the show going to nominated charities. This show since 1998 has so far raised well over £80.000 ($104,558 approx) and although the show is called BeachBuggin, you get an incredibly diverse display of Volkswagen's as well as Hot Rods and American cars / trucks, bikes and scooters. This is one of my favourite shows of the year mainly due to it's location but also for the sheer diversity of quality VW's.  This fantastic show always has a impressive turn out with about 2,500 / 3000+  vehicles that all ascend onto Southsea common for a show that has to be one of the best one day shows on the VW calendar.
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.


My 1969 VW Microbus all washed and polished
and parked up on Southsea Common for the

annual Beach Buggin VW show.

I was parked up with some very nice company
in the form of a lovely white over light blue 1967
split screen campervan.

This really was an immaculate stock looking bus.
It was incredibly clean and straight and that baby
blue paint looked great.

The stock ride height along with the original steel
wheels helped make this this old '67 stand out.
The owner had a notice on the rear screen saying
that they were 'running in' the engine. What better
was to run an engine in than have a cruise sown
to an awesome VW show.

This lovely 1964 tin top split screen looked really
nice in its two tone paint. This was another bus
that looked to be pretty much stock, apart from 

the twin roof racks.

This was another very nice stock looking bus,
riding at stock height. The all red rear light lenses
could indicate that this bus is a U.S. import.

Unlike the two split screens (above) this lowered
crew cab split screen pick up was far from stock
looking. The slammed stance, the narrowed front
beam and the general RAT look suited the old
pick up perfectly.

The pick up had a neat 'Empi' step mounted on
the front bumper.

It also ad some neat hand painted sign writing
on the cab doors.

This old crew cab really was nice, even if you
don't like the RAT look, you have to admit its a
lovely old pick up.

I do like panel vans, and this early 1960's blue
split screen van ticked all the right boxes. OK
this bus would never win 'best paint' award but
the faded blue paint just added to its character.

The lovely faded paint could well have been the
original paint. The lowered stance with the lack
of rear bumper and running on the original wheels
all added to its overall cool look.

Another split screen panel van, but this old van
has had a pop top fitted, which is an unusual
addition, but one that looks so good.

This bus has also been lowered and the red body
against the white roof looked great. The black
BRM wheels and the black bumpers added just
enough contrast to the red paint.

This 1967 split screen looked as though it could
have been used by an Ambulance service back
in the day, somewhere in the world.

The old '67 had a very unusual tailgate as it
appeared to hinge from the bottom, again possibly
indicating its origins...?

This stock looking 1970 early bay was I think a
U.S. import. I do like the look of early bay window
buses riding at stock height. I'm seeing more and
more stock height bays so maybe the look is
coming back?

This bus was very clean and straight and for sale,
it was up for sale for £11,500 ($15,200 approx)

This green early beetle caught my eye as it looked
so nice. I did like the colour with matching colour
coded steel wheels. This old bug looked to be
pretty much original.

Just trying to be artistic with the reflection in the
lovely chrome hubcap.

This old bug really was immaculate. The chrome
on the old towel rail bumpers looked like new and
those small tail lights add a classic look to the
rear end.

Another early bug, this time an oval window that
was equally as nice as the one above. The perfectly
straight body was painted in the nicest coat of jet
black paint that gave off a reflection a mile deep.

This is what I mean.. this photo is the reflection
in the old bugs bonnet. It was like looking into a
coloured mirror.

The oval window and indeed the split oval bugs,
have such a nice body shape, as this photo shows.

The thing I like about this show, apart from the
location, is the fact that it doesn't matter what
condition your VW is in. Here a dark blue and
white '72 early bay that had the RAT look was
parked next to an immaculate '71 light blue and
white bay. Both were equally as nice in their own
rights.

This stunning blue and white 1964 split screen
looked to be all original and it was immaculate.
You can see how perfectly straight the body is
from this photo. (if you click on the photo it will
enlarge it)

The diversity of VW's at this show was amazing.
T25's, splits and bays of all ages and descriptions
always attend this great one day show.

This bright red beetle looked really clean as it
shone in the sunshine. I noticed that this old bug
had early lights and indicators but a later style
windscreen.

On the rear it looked as though someone has
grafted in a split oval window panel. This lovely
bug also has an early deck lid and rear tail lights.
This bug has had a lot of work, and all that hard
work has been worthwhile.

From the back without the rear bumper this old
bug looks tough. 

OK this 1968 ( I think) GMC Handi-Bus Custom
wasn't a VW, but it was super cool. The '68 had
side marker lights, something the earlier models
didn't have.

Being a '68 this probably had the 307 cubic inch
V8 engine with a 2 barrel carb and a 4 speed
manual transmission with column shift. This old
bus looked fantastic and I loved it.

This lovely looking 1969 un-restored beetle was
a nice looking car. It appeared to be mostly original
an pretty much stock. I did like the single spot
light mounted on the front bumper.

You can just how stock looking this lovely old
bug really was from this photo. 

Another stock looking beetle was this gorgeous
light blue 1964 model. I loved the look of the wheels
that were painted in the same blue body colour
with white wall tyres.

This really was a lovely clean and straight car.
The chrome sparkled as did the aftermarket
exhaust.

This white over copper (?) coloured 1965 split
screen was immaculate. It was also one of the
straightest buses I have seen, just look at the
reflections down the side!

You can see just how clean and straight this old
'65 really was from this photo. The twin roof racks
with access ladder were nice accessories.

On top of this beetle the owner has a joke
human and dog skeleton. I'm not sure why but 

it made me smile.

This 1970 beige type 3 fastback caught my eye
as it looked so clean. I do like these type 3's and
when they look this nice, it's easy to see why.

I did like the rear screen blind that is a sought
after accessory. This old fastback really was a
lovely looking car.

Another immaculate type 3 was this 1972 bright
orange variant or a squareback as my many U.S
readers will know it better.This lovely car had been
 lowered and sporting some cool looking wheels.

The diversity of Volkswagens at the BeachBuggin
show was immense. Every type of Volkswagen
you could think of... and then some more.

This 1971 cabriolet was painted in the brightest
green I have ever seen. This Karmann convertible
was super clean and looked amazing. I did like
the BRM wheels that complimented the black of
the convertible roof perfectly.

This really was a lovely looking car that stood
out amongst the hundreds of other VW's that
packed Southsea Common for this show.

So that was part 1 of 4 all about the BeachBuggin
VW show 2017. Next week will be part 2 where
you will be able to see many more VW's including
Bugs, buses, rat rods, scooters and some beach
buggies so be sure to come back next Saturday.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Bug Jam 31 - Bonus Review

Firstly apologies for posting this weeks blog later than usual, I normally post first thing on a Saturday morning, but I had a very early start today as I ventured down to the Brighton Breeze VW Show with the Wolfsburg Bus Crew. (blog review of this show coming later in the year) Anyway this weeks blog review is a bonus review as I found some extra photos that I forgot I had and its all about the Bug Jam VW Festival. Bug Jam which is now in it's 31st year, and has as far as I know has always been held at the world famous Santa Pod Raceway in Northamptonshire. Bug Jam is a weekend festival for all makes of Volkswagen's and this year was held over the weekend of 21st - 23rd July. There is always plenty to do and see at Bug Jam including: 5 music arenas, drag racing, run what you brung (public track time), show and shine, comedy artists, traders, stunt displays, jet car, auto jumble, fun fair and much more. Bug Jam is billed as 'Europe's biggest and best VW festival, I haven't been to that many European VW festivals so I can't comment if it's the best show or not, but it certainly is big. There must have been tens of thousands of visitors over the weekend, many of who stayed for the whole weekend. Due to family commitments I could only go for the day on the Saturday, but there were literally thousands of Volkswagen's of all descriptions there parked up with their the camps set up for the weekends festivities, and hundreds more vehicles who like myself went for one day only. Whatever type of Volkswagen rocks you boat, I guarantee you'll find it at Bug Jam. As you enter Santa Pod Raceway the service road takes you through the camping area towards the 1/4 mile strip, fun fair, catering vendors and different display arenas. I always wander off the road and wander through the camping area as this is where you get to see plenty of quality Volkswagen's parked up. The review continues as I wander around the festival looking at all the amazing vehicles.
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.


A lovely 1950's slammed Karmann Ghia and
a 1968 early bay, just two of the stunning vehicles
you'll see if you venture into the camping area.

The imported '68 bay had a slight RAT look to it,
and looked great from being lowered. The BRM
wheels (I think) looked good and suited the bus
perfectly. Retaining the U.S. all red rear light
lenses was a nice touch.

The '50's Karmann looked fantastic in it's white
over light blue paint. This really was a tidy looking
car with its chrome towel rail bumpers and chrome
air vent grilles.

This old KG must have air ride suspension to be
able to sit this low.. I've just noticed that the engine
cover is slightly raised, maybe a give-a-way that
this old KG has a bigger motor, or maybe the
engine has been raised to allow the car to sit lower?

This 1969 beetle looked fantastic with its very
unusual green colour. The body colour with its
matching coloured wheels with white wall tyres
suited the car perfectly and helped to make this
bug stand out. This really was a lovely clean car.

Something not quite so shiny was this old targa
Porsche 912. This car was brought to Bug Jam
by the Hayburner crew who I believe found it in
a scrap yard just a few weeks before Bug Jam.

Apparently Bobby (milk and two!) from the
Hayburner team was after the car for years, so
when he got the car he decided to do one of their
infamous 'Bug Jam builds'. They put the old tatty
body on a slammed beetle floor pan. Those lovely
wheels Bobby purchased before he even got the
old Porsche, but they suit the car perfectly.  

It'll take more than a polishing mop to make this
look good.. but it was able to drive around the
site under its own power. (Big thanks to Sam for
the information on this cool Porsche.)

Looking into just a small part of the camping and
auto jumble area of Bug Jam from the top of the
banking alongside the 1/4 mile track. This event
is huge, and seems to get bigger every year.

Visitors on both days were treated to seeing the
jet cars run down the strip. Here 'Reign of Thunder'
is just preparing to run down the strip. This car,
a GBC mini pro funny car is powered by a Rolls
Royce Gnome engine and runs the quarter mile
in about 11 seconds.

Moving on the big boys in their jet dragster, here
is 'Split Second'. This car is powered has an 8000
BHP Rolls Royce Viper 500 series engine which
creates a serious flame show on the start line.

From a standing start, Split Second can run the
1/4 mile drag strip in just 6.7 seconds with a top
speed of 233 MPH.

Fire Force, is always a favourite at Santa Pod.
This jet car has a Pratt and Witney J60 engine
that produces 10,000 BHP.

During the staging this car is loud, if you haven't
seen it run down the strip, but you are going to,
wear ear protection or at least put your fingers in
your ears.! 

Again from a standing start, Fire Force can run
the 1/4 mile is just 5.8 seconds with a top speed
of 268 MPH.

It had rained in the days / weeks before Bug Jam
and as a consequence the tracks around the
campsite were slightly muddy, but this is Santa
Pod, and regular attendees will know this is
about normal, although not ideal.

This lovely slammed 1969 beetle grabbed my
attention. I did like the overall look of this old bug.
The slammed stance, the hand painted decals
and the big fat rear wheels / tyres all helped to
make the '69 stand out.

I did like the twin racks on this car. You can get
a better look at the large rear wheels from this
angle. 

Just a pair of Beetles parked up at Bug Jam.
There were hundreds of beetles at Bug Jam and
these two show the diversity in styles.

Talking of diversity, this trio of buses again shows
how very similar buses can look so different.

This lovely 1970 Adventure Wagon looked great.
I do like these buses with their cool high tops,
especially when they are lowered and looking this
 good.

This old '70 had a slight RAT look going on, and
it looked great. The original all red rear light
lenses looked good. This really was a cool bus.

Another col bus was this beige early bay, that I
think belonged to a foreign visitor. This original
looking bay looked great having been slightly
lowered and running on Empi 5 spoke wheels.

This looked to be a good solid bus. I did like the
3/4 length roof rack and the window arrangement
of 2 x quarter light windows in both the rear glass.

It's all about the little things and this early bay
had 'Woody' just hanging around.

This immaculate 1967 beetle looked amazing.
This slammed bug was so clean and straight
as you can see from this photo.

The banded and painted steel wheels looked
so nice against the contrasting blue body colour.

Another clean and straight vehicle was this lovely
light grey over orange 1965 split screen bus. The
two tone colours on this bus made it look so crisp
and clean. 

This 1967 white and blue beetle caught my eye
due to its slammed stance. This old bugs running
boards virtually sat on the grass. The tired looking
paint looked cool and could well have been the
original paint.

The narrowed front beam with the painted steel
wheels added to the overall look of this bug. I
did like that rear rack and the all red light lenses.

Just a couple of bays parked up in the camping
area at Santa Pod.

This 1954 Chevrolet 3100 pick up truck wasn't
a Volkswagen, but that didn't matter as it looked
so cool. The truck has been lowered about as
much as it can be, and with the original faded
paint it looked fantastic.

This really was a lovely old truck. I do like the
old step side pick ups and this one was no
different.

This is such a lovely looking truck. I did like those
tail lights, which look like Model A tail lights, and
the faded paint.

This 1960 split screen panel van had a serious
case of patina overload. This slammed bus has
a narrowed front beam and with the rust covered
body looked great.

The Friday night must have been a good night, as
this was all that was left of someones tent. I'm
not sure if the occupants were still inside or not! 

This beige Viking conversion ( I think) late bay
looked like a good solid bus. It looked to be
pretty much stock apart from the steel mesh visor,
the clear front indicator lenses, and the single
yellow spotlight.

On last weeks blog, the feature car was a light
green beetle with orange sides, and as I was
walking out of the show I spotted the gorgeous
black bug with orange side panels. The lowered
stance, the painted steel wheels with white wall
tyres and that lovely two tone paint all helped make
this old bug stand out and grab my attention.

As I was heading out of Santa Pod, I noticed this
pair of similar green coloured air-cooled VW's.
Both these were nice clean vehicles.

I followed this light blue 1972 beetle for a few
miles on the way home. It is so nice to see an
old air-cooled VW on the streets, mixing it with
all the modern vehicles.

So that was my four part review on the Bug Jam
show for 2017. Although I posted 4 blogs about
this massive show, my photos are only a handful
of vehicles that attended this show. There were
literally thousands of VW's of all makes and models.
Next week's blog review is another four part review
all about my favourite show of the year, BeachBuggin.
This is a fantastic show held on the south coast of
England, so be sure to come back next Saturday.