Saturday, 6 May 2017

Big Bang VW Festival 2017 (part 1 of 4)

This weeks blog review is all about the annual Big Bang VW camper and bus show which was held at the world famous Santa Pod Raceway in Northamptonshire over the weekend of 21st - 23rd April 2016. This huge Volkswagen festival at the home of the FIA European drag racing championships seems to get bigger and better 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 various types of 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. 
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.

To start this weeks blog we have this gorgeous
1957 Californian import split screen panel van.
It belongs to a guy called Dave and used to be
owned by a Porsche / Audi repair shop who used
it as a shop van. 

The van is currently running on a full hydraulic
suspension system that allows the chassis to
sit on the floor once lowered. The engine and
gearbox have been raised to allow the van to sit
so low. Power comes from a very respectable
fully built 1956cc motor.

This van still has the original signwritten company
logo on the sides which looks really cool. 

Regular readers will know I have a passion for
off road vehicles, especially Volkswagens so I
couldn't pass this lovely looking syncro without
having a good look and getting a few photos.

This old bus really did appeal to me, I loved the
fact that it had a pop top. I also liked the overall
look with it's single colour body and roof with the
matching colour coded bumpers.

Parked up next to the early bay syncro was this
equally nice high riding LT40. These are such
nice looking vehicles, especially when they have
had the full off road treatment.

I do like these vans, they are just so big compared
to an early bay. I liked the roof rack with the chunky
wheel on and the fact that this van still had the rear
roller door.

The van had the 'Feuerwehr' logos still on, which
roughly translated from German means 'Fire
Defense', the spotlight mounted on the bonnet
looked like a very useful accessory.

Inside the van the owner had a very nice camping
interior and being a twin slider model this really
was an appealing van. This lovely van was up
for sale at £11,500 ($15,000 approx)

This 1974 single cab pick up caught my eye with
it's super cool full length roof rack. This SC had
the RAT look complete with patina paint.

I did like the ingenious idea of using a very old
wooden ladder to form sides to the pick up bed.

I also liked those hot rod style spun alloy moon
discs. I don't know how they managed to get the
rear wheel to balance on a tin of Stella Artois,
but as you can see, this beer is strong stuff!

As I walked past the fun fair towards the pit's and
trade area, a lovely looking 1965 blue and white
lowered split screen drove past, closely followed
by an immaculate 1965 notch back.

This stunning pair of early beetle's slowly drove
past me as they headed towards to rear of the
pit area where the show and shine area was. 

They looked that good as the cruised past I just
had to get another photo.!

In front of the Hayburner trade stand they had this
lovely old Chevrolet Monza 2 door coupe. The
Corvair Monza was only produced from 1960 -
1969 by General Motors.

This one, as you would expect being in the hands
of the Hayburner team, had been seriously hit with
the lowering stick and looked great.

The Monza was the only compact car at the time
to have an air cooled flat six 2.3 or 2.4 litre motor
and a 3 speed manual gearbox, although for a
little extra money you could have the optional 2
speed powerglide automatic transmission.

Behind the show and shine area there was a great
selection of really old split screen buses of all
descriptions.. more photos of this line up in a
future blog review of this show.

There were some seriously cool buses in this
line up, so I'll have to remember to take a wander
over there before I go home.

This slammed convertible KG in matt grey looked

I did like the look of this 1963 RAT looking single
cab pick up. The faded white paint with various
rust patches looked great against the shiny gloss
black of those 5 spoke wheels. I do like those
truck style mirrors on a split screen as I think they
suit them well.

I also liked the corrugated iron sheeting used as
a roof over the bed and the unusual air scoops.

This lovely Sealing Wax red ( I think) and white
RAT look 15 window split screen caught my eye
due to it's slammed look that is enhanced by the
low profile tyres. I did like the patina on this bus
as it looked just about right.

The narrowed front beam add to the cool look
of this old bus as do those shiny Porsche rims.

The iconic photo, a split screen bus with the
front safari windows open. There is something
that looks just right when a splitty has the front
screen open.

This lovely sand coloured Kurierwagen or type
181 Trekker (as they as commonly known) looked
really nice with it's subtle lowered stance. The
polished Empi 5 spoke wheels complimented the
colour of the body.

These were originally built for the West German
Army to be used as a utility vehicle and you can
clearly see the military influence in the design.

The interiors of the 181's are very sparse, but
you have to remember what the vehicle was
originally designed for. This one had been
lovingly restored and looked great.

This 1967 rust covered beetle looked great with
it's slammed ride height and those red painted
steel wheels with white wall tyres. I did like the
single yellow spot light mounted onto the bumper.

You can see just how low this RAT bug actually is
from this angle. 

I do like panel vans and this 1964 split screen
panel van was no different. This old van had a
slight RAT look to it and riding at almost stock
height looked fantastic.

The roof rack with accessories suited this old
van.The rusty towel rail bumpers and the U.S
style all red lenses also helped the overall look.

On the side of the van was this faded sign writing,
I'm not what it used to say but I do like to see
original art work on classic old buses.

Walking alongside the staging lane for the drag
strip I spotted this Fordson van named 'Banshee'
slowly rumble past. I'm not sure what motor this
old Ford had under the hood, but it sounded BIG.
Banshee runs in the 'Outlaw Anglias' drag racing

This late 1950's / early 1960's all black slammed
oval window bug looked awesome sitting so low.
This old bug must have had some form of air
suspension to sit this low.

This lovely old bug was perfectly straight as the
reflection in the door and side panel shows.

A great diversity of quality air cooled classics
is always guaranteed in the show and shine area.
Here a gorgeous 1965 split screen bus is parked
up next to a stock looking 1966 notchback

The slammed splitty really was a clean looking
bus. you can see just how low that narrowed front
end really is from this photo.

The nothcback looked to be pretty much stock
with what looks like the original paint. The colour
coded wheels suited the car perfectly.

This stunning early 1960's Karmann convertible
beetle really was immaculate. The super straight
body was covered in a beautiful coat of brown
paint that provided some amazing reflections.

This stunning cabriolet looked amazing and it's
light tan hood cover complimented the darker
brown of the body colour. The polished Empi 5
spoke wheels added just enough sparkle.

The stunning interior of the Karmann convertible.
The attention to detail and the overall quality of
the finish was amazing.

To finish the weeks blog we have a lovely pair
of Dove blue ( I think) early 1960's RAT looking
slammed split screen panel vans.

The first one had been lowered with a lovely set
of Porsche rims and the low profile tyres on the
front add to this vans low ride height.

You can see just how low this van is from this
photo. I did like the matching blue bumper trim
which was a nice touch.

Both vans had their own share of rust patches
and this just added to both of their overall looks.

The second was this blue and white sign written
van that had also been lowered and looks like
it has a narrowed front beam.

This really was a RAT looking van, and it looked
great, The lack of the rear bumper added to it's
overall look.

This lovely old van had some cool sign writing
on the sides. I'm not sure if it's old or just painted
to look old, but it didn't matter as it looked so cool.

So that was the first of four instalments about
the Big Bang show. Next week will be part 2,
where you can see plenty more quality Buses
and bugs, a very rare Phoenix, and so much
more so don't forget to come back next Saturday.

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