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1953 Barndoor

No expense has been spared in restoring this former police surveillance bus.

1975 Bay

This Swedish import is now a working Type 2 cooking up a storm.

1996 Westfalia Exclusive A LWB T4 that features a high top and bathroom.

The Original & Best VWCamper Magazine


Buses With Attitude Seriously fast Splits at Santa Pod

From Panel Van to colour coded Custom Camper

Alpine Adventure Camping South African Style

1982 T3 Jurgens Autovilla

GroĂ&#x;glockner Treffen 2008


November/ December 08 Issue 38


Jazz Publishing The Old School, Higher Kinnerton Chester, CH4 9AJ TELEPHONE: +44 (0)1244 663400 FACSIMILE: +44 (0)1244 660611 EDITOR David Eccles DESIGN Gaz Evans Ext. 204 PRODUCTION Justine Hart Ext. 235 SUBSCRIPTIONS Katy Cuffin Ext. 237 Katie Challinor Ext. 224 ADVERTISING SALES Kevin Blain Ext. 305 ACCOUNTS Emma McCrindle Ext. 207 Pam Coleman Ext. 215 ADMINISTRATION Jan Schofield Ext. 219 Emma Owen Ext. 250 CONTRIBUTORS THIS ISSUE: Leslie Weir, Julian Hunt, Rikki James, Simon Baxter, Steve Leatham, Paul Wilkinson, Cee, Richard Copping, Kathy and Alex Fenton, Mark Robinson, Christian Schlüter, Martin and Blanche Adams. PUBLISHER David Gamble MANAGING DIRECTOR Stuart Mears Printed by Warners Midland plc Distribution Manager Jamie Wren Tel: +44(0)1483 210334 The views expressed in this magazine by the contributors are not necessarily those of the publishers. While every effort is made in compiling Volkswagen Camper & Commercial, the publishers cannot be held responsible for any effects arising therefrom. Reproduction of any matter contained in Volkswagen Camper & Commercial is prohibited without prior permission.

Having trouble finding Volkswagen Camper & Commercial in your newsagent? Please contact our distribution company for your nearest outlet +44(0)1483 211222 or log onto:

©Jazz Publishing 2008 Volkswagen Camper & Commercial is published Bi-Monthly



ou may well be reading this on the seafront at Brighton, soaking up the vibe and hopefully some watery October sun. I am really looking forward to the 10th Anniversary of the Brighton Breeze; it hardly seems 10 minutes since I was at that SSVC committee meeting where Mike Mundy unveiled his ambitious plan for a London to Brighton VW Rally. So, another show season draws to a close and what a wet wash out it has been yet again. Weekend after weekend of rain, or at best dull grey skies. Despite that we all got out there and enjoyed ourselves, well most of the time. Vanfest, much anticipated all year, turned into Mudfest (or was that Floodfest), and seems to have been a bit of a Marmite experience to many. Fortunately a nice taste for most, despite horrendous downpours and flash floods making the organisers wonder if Noah was the Guest Headline Act. For me the highlight was that awesome 50th Anniversary DOKA Display – getting 50 Crew Cabs together spelling out DOKA was an amazing feat and is probably some kind of record! I look forwards to the aerial pictures taken from a helicopter. We’ll carry a full report next issue, along with that of a new smaller show that promises to be good – Oktoberfest, organised by the Vanwest posse. Meanwhile memories of the days when the sun actually did shine this year can be rekindled in the Lavenham and Run To The Hills reports. With winter approaching, this issue we feature a How To guide to laying up or preparing your bus for the frosty, cold, damp, foggy months ahead. For some it’s probably grandmother and eggs syndrome, but many people are still relatively new to the VW Bus scene, and I will now use it as a checklist, as I don’t seem to be as good as I was at remembering everything these days... Two travel features give you something to warm to this time: Out and About goes to Northern Ireland whilst the epic Round Europe in a Bay adventure sees the bus limping home with three wheels on their wagen. There is also an account of the Grossglockner event, which saw over 200 old buses taking on the ferocious Alpine hairpins. For something totally different we feature super fast buses in action at Santa Pod, this issue covers the BWA brigade and their Splits; next issue will be the turn of the USB (67 – 79) bus team to strut their stuff.

Early Westfalia adverts have almost as much period charm and appeal as the buses themselves. Obviously the outside weather was rubbish even back then!

Thinking ahead to next year I am quite excited about going to Hessich Oldendorf in June, the show that inspired Lavenham. I was always working (in that former life as a teacher) whenever the show was on before, but now of course my time is my own, well almost! Plans are moving ahead now for Camperjam 2, with the date fixed for next July 10 – 12 (the change of date is to avoid clashing with Hessich). There will be lots of improvements like providing showers, a Home Is Where You Park It area, Autojumble plots but essentially we aim to offer the same vibe of a chilled out, low key weekend, relaxing with buses, friends and family in a huge parkland setting that stretches further than the eye can see. If you are looking for something a bit different or something that reminds you of how laid back, friendly and relaxed shows used to be then come on down! I already have some interesting ideas for Special Displays following the success of the Devon line up last year... watch this space! Meanwhile Drive your bus; enjoy your bus issue thirty eight |





1975 Colour co-ordinated Bay Camper



Customised 1953 former surveillance Panel Van





1983 T3 Jurgens Autovilla sets new standards in comfort.



975 Swedish Microbus is given a new role in life!


BUSES WITH ATTITUDE These are seriously fast Splits.







LUSCIOUS LAVENHAM Sun and vintage VWs!



Prepare your bus for winter use or storage.



T3 Double Cab, complete with full exterior roll cage, ready for fun!




Round Europe in a Bay Part 4 – homeward bound!



South West Camper Conversions Ltd.

50 52




63 65


The Cream of the Campers Your questions answered

get them while you still can!


58 issue thirty eight |



SIMPLY RED Text and photography: David



athan acquired the bus back in 1996 from a couple of Australians who had been travelling in it. A chippy by trade, Nathan had always loved the outdoor life - Sky Diving, Bungee Jumping etc, so the idea of converting an old Campervan in a Surfing Theme to show standards became his dream. His parents still remember seeing a pink and white camper decorated with green palm trees arriving on their drive that Spring

8 | November 2008

They say every bus has a story to tell, and this striking Red Bay is no exception; with its emotional roller coaster of a past it has seen highs and lows before finally ending up looking as stunning as it now does. Two families have created this look, with work that spans 10 years, and though the former owner, Nathan Jennings, is sadly no longer with us to see the end result, it stands as tribute to his memory and vision. and recall, “Knowing how fastidious he was in everything he took on, we knew it was not going to be an easy ride!” Not much is known about its past other than it was originally a LHD Panel Van, built in 1975. One interesting and unusual feature however is the factory fitting of side flashers (M46). At some point the side windows have been cut in and a pop top roof fitted, though when and by whom is unclear. The roof style resembles a Devon pop top; however it is not a Devon version and its background is

currently unknown. Nathan spent the next four years restoring the camper, with the expert help of neighbour Derek, an expert welder and fabricator. Derek remembers the work vividly, saying, “ I renewed both door sections and front steps, spot welded a new left hand side panel, made new Centre box sections to weld in, fabricated and plated most of the rear floor, repaired and welded the sliding door and made and welded in new parts to the track. The worst problem


For entertainment a flip down TV / DVD / Playstation monitor is mounted in the roof.

was the rear roof - we managed to get hold of a quarter section from someone that the garage owner knew and the rest was up to me. This took about 12 hours to weld in and complete. I also renewed the front part of the left hand box section, plated and welded rear internal wheel arches to floor both sides and welded in a new front grill and bottom valence - PHEW!” Finally the bus was ready for paint and given a stunning new look using the T3 colour Tornado Red topped with Pastel White. Colour coded bumpers add to the distinctive and striking look. However, the paint job had not been carried out to Nathan’s high standards, and stress fractures appeared almost immediately. Although areas were retreated and eventually the whole bus stripped back and sprayed again, issue thirty eight |


BAY WINDOW The kitchen unit, including sink and hob / grill, is sited opposite the sliding door and the units that continue to the rear under the windows have been set back toallow for a wider rear seat / bed.

Hi gloss cupboard doors from IKEA add a bright, modern look. White upholstery lightens the interior and co-ordinating red / white check curtains add a finishing touch.

A pair of small 70’s replica bucket seats, with red piping to match, make for an Old School sports look in the cab

10 | November 2008

“Jenny, Dave and Spencer Jennings realised here was a family who would carry on Nathan’s dream and so, with very mixed emotions, waved it goodbye.” problems still remained, though the few minor blemishes are hard to spot. Unfortunately on the last spraying the windows were left uncovered and the rain got in and ruined Nathan’s bespoke interior fittings designed round a surfboard worktop that had taken months to design, make and install. Then in October 2001 the lives and dreams of the whole Jennings family were shattered. Whilst playing golf, Nathan suddenly, without any warning, collapsed and died, aged just 31 years old. With their emotions in turmoil it was decided to garage the “Nathanette” as the bus was now known, at brother Spencer’s garage. It sat there for the next five years till Spencer decided to emigrate to Australia, and the family reluctantly decided to put it up for sale to someone who would cherish and use it. February 2006. Enter Andrew and Alison Defesta. They had been looking for a camper for ages and could hardly believe it when they went to see this one. Jenny, Dave and Spencer Jennings realised here was a family who would carry on Nathan’s dream and so, with very mixed emotions, waved it goodbye. The exterior and mechanics of the bus had also all been done by Nathan, including the fitting of a 1641 green engine with single Weber carb sports air filter and Bug Pack exhaust, leaving Andrew and Alison to design and build a bespoke interior to complement the stunning exterior look.

1975 PANEL VAN A colour co-ordinated, period picnic set makes the perfect accessory. Note detailing like a matching spare wheel cover, chrome sockets cover and chrom e spotlights above the side windows.

A fold out buddy seat is a useful space saver; note the button upholstery style used on all seats for that living room settee look.

A wood rim small steering wheel, with VW centre bush, adds to the custom sports styling in the cab area. The storage by the rear seat is set back with the worktop overhanging slightly to maximise space to fit a sink / drainer.

Colour coded engine detailing on the 1641 Green Motor show the attention to styling detail that has gone into this bus.

In keeping with the custom styling of the cab, door panels have clean lines with no visible screw fittings and window winders that match the steering wheel.

However before that could start ,work had to be done on refitting the windows, dashboard and interior fittings! The interior has been designed to maximise living space drawing on traditional 70s retro layouts and styling but given a modern twist. As the fridge grills were already in place (and a brand new fridge, still wrapped up, included as were a host of interior fitments) the layout was designed around the fridge position with the aim to have as wide a rock and roll rear seat / bed as possible. To enable this, the kitchen unit, including sink and hob / grill, is sited opposite the sliding door and the units that continue to the rear under the windows have been set back. Andrew has carried out all the build and fittings himself, including gas and electrics and goodies such as roof mounted flip down TV wiring, under Alison’s watchful design eye. To make for

a modern, contemporary look, walnut has been chosen for the worktop with its inset sink and hob and all unit doors are finished in high gloss red, sourced from IKEA. In keeping with the red and white exterior theme the rear seat, a fold out buddy seat and spare wheel cover and rear cushion have been upholstered in cream leatherette, with a button finish for that living room sofa look. Red and white check curtains harmonise perfectly and co-ordinating accessories such as a period red and white picnic set add to the retro look. All the sidewalls and roof have been foam lined and covered in matching cream vinyl, which lightens and brightens the inside. Chrome LED spot lights, chrome 12v socket covers and the chrome light switch with period toggle switches show the attention to detail that has gone into creating the interior and the fitting of a sound system and drop down

TV monitor connected to a DVD head unit and Playstation hook up bring in modern technology. As Alison had designed the living area, Andrew took charge of the cab, with the idea of recreating the Old School sports look. He sourced a pair of small 70’s replica bucket seats with red piping (which he says took some fitting and involved making brackets to the runners) which look perfect and added a wood small rim steering wheel with matching gear knob and window wipers, big foot gas pedal and red carpet to complete the look. In keeping with the Old School styling the cream door panels have clean lines with no visible fittings. Exterior wise the bus has been lowered by 100mm and they have added chrome headlight eyelids, a matching red sun visor and whitewall tyres with moon hubcaps to add to the custom look. When asked what they loved best about their bus they simply smiled and said, “The grin factor,” adding, “The camper and VW scene is great, it has made our family a lot stronger with the quality times we get together. We have met great friends along our way and are always looking forward to our next adventure out. This feature is dedicated to the memory of Nathan Jennings, without whose hard work and love, this bus would not be here to tell his story. Andrew, Alison, Laura and James would like to thank the Jennings Family for letting them take on stewardship of this lovely bus and also to thank Keith and Donna Pare (Alison’s Uncle and Aunt) for help with welding and sewing curtains respectively and friends Paul Baker for upholstering the cushions and James for help fitting window seals and picking the camper up. And the Jennings family would like add their thanks to Andrew and Alison, “for sharing every stage of the completion of Nathan’s project with us. The Van has been renovated to a standard that even Nathan would have approved of. For us it has been an emotional release and to know that our beloved son’s dreams have been made a reality is more than we could ever have wished for.”

issue thirty eight |





Neal is happy to offer readers 10% discount; just mention Camper and Commercial when booking any work in!


If you are looking for something unusual to add a subtle and distinctive look to your bus check out what Luke and Fay Neal are offering. Window glass etching to your own design is a very individual and different way to modify your car or bus, and much less expensive than a custom paint job! With a graphic design background Luke can etch pretty much whatever you want and turn your sketches or ideas into something stunning, working from a supplied design or just a brief. Designs are turned into a stencil which is applied directly onto your car window. The stencil is then covered in an acid paste which removes the top layer of glass, permanently etching your design onto your window. When the acid is ready, it is removed, along with the stencil and there you have it, your custom glass tattoo! Pricewise, all work is quoted on an individual basis depending on the work involved and the size of the piece, but for example the bus rear window design shown here costs £85. Ideally it’s best to take your vehicle along to them in Peterborough to do the work. For more information tel: 07505710677 or email: or check out


12 lk k | N November b 2008


Many of you will doubtless have seen this amazing vehicle at Bugjam 22 this year. Sponsored by Just Kampers which and detailing. Key to his success was the provided the donor vehicle, world fitting of a Webasto Hollandia 400 folding renowned car designer and customiser, sunroof to give “step in” access to the Andy Saunders and his three man team vehicle and Andy says of the work, “This set a new Guinness World Record for was the most intensive project I’ve ever building a fully road-legal VW T3 Bus just attempted – there’s a lot of metal in a VW! 39.5” tall in 3 days, including full painting We didn’t get much sleep during the build but the finished bus was worth all the effort – and as usual Webasto came up with the goods by providing us with one of their great sunroofs to add that quality finishing touch.” For full information on the complete Webasto aftermarket sunroof range, illustrating folding and panoramic glass models that can be fitted by Webasto’s national dealer network at any time after a vehicle has been purchased, check out

RED 9 REACH 1000

The 1000th Red 9 lowering kit was ordered on 28th August by Ant Edensor who wanted the set up fitting to his 71 Devon (seen here at Camperjam). Frank, as the bus is called, now sits on one of Red 9’s 2-4” kits. It turned out to be a little trickier to fit than probably all the other 999 put together due to the setup he already had on his bus, but they finally got it sorted in time for him to get to Vanfest! We carried news back in #36 that Red 9 were planning to give away the 1000th kit ordered to mark the occasion and when Simon phoned Ant back 30 minutes after he had placed the order to tell him it was all free of charge, he was totally blown away! Check Red 9’s full product range on MOUSE GREY L325


Fancy getting out in the bus and doing something different over the winter and raise money for charity at the same time? The Koolest Krooze is a nationwide sponsored Scatter Hunt to raise money for Brad’s Cancer Foundation and takes place on Sunday January 18th 2009. A scatter hunt is very similar to a treasure hunt but sadly it is not possible to organise a treasure hunt LEGALLY for more than 12 vehicles in any given location, and the organisers want many more than that to take part. The difference between a scatter hunt and a treasure hunt is simply that there is no prescribed route for the participants to follow; they just have to visit 7 of the 10 locations that you choose and answer clues when they get there. In theory, this alleviates the problem of congestion and therefore does not attract the attention of the police. To make it work, they need your help. They have already organised the Koolest Krooze in the East Midlands and one is currently being planned for Wiltshire. But they need you or your club to organise a Koolest Krooze in your local area. The idea is to have the Krooses running in as many different areas as possible, all running on the same day, all for the same reason and all under the same banner. Why not get together with your local club and organise your own? All monies raised will go directly to Brad’s Cancer Foundation. Full information and advice on organising your own, or taking part in a local one can be found on The East Midlands Kroose departs at 10:30 am on Sunday 18th January 2009 from East Midlands - Moto Services. (Just off J23a of the M1) and finishes at a very nice 17th Century Hotel where there will be hot food and drinks available from 12:30. The Wiltshire Kroose details are still being finalised: Contact Ria on 07739306975. How many other Krooses will there be? Go on – do something worthwhile and fun at the same time!

SPLITS FOR 2009 The Split Bus Calendar for 2009 is back! Produced in Australia and full of gorgeous pics of Split Buses down under this really is a work of art to hang on your wall! Each bus featured also has a detailed information bar about it, which is a nice touch no other calendar offers. Only 2000 are being produced and you can get yours for just £11 delivered to your door. Log onto www.splittycalendar. com for more info or to order. Although there is space for writing appointments and memos for each day my 2008 version was just too nice to write on...I just enjoy looking at it whilst doing the mag! If you like Splits then you’ll love this!



If you can’t afford a big race tuned engine for your bus like the BWA boys featured this issue how about one of these super Camper Shells and building your own racing model camper. Available in Split, Bay and T3 bodies they come in ABS (white plastic) or Lexan (Clear Plastic) ready for you to personalize and paint in your own colour schemes and are well priced at £12.99 and £14.99 respectively. Made and designed exclusively for EA Models to fit a Tamiya M03 Chassis or a Mardave chassis, they debuted at Vanfest and went down a storm! EA also offer a fully assembled and painted Tamiya M03 Camper Conversion complete with Front Wheel Drive M-03 Chassis. This features a front mounted motor for a full front-wheel drive chassis, 4-wheel independent double-wishbone suspension providing excellent handling, and a large hole designed into the middle of the chassis ensures vital weight savings. With a mid-battery layout, the M-03 features ideal weight balance for superb control and consistent cornering. Set includes trigger type transmitter and electronic speed controller for a complete ready-to-run set at just £159. Models and shells can be ordered directly from EA Models on 01244 311442 or via the website new-products-410-c. asp


We have FIVE copies of this beautiful calendar to give away to readers. To win one simply email Katy on or write to VW Camper Competition c/o Katy, VW Camper and Commercial Magazine, The Old School, Higher Kinnerton, Chester CH4 9AJ. You need to clearly mark your entry SPLITTY CALENDAR and include your full contact details. Winners will be drawn at random from all correct entries received and the winners will be notified before items are sent out. Closing date for entries is December 1st.



Split On Show at the NEC. We have just heard that Will McLaughlin’s lovely 66 Split will be on show on the Footman James stand at the NEC Classic Car Show, which runs from 14th - 16th November. As well as being a lovely example Will’s bus features an interior which he has designed and built himself (and which is featured in the forthcoming Inspirational Interiors book). He will be on hand all weekend to talk about his bus and designing the interior, and he is being interviewed by the Media, including a spot on the main stage. The NEC Classic car show is something to look forwrds to in a cold foggy November, so if you plan to go make sure you pop over to the Footman James stand to chat to Will and check out his bus, as well as maybe getting a good insurance deal from a company whio specialises in insurance for old buses



INSPIRATIONAL INTERIORS It is now confirmed that David Eccles’ new book will finally hit the shops in early November. Entitled “Inspirational Interiors” it documents and celebrates bespoke and custom interiors, showcasing over 50 different interiors. Each featured bus has a four page spread with fully captioned interior detail shots and information about materials and design / starting point approaches. all these interiors have been designed to This is a collection to admire and be be used not just shown, and buses from inspired by; interiors shown and described all generations are covered including the range from bespoke designs by companies T5! Everyone loves walking round show like Calypso and Interior Motive, as well fields looking at interiors – now you can as smaller less well known companies, do it in the comfort of your living room. through to scratch built self build versions, Published by Crowood Press the book revamps and updates. A useful gazetteer can also be pre-ordered on book sales’ lists all the contact details and companies websites or VW Books. One to put on whose work or products are shown. From your Christmas list. Retro Look right through to Full on Custom,


CUMULUS US WHITE L680 From October 1st 2008 drivers of all vehicles in France must now carry a hi visibility vest on board. You also must carry one if driving on Belgian motorways or Spanish sh A roads and motorways. Police are empowered to stop and search and impose on the spot fines - be warned - that burly gendarme will simply do that Gallic shrug thing when you claim ignorance and just fine you! ou! Don’t wait till next year – pop along to your local auto store and sort it now!

issue thirty eight |




BERLIN BARNDOOR Text and photography: Leslie Weir

Early Barndoor Panel Vans in good condition are a rare breed, especially when they have spent years working for the Berlin Security Services! Darren Harrison now the proud owner to one of this desirable 53 version, and recently scooped up a hatful of prizes at this year’s Volksing and Tatton Park with


arren originally hails from Scunthorpe but is now head chef at the exclusive Loch Lomond Golf Club. Prior to discovering the delights of all things Wolfsburg he was heavily into the humble Mini, before his brother-in-law showed him the true path. He was particularly impressed with the lively Volkswagen jamborees that compared favourably to the more laid back Mini events. Now firmly hooked he followed the familiar route of cutting his teeth on a

14 | November 2008

Beetle, before progressing onto a 1974 Bay window bus that he eventually sold on for a healthy profit. He bought the 1953 Barndoor in 2007, having monitored the progress of the Splitty for several years. This particular Bus has a very interesting history, and during its early career is believed to have been used as a surveillance vehicle for the West German Government during the days of the Cold War. Fortunately the Berlin Wall is now a fading memory, but older readers will recall that for almost thirty years it was a potential


flashpoint between NATO and the Warsaw Pact. The constant intrigues around hotspots like Checkpoint Charlie, was also a heaven sent opportunity for a generation of spy writers. Like a good spy novel the Barndoor also disappeared from the scene for several years until it re-surfaced again in Lincoln, a stone’s throw away from Darren’s home town. The Bus had originally been imported into the country for Bob and Julie Copley in 2002 by Dave Palmer of Creative Engineering before being put through a two year, no expense spared, full on restoration programme, which included Creative Weedeater front beam, full IRS, CSP front disc set up and T3 rear drums, safari windows, 1776 engine mated to a 1302 gearbox and a repaint in the original Light Grey. What makes the bus even more

“This particular Bus has a very interesting history, and during its early career is believed to have been used as a surveillance vehicle for the West German Government” distinctive is that it was also converted to RHD! With the bus looking very classy, Julie took on designing an interior, which was also built and fitted by Dave Palmer. The look was inspired by a couch she saw in Habitat, which she photographed and gave to Dave to work from. The end result brings a very contemporary twist with low L shaped settee style seating on chrome legs, which also converts to a bed and has storage under. The upholstery and trimming has been finished in soft luxurious Alacantara

fabric and leather in creams and beiges to harmonise with the exterior, with oak frames and laminate flooring. Woolcloth has been used to line upper sidewalls and roof with Habitat wall lights and circular roof light for ambient lighting and a discretely hidden sound system comprising Sony head unit with 6x9 mounted in the headliner along with a subwoofer. A 15” flat screen TV monitor was also fitted into the leather lined bulkhead making for a modern and striking interior that oozes with elegance and style whilst issue thirty eight |



A RHD conversion and bespoke leather and Alacantara interior are two of the many desirable features of this lovely bus.

Soft woolcloth headliner transforms the interior from functional to cosy.

the addition of chrome JGE Radars adds that desirable custom street styling stance. Bob and Julie ran the bus for four years, before eventually deciding to part with it, mainly because of the responsibility of looking after such a pristine classic bus and worrying about any scratches or dings that are inevitable in a bus that is used to holiday and camp in. Darren had been after a Splitty for a couple of years, saying, “I just love the simplicity of them and timeless styling not to mention the cult following that they attract. After seeing my brother-in-law’s 65 Californian import I made countless offers to him to sell it to me which only fuelled the hunger more.” So armed with the cash after selling his Audi TT and late Bay he went looking for the right bus. Darren recalls, “We hired Splitty from a company in Edinburgh 16 | November 2008

admiring at Bug Jam! I contacted the seller to ask if he had more pictures, he pointed me in the direction of Volkzone where he had a detailed spec list and various pictures. Whilst browsing the site I noticed a title saying 53 Panel, so I took a closer look and there she was - the bus of my dreams!” Darren had first seen the bus back in 2005 at various shows with its then owners Bob and Julie Copley and just loved every single thing about it, the stance, colour, and not to mention the bespoke interior. After contacting Bob just two days later they were travelling to Lincoln and a deal was struck. and set off to Bug Jam. On the main route to The next day they set off for Scotland the attractions from the campsite we kept smiling all the way. Once home Darren passing this Dove Blue 57 Panel. I just loved set about going through it inch by inch it, slammed on chrome Porsche Fuchs it to see what areas needed addressing to just looked so right. My wife on the other get it how he wanted. With a parts list in hand preferred a camper with windows, hand, they set off for the VW Festival the so each time dragged me away from it. following weekend. On the last day of the “I just love the simplicity of Darren says, “I can show I passed it again and thought sod it I them and timeless styling remember that day as if it was yesterday. am going to ask if he not to mention the cult It was raining hard wants to sell it. We walked over to the van following that they attract” and rain was pouring through the safari only to find the owner windows. The traffic was heavy that day sleeping in the back, so decided to give it a and I kept hearing a whining sound coming miss as the weather had took a turn for the from the gearbox. Then my worst fears worse and time was against us as we still were confirmed, 70 miles from home the had an 8hr journey home. Some days later clutch and release bearing went AWOL. I decided to search the internet when there Try as I might I couldn’t select any gears, looking at me was the 57 Panel I’d been

1953 PANEL VAN Speakers are discreetly mounted in the rear; another classy touch is the Habitat wall lights.

L shaped settee style seating on chrom e legs was inspired by Habitat furnit ure.

fortunately we coasted to service station that was only a couple of hundred metres away and we had to get the AA to relay us home.” The Barndoor was consigned to the garage for the next five months, while Darren raised some more money and planned his next move. As the New Year dawned he eventually decided to get in touch with Paul Medhurst at Type Two Detectives in Burwell. He stripped down the clutch and reconditioned gearbox, and confirmed Darren’s worst fears. The only ray of light at the end the tunnel was that the much-maligned gearbox still appeared to be in good shape. With the money saved from not buying a new box Darren asked Paul to fit a full flow oil system and external filter to make the engine run cooler, and powdercoat all the tinware to black from the previous chrome. On further inspection Paul advised him to rebuild the bottom end of the engine as while it was all in pieces it would give peace of mind to add new parts. Darren had chosen T2D as they offered a one stop shop for everything he wanted to do and they also tackled various types of bodywork including replacing a sill under the cargo doors and the bottom

three inches of the front panel as well as new suspension back and front. By the end of March 2008, some three months later, the Barndoor was fully up and running again and looking like new thanks to Paul and his team. They travelled down to the Volksworld Show where the bus turned a lot of heads and got positive feedback from admirers. Since then the bus has scooped awards at shows and as well as getting to as many shows as possible, plans for the future include a roof rack ladder, and some period signwriting hopefully with their own restaurant name on the side

A 15” flat screen TV monitor has been fitted into the leather lined bulkhead which is now also wired to Darren’s X box.

Darren would like to thank: “my lovely wife Vicki, for putting up with my obsession for our van and my spending sprees on parts, T2D for all their work, Graham Dean for some upholstery repairs needed due to mice and Bob and Julie for deciding to sell her to me and the hospitality that both Vicki and I receive when we see each other at shows.”

The 1776cc engine features twin 40 IDF Weber carbs, a 110 Engle cam and a forged 69mm crankshaft, full flow oil system with external filter and deep sump, a 009 distributor, Stage 2 clutch, lightened flywheel,1302 gearbox and a custom made CSP twin stainless steel exhaust and CSP Crankcase Breather System.

issue thirty eight |



Got a problem or a query? Why not let the Bus Doctor come to your aid?

Steve Leatham & Simon Baxter answer some of your queries…

can get the vehicle going if you are stuck somewhere by first making sure that the gear box is in neutral, getting someone to turn the key in the start position while you hit the BACK of the starter motor with a hammer! Yes I know it sounds drastic, but it does work, and will get you out of trouble if you are stuck in the middle of nowhere. If you are on your own, then just tap the back of the starter motor with the hammer without turning the key at the same time, this sometimes works, and worth a try. Failing that, rock the van back and forth, this again sometimes frees the starter. Or, leave it for at least half an hour, then try again before you start it. This often works too.


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Over 8000 products avaliable online Mail Order Hotline 01322 33 50 50 Write to The Bus Doctor, VW Camper & Commercial, The Old School, Higher Kinnerton, Chester CH4 9AJ or email and mark it FAO Bus Doctor.

CLUTCH PROBLEMS Dear Bus Doc I bought a 1966 kombi van a few days ago, it drove fine from Malvern to Cornwall but now it is really difficult to get into 1st and 2nd gear and does so with a grind. Is my clutch broken or is it something else? John Not your clutch by the sound of it as it would be hard to get any gear, but possibly your clutch cable has stretched. This is fairly common on splits, alternatively check to see if the butterfly nut has slowly unwound, just turn it in a little bit and retry. If this does not cure the problem then the clutch conduit at the back is collapsing, or the clutch cable is about to part company. Either way I would firstly examine the clutch cable. With a bit of luck all it will need is the butterfly nut tightening, if this doesn’t work, then I would replace the cable, and or the conduit.

STARTER MOTOR PROBLEMS Dear Doctor My 1971 Type 2 won’t start. We charged the battery, knocked the starter motor, but it is just clicking when you turn the key. Any suggestions? Debs. This is quite a common problem with type 2 starter motors when they are on their way out. The problem is you get a black spot on a part of the starter called the ‘Bendix’, and when you turn the key, if the starter lands on this black spot, it won’t start, this explains why it doesn’t do it all the time. It’s a bit like a roulette wheel. It will gradually get worse letting you down more and more, so the only real solution is to get a new starter motor, which will last you another 30 odd years. If finances are tight in the meantime you

Dear Bus Doctor We have a LH T25 Westfalia Joker with a canvas roof. We have been thinking about replacing the whole canvas roof as it is mouldy and also there is a hole in the zip up window / air vent which lets in a lot of water when it rains!! However, have just found out it is about £400 for a new roof and bits and then garages are going to charge about £600-700 to fit the thing! So, we are now trying to see if we can somehow repair the roof and just give it a good clean inside and respray with some kind of water proof product. Any ideas that you can think of, where to go or what to do? We are not budding VW restoration people unfortunately, we just bought it to enjoy weekends away! Thanks Louise Ok firstly I think you’ve been shopping in the wrong place. £400 sounds a tad expensive to me for a roof canvas. I bought one from this guy (Frank Grote Westfalia specialist) for about £200, with full fitting instructions. http:// It’s not rocket science to fit one, although it does have to be done in a certain sequence, but the instructions explain it well. It will take two novices who have never done one before about a day to do it. If you are doing it outside, make sure you pick a guaranteed dry and windless day! The canvasses are made from the machinery that the original Westfalia canvasses were made from, so they are good quality, and an excellent fit! So before you think about patching yours, you might want to look into this first, as to be honest, a new roof canvas is the only real long term solution to your problem. If however finances and time simply won’t stretch to this, then you can re waterproof it by purchasing from B&Q the brick sealer that builders seal house bricks with. This can also be used on canvas to re seal it, and is very effective, and relatively cheap to buy. You will have to first repair any holes of course. I’ve seen this done in many ways from patches of gaffer tape, to canvas patches sewn over the holes. The latter being of course more effective and tidier, you will just simply have to find a piece of canvas to match the colour of your roof canvas, cut a square to cover the hole, then sew it over the inside, so you get an invisible repair from the outside where it shows. ‘Frank Grote’ may well have these canvass patches to match your roof too. Once you have sewn in your patches, then you can use the

brick sealer to reseal the lot. You can also purchase special stuff which is designed to remove the mould from the canvas from most caravan accessory shops.

ROOF LOCKER Dear Doc I’ve got a Westfalia Continental interior for my 77 double door bus. I’m wondering how the top cupboard / locker should be supported (it’s the type that stretches the width of the van, with a door on the front). I reckon I probably need a couple of brackets which would screw in to the lip where the roof meets the sides, just above the windows. Looking at the underside of the cupboard there’s a couple of screw holes on either side where I presume the supports were attached. Do you know where I can get the brackets (or have a picture that I could use as a guide for making some? Alasdair McDonald The brackets are simply made from two pieces of metal bent to a near 90% angle. And yes you’re right; those holes are where the brackets mount. You could Google ‘Frank Grote’ (Westy parts specialist, sorry I cant find his email address) and hopefully be able to get them from him if he has them in stock, but to be honest even if he has, they will be expensive for what they are. I would simply make them up out of a small piece of metal, and bend them to shape on a vice, and drill holes in them so you can put screws through them, (measure the distance of the screw holes on the locker to get a guide for the size of the bracket) then screw them to the locker, then get someone to hold the locker while you screw them to the bus. The brackets are mounted in a way that you will have to look hard to see them from the outside anyway.

DOUBLE SEAT FOR T4 Dear Doc I’ve just bought an R reg T4 off my nephew who has partly converted it with a cooker/ sleeping area etc. unfortunately it only has a single passenger seat, if I fit a double seat will I still be able to get to the hand brake? I’ve only waited 20 years to own a VW! Paul Booth Yes, you can get to the handbrake if you fit a double seat. If you are buying a second hand seat you will also need the seatbelts to go with it, remove the left hand front door pocket if it is fitted and get the seat base to suit the double seat.

ELEVATING ROOF STRUTS Dear Bus Doctor I have a 1984 T25 with a Viking space maker roof. The struts have detached and they need replacing. I need to get these repaired so I can get the roof up again. Do you know where I can get these parts and the work done, preferably near Brighton/ Hove? Thanks for your help. Emma Just Kampers do roof parts; alternatively check out the guys who specialise in this on htm#struts

Now you can ask the Doc questions online and go to the home page! 18 | November 2008

CAMPER MAIL KUALA LUMPUR CHECKING IN I’ve attached a few photo’s to this e-mail which you might find a use for. I’m working out here in Malaysia at the moment in sunny Melaka. A friend tipped me off on a small VW event that’s held in Kuala Lumpur every year. So I pootled up for a look and spent a few hours wishing I was back in the UK with my 73 bay. Anyway, amongst all the Type 1’s and 3’s were a few cool busses which I have sent pics of. It made a nice change to walk round a show in 34 degrees with clear blue skies, instead of willies! And it’s nice to know that wherever you go in this tiny world, you can always find a VW fan to talk to. Keep up the good the mag. Matthew Briddick

Camper Mail is your chance to share a pic, or story, or tip, or even a grouse. Email or write to me at Camper Mail, Jazz Publishing, The Old School, Higher Kinnerton, Chester CH4 9AJ.

SPOTTED IN MALTA Hi David I bought my first copy of your mag while on holiday in Malta last week and really enjoyed reading it in 34 degrees of sunshine. It inspired me to take some nice shots of VW’s in Malta and thought your readers might like to see some. I am very keen on all classic vehicles and run a 1971 Minor van. I drive for my local council and my hobby is arranging a road run and show in Swansea. (please see www. ) I take stacks of photos and if you want some I will freely send them as I do to Classic Van, Minor Monthly etc. I am trying to attract more VW buses, campers and commercials to my free events next June and would love to hear from any of your readers who might like to come along – they can contact me on Regards Ashley

issue thirty eight |


Please mention VW Camper and Commercial when responding to adverts



Text and photography: Kathy and Alex Fenton

Three years ago we had the pleasure of attending a great wedding in Belfast. We had a brilliant time, and we were very much impressed by the city and it’s green surrounding areas. We didn’t know too many people at the do, but we were made to feel extremely welcome by the friendly people. After chatting with various wedding guests, they told us how beautiful it was on the North coast of Ireland around the Giants Causeway. We decided at that point that it would be a great place to visit and bring our van over the water.


wo years after our flying visit to Belfast, we started to plan our trip to Northern Ireland; but a small matter of the van requiring a new engine dashed our plans. Well, that was the history and now we’re back from finally doing this trip, we can say wholeheartedly that Northern Ireland is a great place to get out and about in your van. There are so many ways you could visit Northern Ireland depending on where you are coming from, what else you would like to

see, and how long you have. Our trip started in Wales, with a two-night stay in gorgeous Trearddur Bay near Holyhead. We really got the weather here to appreciate what we firmly believe are some of Britain’s best beaches. This positioned us a few minutes drive also for the morning ferry to Ireland from Holyhead to Dún Laoghaire. We took a slightly wrong turn that took us through the centre of Dublin, then a quick stop in Balbriggan and then on to our destination of Castlewellan near the Mourne Mountains.

Castlewellan and the Mourne Mountains

shower ended, we headed down to the lakes to feed the ducks with the kids. In the afternoon, we drove to Newcastle, which is a lovely seaside town with lots of nice looking shops, eating places, arcades and the like. We drove out of Newcastle and were treated to some stunning views of the Mourne Mountains meeting the water. We stopped a few times along the way when we spotted something of interest, got lost for a bit and then headed back to the campsite. In the evening, we walked from the campsite into Castlewellan. There are lots of interesting buildings and shops here – but having been in Ireland for almost 48 hours already, we headed to Maginns pub at the lower end of town for a pint. This turned out to be a fortuitous move as the pub has recently had a £2m makeover - it really is spectacular. The interior is decorated in a very traditional, grand style and the exterior beer garden is a huge area full of ornate woodwork and Roman style statues. The Guinness wasn’t too shoddy either, and the

We arrived at the lovely Castlewellan Forest Park campsite at around teatime. This was one of those sites in walking distance of the village, but with loads of pitches in beautiful forest settings. The site was really busy as it was the holidays. It was quite strange hearing the Northern Irish accent from all quarters for the first time. Being from Lancashire, I suddenly realised how Coronation Streets Jim McDonald must have felt the first time he stepped into the Rovers Return (but in reverse). We jumped on our bikes and towed our little girl’s bike trailer past the Castle and round the lake. This is an excellent bike ride and incidentally, the first and last time I managed to use my bike. The next morning, our friends that got married three years ago in Belfast arrived at the campsite with their little boy. So far, it had been glorious weather, but typically, the heavens opened and we all crammed in our van for coffee and pastries. When the

22 | November 2008

Antrim coast drive

bestt partt was, iitt was cheaper b h th than h h home. The next day, we bid farewell to the Mournes and headed North West to Armagh for an LPG refill on route to the North Western coast in Donegal, which is the Republic of Ireland. From Donegal, we headed East along the coast heading back into Northern Ireland to Bushmills.

Bushmills railway

Bushmills campsite

Bushmills beach


Bushmills, Portrush and the Giants’ Causeway


Just before we drove back into Northern Ireland, the sun came out for us once again. We drove through some lovely scenery of mountains, water and fields towards the seaside town of Portrush. Portrush is apparently “Northern Ireland’s favourite holiday destination”. I don’t know if this is true, but it is a great place. While you will see some faded grandeur ever present with a popular seaside town, there are also some stunning views and beaches. Portrush reminded me more of Newquay than of Blackpool. There are lots of things to do here – the beaches are great for bodyboarding. There are good restaurants, pubs, shops and World class DJ’s play at the towns nightclubs. All this combines to make the Portrush area very popular with holiday makers. We parked up (for free) overlooking the fabulous coastline for a while and walked around town. We had a lot to do though, so we pressed on to our campsite at Bushmills. This is a fairly short drive away and we managed to squeeze on to the extremely popular site, Ballyness Caravan Park. The site is located a short walk from Bushmills centre and the famous distillery. The site is rated 5* and you can see why, with a huge family bathroom, free internet, a great playground and fabulous views, not to mention its excellent location. We managed to squeeze an early dinner booking

into the Distillers Arms restaurant. This is a lovely place for a posh meal. The cheapest meal on the menu was about £15 – but the venue, service and food were exceptionally good. We had some traditional food, but served in a very modern way. The next day, we had it all to do. We drove straight away from the campsite to the magnificent Dunluce Castle that we had driven past the previous day. In the 1200s Richard de Burgh, Earl of Ulster, built the first castle at Dunluce. It’s precarious position on the stunning cliffs served as important protection to the early Christians and Vikings. The castle is well worth a look for its history, stories and magnificent views of the sea, beaches and chalk cliff archways. We also had a drive down to the beach that you can see from the castle. We pressed on to the Giants Causeway. This is also the location of the Bushmills Steam Railway. Parking here costs between £3 and £5 to park a van and is free to enter. The weather held for us, and we were treated to some spectacular scenery in this very unique and special place. We’ve all seen pictures of the interlocking basalt hexagons, but it really has to be seen to be believed. The Giants Causeway is such a magical place. I found myself wondering if it really did get there thanks to the rival Irish and

issue thirty eight |



Scottish giants of legend that wanted to meet and do battle, or the more scientific ancient volcano theory. The only way to decide either way is to pay the Causeway a visit for your self. The site is big and there are walks around the cliffs to see other

formations, or you can just marvel at the different rock formations and views at the Causeway itself. Time was fleeting, so we made the short drive along the stunning coastline to the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. Looking down at the bridge here on a fine day is a view to rival any in the British Isles in my view. The sea is a myriad of shades of blue contrasting against rugged rock shapes covered in

green with the outline of the rope bridge connecting two of the rocks. We again set off East along the coastline heading towards the ferry port of Larne. This coastal drive really lived up to expectations. With each corner, you are presented with amazing views of mountains, beaches, villages and the sea. I snapped away with my camera on the move and was pleasantly surprised with the results.

Giants Causeway

Dunluce castle

Larne Larne was pretty much as expected, a port town somewhat like Holyhead. The council run campsite we stayed on was next to a main road, and is basic, but I liked it. We had time in the morning to check out Carnfunnock Country Park a short drive away. The park and campsite is absolutely lovely, with great sea views, a maze and a miniature railway. You can understand why the campsite is so popular. Sadly, our time in Northern Ireland this time had come to an end, so we headed back into Larne to catch the lunchtime Ferry to Cairnryan near Stranraer in Scotland. We really enjoyed our time in Northern Ireland. Although the tourism here may not be as advanced as other places in the British Isles, the scenery and attractions for me rivalled anything else we’ve seen on our campervan trips. We were really impressed with the cost of things also – lots of free parking and we never at any point felt we were being ripped off like you can in some places. Our fond memories of friendly people, stunning scenery and great weather made us start thinking about a return trip sometime soon.

“Time was fleeting, so we made the short drive along the stunning coastline to the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. Looking down at the bridge here on a fine day is a view to rival any in the British Isles in my view.” Carrick a Rede ropebridge

Giants Causeway

For more links and info relating to this article, please see: If you would like a free campervan sticker or to tell us about your favourite places to take your van, you can email:

issue thirty eight |



range model, built The Exclusive was a top of theoom in the rear area. on a LWB T4 featuring a bathr

The L shaped kitchen area is sited towards the rear behind the living area, with rear hanging closets anking the bathroom area.

26 | November 2008



Text: David Photography: Martin Adams

Westfalia has always been considered by many to be at the top of the interior conversions charts, right from the pioneering days of the early fifties when they produced the first factory camping conversions. Part of their success was in maintaining innovation and moving with the times, as well as build quality. The Westfalia California Exclusive was a Special Edition Coachbuilt model produced from 1996, featuring top end luxury and fitments.

B Hibiscus flower decals add a personal touch.

ased on the LWB model option, the most immediate and distinctive feature is a large fibreglass fixed high roof, which slightly overhangs the cab, making for a very roomy and spacious interior. As standard the Exclusive initially came with heated Captain’s chairs and timed diesel heater, as well as a well appointed L shaped rear kitchen area with top loading fridge, cooker and sink, two tables, anti lock brakes, double glazing, twin airbags and a distinctive upholstery featuring a cactus pattern. The interior uses GRP moulded panels for smooth lines and storage areas, with wood trim edging, and is finished in modern, calming light neutral grey tones. Four people can sleep or dine in comfort, there is oodles of hanging and storage space including a locker over the cab and, because it is a LWB model, there is room to site a full bathroom with toilet and wash basin in the rear. The siting of the

kitchen in the rear frees up valuable living area space which makes use of the full width of the van. Dave Tasker, who owns the version featured here, says, “with three women in my family the appeal of the self contained bathroom really swung the balance in its favour when I was looking for a camper!” And given the state of toilets at some shows this year no wonder Buses With Bathrooms are becoming increasingly popular (a look at the amount of Karmann Gipsies at shows these days confirms this trend!) Dave first got bitten by the VW Camper bug at Bug Jam around 12 years ago. His dream was to own a Split Camper, and after borrowing one from a friend for a weekend he knew it was the way to go. However, as personal circumstances changed and prices rose steeply Dave found it was a just a dream, but one he hung on to. Finally last year Dave found himself in a position to realise the Splitty Dream and then reality kicked in. The bus would have to be his issue thirty eight |


TYPE 4 Twin swivelling Captain’s seats make for comfortable dining for four. Note the huge storage area in the above cab roof locker.

“To date I’ve had the van 16mths and covered 18000 miles with no trouble whatsoever, with the van doing anything from 32mpg to 37mpg depending on the type of driving”

The pull out sun canopy is a very useful addition.

28 | November 2008

daily driver, it had to be able to cope with two daughters (Lori 14 and Mia 11) and though a pop top roof might be visually more appealing, more space for extended trips than offered by a small Splitty would be required. He says, “having no garage, and if I am honest, with enough mechanical aptitude to fill the back of a postage stamp, I realised it was not to be. Then around this time I remember picking up a magazine with a really cool blue T4 Westy on the front owned by Martin Adams and thought perhaps I’d found my revised modern day Splitty after all.” He joined the VW T4 forum and, over the next few months, found there was a vibrant community of T4 owners who had a strong social identity and who were friendly and helpful. With advice and support he began the search for a camper that would work for his needs, quickly deciding that a Westfalia conversion was the way to go. “Reliability, build quality and ability to just jump in and go were key ingredients in my thought process,” he adds. Trawling the internet, he came across the Westfalia Exclusive model and immediately knew this was the model he wanted. On the recommendation of friends made via the T4 forum Dave contacted Andy Brady of Campervans 4 U and asked him to look out for one. Andy regularly travels to Germany and when he told Dave about this mint 1996 2.5 TDi he had just come across Dave had to move quickly to seal the deal. Dave recalls, “ A few weeks later I collected the van MOT’d, taxed and UK registered at his Stanstead premises, which apart from one scuff on the rear bumper (which he’d already mentioned),was immaculate. On the return journey it averaged 35mpg and drove like a dream, and I quickly adapted to the left hand drive driving position.” The camper came already equipped with both Westfalia bike rack and roll out awning, and a substantial Fiamma back luggage box. Since then Dave has added a few personal touches such as a set of second-hand 15inch Ronal alloys with tyres from www.T4rus, along with both tinted window and bonnet air deflectors. He has also fitted a CD/tuner to replace the existing Gamma radio, sound courtesy of the standard six speakers and tells us, “Perhaps the best and simplest addition was a gearlever extension, making driving so much more comfortable.” The addition of hibiscus flower decals harks back to surfing culture much associated with all generations of VW Bus and is another personal styling detail and future plans will include fitting a reversing camera, and upgrading the speakers. Dave says, “ To date I’ve had the van 16mths and covered 18000 miles with no trouble whatsoever, with the van doing anything from 32mpg to 37mpg depending on the type of driving, loads etc.

1996 WESTFALIA CAMPER The private bathroom area makes for totally self contained camping.

With the kitchen etc sited at the rear a full width living space is created. Note the heater outlets on the floor and use of GRP moulded panels throughout.

sited A fold down sink is toilet. above the Thetford

It is my daily driver and frankly I love it, but we also love escaping on the weekends, especially for surf trips to west Wales and Devon; the van’s ability to swallow boards of all dimensions has, along with the family’s interest, helped re-ignite a surfing interest that had laid dormant for 18years, as well as a recent 900 mile tour of Cornwall and next year it’s our intention to take it abroad for the first time.” Dave and the family regularly meet up with like minded T4 owners at up at shows and forum

meets around the country. The T4 Forum is renowned for its lively social scene (as evidenced at Vanfest this year) which has come as an unexpected bonus, bringing an n extension of their own family fun with the van. Good natured banter abounds in the T4 scene and he says that the other members love to tease him about its ice cream van similarities with that huge high top, or rib him about how ugly it is, but they love it and nd as his partner Teresa says “beauty is in the eye of the beholder and ultimately ly we spend more time on the insidee in comfort gazing out than on the outside staring in!” Dave says the funniest moment came recently tly at Volksfest Wales when the van was on open di display h th l and d a llady d interrupted his conversation and politely asked if he could let her husband out of the toilet as he’d locked himself in, adding, “I really should have charged!” He sums up the life changing move to T4 luxury with, “I waited 12 years for my camper, my advice to anyone contemplating it, is the same as that of the founder of Nike, Mr. Bowerman. Just Do It … I Did.”

A small rear hatch accesses the portable toilet (making easy removal for emptying) and also the rear floor area of the interior.

issue thirty eight |


n u s R Hill VW EVENT

e h t to

ee y: C aph ogr hot P son ilkin ul W a P t: Tex

‘A Labour of Love’ - that’s how some might describe Run to the Hills 2008 - the ‘baby’ of the Dubliminal VW Club. The concept? A cheap, family friendly weekend chilling out in the company of other enthusiasts in the picturesque setting of the Derbyshire countryside. From humble beginnings in 2005 at Matlock Rugby Club, supported continually by friends of the club G.S.F Car Parts and COOLCAMPERVANS.COM the show has grown to become an unmissable part of the VW show calendar with around 2500 visitors attending this year.


ubliminal members grin when they recall the show was dismissed by an anonymous individual as a ‘stupid idea’. Thankfully Dubliminal loves its stupid ideas and the budget £10 weekend camping fee reflects it. This venture doesn’t revolve around profit and any club member will tell you it’s the smiling faces each year that are the true inspiration. Every penny is ploughed back into funding the show, promoting club activities and donating to worthy causes including Brad’s who organised a charity auction and next year they will be taking on the local air ambulance as well. Despite muddy ground caused by a week of inclement weather the campers came 30 | November 2008

“This venture doesn’t revolve around profit and any club member will tell you it’s the smiling faces each year that are the true inspiration. Every penny is ploughed back into funding the show”

in their hundreds to be welcomed by the friendly gate staff. Promising over 40 trade stands, food and beverages, children’s entertainment, a show and shine contest and performances from 5 live bands there was plenty to attract them. On Saturday night ‘the stage bus’ - a professionally converted double decker provided the perfect sound stage for compere ‘DJ Cool’ - club member, show sponsor and owner of ‘Cool Campervans’ to deliver a real ‘festival’ experience and the main arena/marquee was filled with revelling campers. The live sets were followed by the electric atmosphere of an ‘old school dance anthems’ set which many will recall fondly. All weekend Dubliminal in their trademark orange T-shirts worked against

the weather, going as far as spreading straw over boggy ground and towing out stuck campers with the club’s 4x4 vehicles. The personal touch is close at heart with these guys and it showed. Such was the success

of the 2008 show that Dubliminal will be offering weekend camping on a primarily pre-book basis and visitors old and new will be welcome in 2009. Miss it at your peril! issue thirty eight |



Prepare Your Bus for Winter Text David

By the time you read this Brighton Breeze will be here marking the end of the show season. For many bus owners winter means putting the bus into hibernation, ready for infrequent use. However there are many out there who will either use the bus as a daily driver or brave the winter weekends going camping or cruising with mates. Hopefully this little guide will help you and your bus get safely through the ravages of winter ready for another summer of rain and wet! Laying Up Your Bus I tend to garage our bus from November to March, using it only for occasional forays at weekends. Taking your bus out for a run every month keeps things lubricated and moving, especially in the engine. Don’t just go and turn it over and let it run for a few minutes – not only will this drain the battery but it’s bad for the engine which needs get up to operating temperature to get the oil flowing etc. Also it’s not good for the tyres to stand in one position for too long as you risk cracking the sidewalls (I know all about this!!!) so you pack a picnic and take a run out!

A cover is an essential item – this version supplied by Just Kampers represents excellent value for money but the more expensive Protech version is also highly recommended especially for prolonged outdoor standing.

Even though the bus is garaged I still use a breathable cover (keeps dust and cats away and reduces condensation. There are many on the market but personally I use a ProTec all weather (outside and inside use) version with a side access flap and good under strapping. It’s not the cheapest cover out there but you know the saying...It’s also well worth investing in a quality soft breathable cover like the ProTec one if you have to store your bus outside – I even cover our bus all summer when it’s just parked up. One polish lasts all season that way! If money is tight Just Kampers do a good cheaper cover, which has now been improved with better straps and stronger zips. Before laying up the bus do wash and polish it. It’s tempting to avoid this chore but you will be soooo pleased you did come Spring! But make sure it’s fully dry before covering! I have just discovered the joys of a cheap local Polish car wash as I hate polishing the bus! A good tip is to apply a thin smear of Vaseline on shiny parts to help protect them from rust spots, especially with cheaper chrome bits. If you can, then change the oil and add a fuel stabiliser to the fuel tank. Waxoyl all the underneath and in any areas you can get to! Don’t forget cab doors etc Grease all brake pipes and lubricate moving parts such as hinges, pedals etc and if you have hook up or a towbar, spray WD 40 into the sockets. Over inflate the tyres by 5 – 10 psi to prevent flat spots. Clean the cooker and fridge! I stand the cushions on their sides to reduce condensation / mildew and also use a moisture trap, available from JK or Caravan Stores. Rinse out all water tanks and pipes and leave the fridge / coolbox ajar to allow air to circulate. Make sure you park up with the handbrake OFF and the wheels chocked. I don’t recommend leaving in gear as you may forget when you go to start it next time and OUCH! It’s also maybe worth thinking about investing in a trickle charger to keep the battery primed, though in practice I find taking the bus out for a run every month does the same job. And don’t forget to check water level in the cells before winter starts!

Daily / Weekend Winter Driving Tips

JK’s improved bus covers feature stronger fastenings and under straps.

32 | November 2008

On the way to Dubfreeze every year I can always see whose bus heater isn’t working by whether they are wearing hats, scarves and gloves! If you are really getting no heat through have you checked the heat exchangers are OK? If these are rusty or holed you or still the originals you will never get heat into the cab! You should also check all the heating components are sound from heater tubes to faulty clamps or gaskets – one small leak will result in poor heating. Also check the insulation on the long pipe that runs under the chassis – if this is cracked or missing then you have no chance of


warm air even if your heating exchangers etc are all functioning! One common fault is the operation of the flaps that duct hot air into the system – do they open and close correctly? It may be they need adjusting or that the cables need replacing. Also check all your seals are in place and have not perished – including tinware seals and the engine lid seal. Alternatively, if you do lots of cold weather driving then think about investing in a blown air Just Kampers’ 12v windscreen demister system such as a Propex heater; one can easily is a godsend on be sited under the front seat for a cosy cab! frosty foggy mornings driving to work. Bluebird Customs stocks The Heatsource 2000 blown air gas powered heater which is compact and delivers warmth fast and effectively. They also sell a Heatbooster set up, which brings heat up from the heat exchangers and is sited in the hot air pipe under the cab. Check out for more info. Make sure your wiper blades are in good order and screen wash system is topped up and functioning and maybe consider fitting an electric screen wash kit, available from Just Kampers? JK also do items like windscreen demister kit and heated rear windows to help with misting up and ice, and their spare bulb kits are also worth investing in. How new is your battery? There’s nothing worse than turning the key on a cold morning when you are late for work and finding a sluggish response. If you make short trips to work on dark mornings and evenings you it’s well worth re-charging your battery each month to top it up, and invest in a heavy duty battery next time you need to replace it. A set of jump leads and a battery charger are must carry items. If you are running a dynamo set up then you may want to

This nifty device, available from Bluebird Customs, is called a Heatbooster and fits into the hot air pipe improving effiiency to pull up warmth from the heat exchangers.

The Heatsource 2000 will ensure you always travel or camp in warmth.

consider changing to an alternator. WD 40 or similar is excellent to get you going on a damp, wet morning and a small amount sprayed into the locks will ensure you don’t break your key when the lock freezes up (yes it has happened to me). I stand my Beetle out all night and the lock often freezes solid, another good tip is to heat the key gently before inserting. A good coating of Waxoyl is really a must to protect your metal from salty roads (but do this before winter you don’t want to seal in metal eaters) and it’s worth jet washing the underside and wheel arches if roads have been heavily salted. And check the condition and pressures of your tyres – you don’t want to lose traction on an icy road. Those of you running water cooled buses need to keep an eye on the anti freeze levels – it’s a good idea to drain and replace the entire system before winter, and check all the gaskets and seals for signs of leaks – be pro-active! Coolant should be replaced every 2 years if using normal blue, G12 is meant to be in there for life but it’s very expensive. Finally if you are running your bus all winter its worth getting a service and tune up done now and make sure you carry ignition spares parts including distributor cap, rotor arm etc.

Just Kampers stocks thermo mat kits for all bus models; an essential cold weather camping item!

issue thirty eight |


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Please mention VW Camper and Commercial when responding to adverts

EUROPE IN A BAY Text and photography: Mark and Claire Robinson

Part 4: The Final Leg - Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Italy and France As soon as we crossed the border into Austria we were reminded that Western Europe is expensive. One day we attempted to avoid the toll roads, and instead took a back road that wound up through the mountains. After two hours driving I wasn’t happy to come across a toll booth with a Ð28 charge! We pulled over to look at the map. “It’s a long way back down” I said.


laire agreed. We were here at me and asked “What’s that smell?” now so would have to bite the “Dunno”, I shrugged. “Don’t think it’s us” bullet. An English biker was I added as I pressed the brakes approaching parked nearby so I strolled yet another tight bend. over and said hello. He’d come Nothing happened. here solely to ride this road – apparently it “Oh bugger”. I rammed my foot to the floor was quite famous. as the cliff edge approached, slowing us just So off we set, and soon realised the appeal. enough to make it round, before gradually Taking us high up into easing to a halt. We “The queue behind us by discovered the wheels the mountains, past the Groß Glockner, it’s the end was even bigger were steaming and the a beautiful journey. We caps too hot to than on the way up, but we hub weren’t the quickest touch. I gave Claire my made it and gradually the expert prognosis. vehicle, but despite the incline Alice “Maybe I should brakes improved. Still, I’d soldiered up without have obeyed the signs learnt my lesson, and from after all. Our brakes any signs of rebellion. then on I paid more attention seem to have melted”. At the first viewpoint a glacier stretched out It’s ironic really to warning signs.” to our right, and furry as we’d expected marmots ambled by on the mountainside the uphill bit to cause the problems. After ahead of us. For once we were more than an hour the wheels weren’t noticeably happy to have paid the toll. cooler, but there were only two hairpins to The real excitement came on the way go so we risked it and set off in 2nd gear. It down. “Use low gear” said the sign. I’m not was disconcerting driving a highly revving doing that, I thought. It’ll use far too much engine on ineffectual brakes down a steep, fuel. So I just coasted and used the brakes. winding mountain pass but at least the Twenty-eight hairpins later, Claire looked breeze helped cool us down. The queue

38 | November 2008

Halfway up the Gross Glockner Pass.

behind us by the end was even bigger than on the way up, but we made it and gradually the brakes improved. Still, I’d learnt my lesson, and from then on I paid more attention to warning signs. The rest of our time there was much less fraught, and a week later we arrived in Liechtenstein. I’ve seen it described as “the smallest German-speaking country in the world”, which I suppose is an honour of sorts. The capital, Vaduz, isn’t going to win any

Hmm, there are a lot of hairpins.


beauty awards, although it does have one feature which stands out. High above, perched on a cliff and demonstrating a certain air of superiority is the home of the monarchy. The Prince’s castle sits there nonchalantly, casting a watchful eye over the city and beyond. Apparently Vaduz makes 90% of the world’s false teeth, but if you’re not after a new pair of gnashers the only reason most tourists go is so they can say they went there. So, we went there. Then we left and went to Switzerland. It was not a fun drive. Heavy rain, particularly given our lack of wipers, meant visibility was only a few metres. We made it to Zurich though, and explored both sides of the river which looked ready to burst its banks at any moment. The poor weather had a big effect on us. We’d heard the summer back home had been a washout but until then we’d been lucky. Those three days made up for it. One night we camped on a farm, which was fun but muddy. We looked like rats that had been drowned, dragged through the mud, made to put on wet clothes then drowned again, and the interior of the van resembled Glastonbury in a particularly bad year. We tried to make do, battening down the hatches, having a large sherry, and playing scrabble in bed. Even so, Claire was heard to grumble at one point “I’d rather be at work”. So it was with some degree of gratitude and relief that I got a call out of the blue inviting us to experience some local hospitality. Stephen and Ingrid insisted we visit them and it would have been rude to decline. We’d only met once before, when Stephen and I became godparents to the daughters of an old school friend. He’d heard we were going to be in the area, which led to us receiving the welcome phone call. The three days we spent with them was just what we needed, and became a little mini-holiday within

A viewpoint on the Gross Glockner Pass.

Zurich nearly floods. Stephen and Ingrid take us for a hike to see the Eiger.

issue thirty eight |



our travels. On a practical side we dried out which improved our moods no end and set us up nicely for the remaining ten weeks. But it was also wonderful to spend time with fully-fledged Europeans. Initially they chatted away in SwissGerman to each other but when Ingrid’s brother and his family arrived from Lausanne they switched to French. It was fascinating. My assumption that everyone in Switzerland was bilingual was soon disproved though. It turns out that often the French side don’t speak German, and the German side don’t speak French. Unbelievably to communicate they’re often forced to use English. It must be very strange to travel within your own country then not be able to speak the language. Waving goodbye we took the scenic route over the Jaunpass to Lausanne, round to Montreux then over the border to France where we met up with Claire’s mum and dad who’d come over to join us for a week. It was lovely to have them with us and to be spoiled by visiting some posh restaurants (not something that’d featured heavily on our trip). From our base in Talloire we were able to explore the Alps, visiting Tignes and Val d’Isere (both eerily quiet) and Chamonix which was really pretty and bustling. After leaving the parents in Geneva we set off east again, via Basel, Fredrichshafen (with its interesting Zeppelin museum), and Landau. Next stop was Munich where we visited an old friend now living there. Lesley had booked Alice into a garage for a service, so the exciting news (for us anyway) was that we finally had working windscreen wipers again. The funny thing was it took several days to fix because the garage had to order the parts from England! That wasn’t our main reason visiting though – we’d timed our arrival to coincide with Oktoberfest. It’s massive. Imagine an aircraft hanger filled with beer tables, enormous lagers and a German brass band. Now imagine fifteen of these buildings, and a huge fairground as well. Great fun. From there we dashed south, where we discovered there are three countries in Europe that drive on the left. Britain, Ireland, and, it

A quick pose in Rome.

The Colosseum.

One of the Cinque Terre.

Mark enjoys a beer.

“We discovered there are three countries in Europe that drive on the left. Britain, Ireland, and, it appears, Italy.Here they drive on the left, the right, in between, on the pavement. Anywhere there’s a space not quite big enough for a car, they’ll attempt it.” 40 | November 2008


Near St Tropez.

appears, Italy. Here they drive on the left, the right, in between, on the pavement. Anywhere there’s a space not quite big enough for a car, they’ll attempt it. We made our way down to Rome airport where we picked up two friends, Chrissie and Alice (whom our van is named after!), and on the way back to the campsite we witnessed 4 accidents, 187 near misses, 3 cars reversing up the hard shoulder to escape a traffic jam, and countless other very funny sights. It was like watching bumper cars on a massive scale. Apart from the bonkers locals, Rome was spectacular. I’ve never been anywhere like it. There were beautiful buildings, statues and ruins everywhere. The Colosseum was fantastic but there was so much more as well. I can’t recommend it highly enough. After that we went further south, seeing more incredible ruins at Paestum then winding our way round the breathtaking Amalfi Coast to Pompeii. We camped by the entrance and were first in the next morning so had the place to ourselves – a must as by lunchtime it was heaving. Sadly the girls had to leave but we consoled ourselves by jumping on a ferry to Sicily for a week. It was a bit impromptu, but one of our best decisions. It was very funny watching the Italian cars on the ferry. As we docked in Palermo there were four lines of cars waiting to drive off. When one row started moving, everyone tried to change lanes to get into it. Within 30 seconds it was carnage. Italy really is what the world would be like if children were allowed to drive. We made our way along the north shore, taking a ferry out to the Aolean Islands. Back on the mainland we drove up Mount Etna then to Taormina and Syracusa before making our way back to Palermo. Sicily, like most of Italy, was stunning and a great place to spend a week. We had to get back to Naples though as Claire’s sister was joining us. With Liz as our guest we explored more of the area, including Capri and Sorrento where we watched the Rugby World Cup final. We were greeted like old friends by the bar owner, and he and his delicious pizzas came some way to making up for the result. After Liz departed we dashed back up to Tuscany where it turned bitterly cold. That, and the fact that most campsites had closed for the season, prompted us to call an end to our trip and book the ferry home for three weeks’ time. The rest of Italy was great, particularly the Cinque Terra, but it was good to make it to France and some more relaxed driving. First stop was Monaco, where my ‘hot lap’ was cut short when a policeman stepped out and directed us away from the casino. I’m not sure if his job is to prevent tourists driving the course or whether he just thought we looked too poor to be allowed in. Either way it was a disappointment. Still, we parked right on the waterfront and walked the lap instead so all

Approach to Etna.


The Pont du Gard.

Disaster,you have to laugh.

was not lost. We drifted west through Cannes and St Tropez before heading inland to Avignon. After a couple of days there we set off for a long driving day, aiming to cover 300 miles into the heart of France. I confess, I was more than a little disappointed when only 30km into our journey, a wheel fell off the van. I’m not exaggerating. We smelled burning and realised the van was filling with smoke. A closer inspection revealed the rear left tyre was leaning at a funny angle, so we jacked the van up… and the entire wheel fell off onto the floor. I’m not sure if this is a known design flaw but I was relieved it wasn’t at the front as the arches there wouldn’t have wedged it in place. Two hours later we found ourselves in a garage being told it couldn’t be fixed – a crucial bolt had lost its thread and would need replacing. The name of the town? Ales – pronounced “Alice” in French, the name of our van. Spooky. As the French only seem to work a couple of hours a day it took a week to find a replacement part. I’m not going to complain too much - there are, after all, worse places to be stranded than the south of France. We finally got the keys at 7pm the day before our

ferry was due to leave. Making it to Roscoff in time for the 2pm departure would be a challenge. Now, 800 miles doesn’t sound too bad if you have to make the journey in a normal car. But Alice isn’t normal and even going flat out it took us 17 hours to get there. We operated a three-stop fuel strategy but otherwise, apart from a midnight omelette, we did the journey without any breaks. And made it with an hour to spare, easy! Alice proved her legendary status yet again and coped with the marathon journey without the slightest tremor. So, that’s it. 13000 miles, six months and twenty countries later we were back on home soil. Thanks to everyone we met on the trip who helped make it such an amazing journey. We hope you’ve enjoyed these little snapshots of our adventures. More stories and pictures can be found at If there’s any way you can escape normal life for a bit then go for it. Europe is an amazing place, at times confusing, often familiar, often bizarre, but always a lot of fun. Until next time, Bye (/Ciao/Arrivaderci/Au revoir/Auf Wiedersehen, etc) issue thirty eight |



Windows on all three sides (and an opening rear one) round dinette seating hint at the caravan design heritage.


urgens was a successful caravan and motor caravan manufacturer, based in the Transvaal which, in 1973, designed and built their first conversion on the VW base – The Jurgens Autovilla. When the director of the German Karmann Karosserie visited South Africa in the early 70s he was so impressed with the design and fitments he negotiated with Jurgens for the rights to build a similar vehicle in Europe – and the Karmann Coachbuilt VW Camper was born. The Bay versions carried the name Karman Mobil and did not feature the Jurgens style of Luton Top sleeping area over the cab but, with the introduction of the T3 platform, Karmann redesigned the shape to incorporate this idea and the Karmann Gipsy arrived. The rest is history... Whilst Gipsies are becoming more 42 | November 2008



CAMPING SOUTH AFRICAN STYLE Text: David Photography: Julian Hunt

“This is South Africa’s most unusual vehicle; a combination of car and caravan and a touring vehicle par excellence. It is not everyone’s idea of motoring, especially given its price, but as a specialised vehicle in a specialised field it is a world beater.” Car South Africa. frequently seen on the VW scene, their Jurgens counterpart is a very rare model over here. This particular version has just been imported by Andy Maxwell and though it no longer has the very desirable Jurgens crest logo’d original china, glass and cutlery, it is in super condition both body and interior wise. Built on Jan 1st 1982, it still featured the about to be replaced 2 litre air cooled engine. It has spent most of its life in the Cape T own area, covering about 70,000 miles over the next 25 years. According to the last owner it had been formerly owned by a professional photographer and amongst its uses it had been a mobile dressing room for models on fashion shoots. He also camped in it outside the gates of Pollesmore Prison in the days leading up to issue thirty eight |


T3 JURGENS The Jurgens was designed for a very the release of Nelson Mandela in order to try being driven on salted roads, the body and different driving and camping experience chassis is remarkably clean and sound – and get the very first shots of him walking to that of Europe. It had to cope with rough with not even surface rust on the brake to freedom and history in the making. roads and long distances travelling in the pipes! The wheels had been changed at Andy had been in the motor trade in South wilderness, hence the fitting of two 56 some point and Andy has subsequently Africa for 20 years before returning to settle litre fuel tanks at either side of the engine resprayed them and added new centre caps. in England and had fallen in love with the and the inclusion of four 10 litre water Despite a panic at the docks when it was luxury and comfort offered by the Jurgens bottles. Because of the when the family had hired “It had to cope with rough roads and long distances lack of facilities to support one to tour round in, so when he spotted this for sale travelling in the wilderness, hence the fitting of two touring, the interior had to be as spacious and self on the Gumtree website, he arranged to purchase it, 56 litre fuel tanks at either side of the engine and the sufficient as possible, and, as it was geared to the top using his long time friend inclusion of four 10 litre water bottles” end market, it also had Robbi Tripp, who owns a to have all mod cons! The most obvious unloaded only to find it locked with the keys Mercedes dealership in Capetown, to make luxury feature is the bathroom – a self still in Cape Town, the import went smoothly all the arrangements. Robbi arranged the contained area complete with fold down and for its MOT only needed new wiper purchase and shipping and even had the sink, shower and chemical toilet. (BWB – blades, a new headlight and a set of front discs van serviced and tidied up. “Buses with Bathrooms” is a fast growing and pads. Apart from replacing the cab decals Being a South African bus it is a RHD band of dedicated VW enthusiasts!). A Andy has had very little else to do to the van. model and, having never had to endure The well appointed kitchen features a microwave oven as well as fridge, hob and sink.

Your very own private bathroom – how useful would that be at shows!

The bathroom features a folding sink with pump shower tap.

A Springbok door covering is homage to the bus’s origins. Long arm side mirrors are fitted to see past the overhanging sides.

The cab is in super clean condition and being South African this Coachbuilt is RHD!

The original Jurgens Crest footwell mat is still with the vehicle.

44 | November 2008


This is camping in comfort!

U shaped settee style seating at the rear lays out to form a huge double bed.

bed area, accessed by a ladder, is sited in the Luton Top over the cab whilst the U shaped dinette seating / settee at the rear can be laid out as double or single beds. The kitchen area features another sink and twin hob / grill, fridge and even a microwave oven! Roller blinds and flyscreens are fitted to all windows and the rear window opens for extra ventilation. A pull out sun canopy (resembling a rocket launcher) and carpeting were also standard. Andy comments, “The interior is very spacious – I am 6ft tall and can move about without looking like Quasimodo and it’s great for entertaining inside and out. With the canopy out you can have a barbi or some beers without feeling hemmed in. And I have found it easy to drive with good visibility (the back window is very useful) and even a tight turning circle!” Although Andy loves the bus his major reason for importing it was to utilise money still tied up in South Africa and thus it is now up for sale. Whilst we don’t usually run features that could be seen as advertising, this bus is rare, unusual, and a very important part of the VW Camper story that needed to be told. And, given its history, if it could speak just think of the stories it could tell...which will doubtless be added to with its new owners. issue thirty eight |


Please mention VW Camper and Commercial when responding to adverts

Please mention VW Camper and Commercial when responding to adverts



Two of the show winning buses (T4 and T5 Classes) at Camperjam this year showcased lovely interiors built by a fairly new company – South West Camper Conversions, based at Bideford in Devon. They specialise in hand built interiors for the T4 and T5 base, offering two layouts using 3/4 or full width rear seat / bed that not only look the business but also are more practical and roomy than many bespoke or factory conversions.


he company was set up by Colin Humphrey, who has been around VW buses since his parents bought a Westfalia camper back in 1976, when he was just four years old. The family ran this for the next 23 years as their only vehicle and used it on every holiday. After running several Bays of his own, Colin progressed to a T4, as well as travelling Europe and Australia with friends in self built campers. Using his experiences and knowledge Colin decided to set up his own business converting T4’s, saying, “I have always felt that there were improvements on the way other manufacturers choose to build and layout their furniture and started initially trading from a Barn in mid Devon, where we were soon producing a good, insurance recognised, product, and, seeing a gap in the market decided to include T5 conversions.” 48 | November 2008

He was joined in the venture by Kerry Cantwell, who restored his first Beetle at 16 and by 17 had his first Bus. Kerry had run his own VW garage in Essex, owning just about every kind of air cooled VW over the years, before deciding to relocate to Devon. Driven by passion and enthusiasm, coupled pular with wood is very po l. with design and build skills they quickly The light beecha retro - modern look and fee those wanting developed a reputation for quality work. Such was the demand for their interior conversions that, at the beginning of this year, they moved to a brand new custom built workshop in Bideford. They offer a variety of interior routes, from buying furniture or complete interiors to fit yourself to part build conversions doing all the electrics and fiddly stuff or fitting elevating roofs and side windows, right through to a full on fit out. Given the price of a T5 California or Bilbo, the idea of taking in a Panel Van (with the sliding door on the proper side for RHD)

to have transformed into a stylish, modern camper is one fast growing in popularity! There is also even a full kitchen pod which can be supplied from a cupboard with the potential to add appliances later up to full hob, sink, compressor fridge and light to put straight into a Split, Bay or T3. The finish of the all units is classy with options of wood look, or the silvers and greys as used on the California. One of the most interesting fitments they offer is the RIB rear seat system, which offers an NCAP tested 3 point harness rear seating system as well providing a flat bed. They have also just developed this seat to incorporate an ISOFIX for keeping the little ones safe. Most conversions out there only have two seat belts in the rear but the RIB option gives

opportunity for 3 passengers in the rear meaning the potential to carry and sleep 6. Drawing on years of sleeping on a cab bunk in his parent’s Westy they also now offer a cab bunk for the T4 or T5. Colin adds, “We have always run an open door policy for customers so if you would like to pop in and see how we fit elevating roofs or see how we make side units or behind seat units we are always happy. We will also happily demonstrate how everything works and fits. We are open most Saturdays unless we’re at shows, where we’re will still be happy to answer questions or let you poke around our own vans.” See the web site or call them on 01237 423399 for more information.

Very few interior conversions offer seating with 3 point harnesses for three in the rear. The RIB seating system is arguably one of the best around for T4 and T5 post factory fitting.

This layout features the ¾ seat / bed and follows the conventional layout pioneered by Devon of units under the side windows. The grey and silver finish provides a contemporary classic styling touch.

issue thirty eight |



LUSCIOUS LAVENHAM Text: David Photography: Cee

When Malcolm Hawkings, Adrian Chalmers, Barclay Stainton and Rob Amos were soaking up the international vintage VW vibe at Hessich three years ago, they got round to talking about how good it would be to have something similar back in the UK. Well dreams can become reality, as the inaugural UK Vintage VW proved at Lavenham last June.


ith a lot of hard work and dedication these four, along with willing partners and friends, pulled off what was one of the highlights of the 2008 show scene. They wanted to recreate the vibe of vintage VWs in a historic town centre setting and chose Lavenham for its beautiful Tudor buildings, historic town status and access to European ferry terminals at Harwich and Hull. Despite some initial upset in some quarters at the strict vehicle display / participant rules (no lowered cars or buses, stock wheels and strictly pre 67 only), this show set out to deliver what Bad Camberg used to – just hardcore, stock, vintage 50 | November 2008

The D window Beetles were on show in the schoolyard.

Tony Best’s fully original 64 Flipseat Westy has all the original goodies like bucket toilet, washbowl and water carriers with maker’s decals and folding camp chairs.

The oldest bus present was this lovely 1951 Dove Blue Panel van, which had travelled over with a contingent of vintage VWs from France.

This rare 67 SO44, with even rarer option of factory fitted Martin Walter roof, had travelled over from Germany.

More stock Beetles than you can shake a stick at! Look and weep!

Unfortunately none of the VW memorabilia on display was for sale!

Three immaculate Hebmullers show off their flowing curves.

“Some of the best stock buses from the UK and Europe were on show in the market square, along with Cabriolets, KDF Beetles, Hebmullers, Fastbacks, Ghias, Ovals and Standards – a veritable buffer’s paradise.”

vehicles and rare models. The early bus community responded enthusiastically and some of the best stock buses from the UK and Europe were on show in the market square, along with Cabriolets, KDF Beetles, Hebmullers, Fastbacks, Ghias, Ovals and Standards – a veritable buffer’s paradise. Such was the lure and promise of the show that Russ Dowson finally finished the 25

(yes 25!) year restoration of his Single Cab just in time to debut! The show was also blessed with one of the best weekends of the whole summer with blazing sun and blue skies (remember them?) and the town had taken the show to heart, with shops even sporting VW window displays (like Hessich and Camberg) and there were also separate Beetle displays in the schoolyard and Lavenham

Press works. A lively VW parking field, with trade area, had been set aside for all those owners who wanted to savour the atmosphere, enjoy the displays and setting, and also show off their own pride and joy, and with over 200 parked up became like a show within a show! In keeping with the European tradition, display participants attended a meal and entertainment in the village hall on Saturday evening, with good old British Bangers and Mash on the menu and desirable VW models mounted on hubcaps as table decorations. The event closed on the Sunday with a cruise through winding Suffolk lanes attended by over 50 vintage VWs. It will be four years till the next Lavenham – don’t miss it! issue thirty eight |


BROCHURE-LINE Carefully posed shot depicts the benefits owners of a Westfalia might experience

Cream of the

Campers Text Richard Copping

It’s Camper time, but no ordinary run-of-the-mill brochures get an airing to set the ball rolling. Whisper late 1950s/early 1960s and Westfalia Deluxe Equipment and say no more.


hose taking an avid interest in the brochure column by now must have realised that there’s a master plan. Cater for all ages of vehicle, decreed the editor. So, having gone from Splitty, to Bay, to Wedge, here we are again with the first generation – but in Camper guise. Taking a chance, we are going to linger a little too! For the two brochures depicted here are the crème de la crème as far as avid collectors go. Hen’s teeth and rocking horse droppings both 52 | November 2008

spring to mind. If you can get your hands on one there’s unlikely to be any change out of £100. Next time we’ll add in the third equally desirable member of the trio. For background info, everybody knows that Volkswagen and Westfalia rapidly developed a special relationship in the 1950s. Here was a loose union that would afford the camping specialists previews of new models to help them stay ahead of the game, more than semi official recognition as an integral part of Volkswagen’s extended

It might be plain blue, but this equally contrived cover is decidedly clever. Not only is the interior of the Camper visible, but also those useful Safari windows are portrayed

Red and black plaid, oval or half-round doors and a general feeling of quality – all characteristics of the Westfalia Camper with Deluxe Equipment

family of models, and as a consequence great increases in demand for its products. Above all it took Westfalia to the lucrative American market. The late 1950s and early 1960s saw the production of two brochures for the American market to promote a ‘Camper’ with Deluxe Equipment, which in reality was the SO23. (OK, so you’ll already know that SO stands for Sonderausfühungren, roughly meaning special body conversion, and equally applicable to both a Westfalia conversion and a straightforward add-on to a commercial.) Both brochure covers feature carefully staged shots demonstrating the get-awayfrom-it-all lifestyle a camper might offer. That they are for the American market can be detected via the towel rail style two-tier bumpers, and if you really know your model history, the bullet indicators that arrived in America in 1955 but only made their debut in Europe for the ‘61 model year. However,

what isn’t apparent is that one print is later than the other. Note the safari windows – that’s option M113, a nice touch to add to a Camper, even if the paintwork shown isn’t a highly desirable two colour option, but instead apparently the more workmanlike shade of Dove Blue. That this is later than the other can be deduced by something as simple as brake-horse-power. The inside of the brochures might be more-or-less identical, but one vehicle is endowed with a 36bhp SAE engine, while the other musters 40bhp SAE. To us that translates as 30 and 34bhp respectively, with the changeover coming to all in the summer of 1960. As for the interior, this was the era of red and black plaid, while the fittings were completed in wood finish plywood veneer, and featured oval or half-round doors complete with metal edging. We’ll look at the interior as described in the brochures in greater detail next time, adding the next generation SO34 in for good measure. issue thirty eight |


The bus in its original Neptune Blue paint


Text: David Photography: David and Julian Hunt

Most shows and events have the usual overpriced burgers, sausages and chips, OK for a quick refuel but hardly a healthy (or tasty) option. Steve Bell, of Cookin’ Camper, has come up with something very different, cooking up amazing meals using fresh ingredients from his Bay Microbus, adding a new dimension and meaning to Show Food.


ood has always been a passion for Steve and travelling through Vietnam, Brazil, and Morocco, amongst other countries, showed him that street food or ‘fast’ food in these countries is fresh, delicious and good for you i.e. fast food need not equate to junk food! After years working in the leisure industry Steve decided it was time to try something new that would be personally satisfying. He’d always wanted a VW Camper, and loves Bays in particular,

54 | November 2008

so last year took the plunge, bought a bus, kitted it out and Cookin’ Camper was born. The bus is a 1975 Microbus imported from Sweden and sourced from Graham and the team at FBI in Swansea. Finished in Neptune Blue, the bus was fairly sound and though the middle seat was missing it was not an issue as Steve wanted to refit the interior anyway. He got the FBI team to go through the bus and, to make for a distinctive new look, opted to have the bus repainted in red and cream from the VW palette, with the usual two tone

scheme reversed making for a striking classic look. Echoing the colours of the Welsh flag and Steve’s heritage, the signwriting has been finished in green. The kitchen interior was then scratch built using equipment from a variety of sources such as catering suppliers, eBay, Homebase and IKEA! A matching red awning houses the actual cooking and food preparation areas. Steve’s meals use locally sourced ingredients wherever possible and we can personally vouch for the taste and quality of what he cooks up. Organic meat comes direct from a local farm and veg is as seasonal and local as it possible. The menus focus on straightforward food such as, meatballs, chilli, homemade soups and stews with breakfast, lunch and dinner

at FBI.


new livery. paint shop in its Fresh from the

options that change each day meaning you get to try different foods over a weekend. Importantly (especially for us!) there is always a ‘non meat’ option and Steve says it is interesting that if you don’t use the word ‘vegetarian’, then vegetable dishes seem to appeal equally to carnivores. Homemade cakes are proving extremely popular, as are the puddings such apple crumble and custard, treacle tart and custard etc. In the main dishes are cooked fresh on the day. Steve also uses wild ingredients such as nettles and wild garlic for his own soups whilst tea and coffee are Fairtrade and pots, cups and cutlery are biodegradable, making the whole business as green as possible. Future plans include the long term dream of a fleet of ‘Cookys’ (a very appropriate bus

nickname) travelling the country, but in the short term Steve’s aim is to develop the private party side of the business catering for weddings (several people have shown interest at the shows) birthdays etc and currently he is in the process of getting the ‘office lunch’ side of the business up and running ready for the winter months. A book of the first year, complete with recipes, is hopefully going to written and a new kitchen trailer, built out of the back of a beetle, by Dave and Sam at Celtic Soul will (cash willing) grace the awning in 2009. Meanwhile there are new recipes to develop for the 2009 show season... Steve says, “I used to imagine what the business would be like, driving the country in my pride and joy, cooking and meeting great people and I seem to have got it

spot on. I’ve made great friends, gained regular customers, had some fantastic conversations, laughed more at work that I have done for years, listened to some top music (Kayla K and Druids Brew in particular) and generally had a fantastic summer. The non VW shows have been great too, from the Green man Festival at Clun to the Priddy Sheep Fair in Somerset.” The original 1800 engine has covered 3500 miles since April and the only problem has been cured with a new rotor arm, distributor cap and set of points. Not bad for a 30 year old bus that is still working for a living! For more information about where Steve will be trading or how to get him along to an event or similar out or contact him on 07894 110937 or

issue thirty eight |


;DG H6A:

'/.(LebaimW][d @kh][di7kjel_bbW Recently imported from South Africa,70,000 miles, 3 owners, new MOT, tax for six months, a superb none rusty example, one of only two T25 in the UK. Featured in this months VW Camper mag. Own a rare classic.


Contact andy on 07802 368678 anytime or 01959 564372.

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Buses With Attitude

Take a big engine, an old VW bus and a drag strip and you’re guaranteed some fun, but just how fast is it possible to make an old bus, with the aerodynamic qualities of a brick, go? Well, one of the fastest buses we have here in the UK, and a member of the UK’s Buses With Attitude has run a standing start ¼ mile in 13.625 seconds and when you consider that is the same as an ‘89 Porsche 911 Turbo, which does 0-60mph in 5.1 seconds, it all starts to sound rather interesting. Rikki James takes up the story of how the BWA came to be, what they have been up to, and where they are heading…. Words: Rikki James & Julian Hunt Photography: Julian Hunt

BWA V USB Simon Knief lines up against Shane Rae

No fancy computers here!

58 | November 2008


Ed Skellet’s 1958 ‘Jiffy’ Panel 2056cc


ay back in the summer of 1999 a group of avid bus enthusiasts were trucking across Europe in their buses, heading home from the Bad Camberg vintage VW show held in Germany. The group which included Rikki James, Ben Lawrence, Alan Scott, Richard Morana, Adrian Farquarson and Julian Hunt broke the journey up by stopping over at a camp site for the night at a place called Sevenum in the Netherlands. While chatting around an open fire that evening, the topic of fast buses came up and with it the idea of creating a special racing bus club, lots of names for this new club were discussed and thrown around and eventually a name for the club was agreed, BWA, Buses With Attitude. Back then bus racing was not taken too seriously as there weren’t too many particularly quick buses on the scene, let alone buses that raced, it was the Beetles that were in the lime light on the track and always had been, but things were about to change! The idea of racing heavy buses was ridiculous and had never been done; this was part of the reason why the club had to be formed!


Rikki James’ 1954 Deluxe 2.6 Type 4

Adrian Aubrey’s racing mascot


Chez’s 1953 Barndoor 2054cc

issue thirty eight |



The six founder members of the club initially decided that in order to qualify for BWA it was required you run a sub 20 second quarter mile in your bus, however this proved to be a bit too easy and would have made the club too big too soon, consequently the qualifying time was lowered to 18 seconds, where it stands to this day. Other rules made on that evening in the Netherlands were that the bus has to be a Volkswagen Split Screen, it has to have a flat four air cooled engine of VW origin, and as all founder members were active members of the Split Screen Van Club it was decided that being a member of the Split Screen Van Club was obligatory. Finally, all new member’s qualifying sub 18 second runs have to be witnessed by one of the founder members. Over the next few years a few buses could be seen racing at various drag strips across the country, however none of this was official BWA racing and it was few and far between. In fact it was a rare thing indeed to see two split screen buses racing together like we are so accustomed to now. Eventually in July 2002 the Buses With Attitude Club was launched at Bug Jam, now for the first time in the VW show scene here in the UK (or the world for that matter), you could see pairs of Split Screen buses tearing up the strip one after another. This was something new that struck the hearts of the VW drag racing spectators across the nation. Slowly but surely more buses began to turn up to the VW shows that were based around a drag strip. Although not all were running the required

“It was required you run a sub 20 second quarter mile in your bus, however this proved to be a bit too easy and would have made the club too big too soon, consequently the qualifying time was lowered to 18 seconds

Lee Bishop’s Hi Top ran a storming 15.8 despite its un-aerodynamic shape!

sub 18 second quarter mile to join the club, neverthe less they were getting a taster for bus racing and the spectators were loving it. Since the official launch of the club back in 2002, at Bug Jam, BWA has grown at a steady pace. Inevitably the average race times are gradually coming down, as engine technology improves and the mass production of performance engine parts means they are more readily available; this has had a knock on effect reducing cost. The club intends to be present and

participate at as many of the VW race meetings throughout the show season as possible, including mainland Europe, and also incorporating demo’s at some none VW events. For more information about the club and to visit the club web site please visit In the next issue we hook up with the relatively new USB club who are the ‘Ultimate Street Bays’ the post 67 sister club to BWA.

Founder member Scotty’s 53 Barndoor Kombi is a very rare model as this was the first year for the RHD option.

Chez’s Barndoor getting ready for the green light

60 | November 2008



Abi Tether’s 1965 21 Window Deluxe 2366cc type 4

David Simpkin’s 1961 15 Window Deluxe JMR 2110cc


(and qualifying dates)

2002 Rikki James

1954 Daeluxe 2.6 Type 4 with 16.4 (Bug Jam)

Jim Merrin

1958 Deluxe 1900cc Type 1 Turbo with 17.01 (Bug Jam)

2003 Bob Van Heyst


(BBT) 1958 Limo Bus 2.3 Type 1 with 18.68 (Big Bang)

James Holman’s 1964 panel 2366cc type 4


Adrian Aubrey’s 1964 RHD 21 Window Deluxe 2056cc type 4


1957 Deluxe 2.4 Type 4 with 16.946 (Big Bang)

John Neal

1964 Crew Cab 2.4 Type 4 with 16.1 (Big Bang)

Darren Nutting (dasnut)

1961 Panel 2276cc Type 1 with 16.1 (Big Bang)

Steven Jenkinson

1967 Camper 2.0 Type 4 NOS with 14.8 (York May)

2004 Andy Carroll

1954 Deluxe 2007cc type 1 Turbo with 16.4 (Big Bang)

Steve ‘Retro’ Walker

1962 Deluxe 2.4 type 4 with 15.4 (York Raceway)

Dan Buzzo

1965 Deluxe 2.3 with 15.11 (Flame and Thunder Santa Pod)


Andrew Beeson’s 1957 Kombi 2110cc


Lee Bishop’s 1964 Hi-Top 2332cc type 1

2005 Chris Lambourne

1962 Devon 2007cc type 1 Turbo with 15.4 (RWYB Santa Pod)

Mark Prosser

1967 Single Cab 2198cc type 1 with 14.6

Ben Jones

1967 13 Window 2332cc type 1 with 17.1 (now 15.92 @ Big Bang 2006)

Paul Fautley

1966 Camper 2056 cc type 4 with 17.4

Darren Bond

1960 Single Cab 2276 cc type 1 with 16.7


1958 Microbus 2007cc type 1 with 17.988 (Bug Jam)

Paul Maile


Ben ‘Jammin’ Moore’s 1962 Panel 2007cc


Michael Cooper’s 1964 11 Window Devon 2276cc

1967 Walkthrough 2332cc type 1 with 17.1

2006 Jukka Aalto

1960 Panel 2387cc type 1 with 13.625

Abi Tether

1965 21 Window Deluxe 2366cc type 4 with 17.04

Nigel Isted

1965 Devon 1914cc type 1 with 17.8

Iain Strachan

1955 11 Window 2056cc with 17.05

Ben ‘Jammin’ Moore

1962 Panel 2007cc with 17.1

2007 Andrew Beeson

1957 Kombi 2110cc with 16.76


Paul Utting’s 1959 23 Window Deluxe 2276cc EFI Turbo

Simon Knief

1965 Walk thru Panel 2332cc type 1 with 16.8

Lawrence Gibbons

59 Mango 2276cc type1 with 16.02

Jenni Gemmill

1966 Walkthrough 2110cc type 1 with 17.281


1956 11 Window 2.4 type 4 with 15.3

Ed Skellet

1958 ‘Jiffy’ Panel 2056cc with 15.3

Andrew Pye

1965 13 Window Deluxe 2057cc type1 with 17.29

Adrian Aubrey

1964 RHD 21 Window Deluxe 2056cc type 4 with 17.6


1956 Microbus 2276cc with 17.9

James Holman

1964 panel 2366cc type 4 with 16.4


Simon Knief’s 1965 Walk thru Panel 2332cc type 1

Paul Utting

1959 23 Window Deluxe 2276cc EFI Turbo with 15.7

2008 ‘Chez’

1953 Barndoor 2054cc with 17.932

David Simpkin

1961 15 Window Deluxe JMR 2110cc with 17.4

Lee Bishop

1964 Hi-Top 2332cc type 1 with 15.8

Michael Cooper

1964 11 Window Devon 2276cc with 17.4

Jerome Timbrell

1963 23 Window Deluxe 2161cc with 17.7337

Charlie Loomes

1966 13 Window Deluxe 2.4 type 4 with 16.4027

issue thirty eight |




r lüte Sch tian s i r : Ch phy gra oto h p d t an Tex

008 2 n e reff T r ne ock l g ß Gro

ing out ly, s u u lit b last J ulli p S B e l nua k plac ed 200 limbs n a o c bi – lps to ho join teep limits. s u s A o w e fam strian bers, ins and s to th h t u n e m p A e e hair bus sev the C m d The p into y SSV igating heir ol u ed b nav t g in testin nd atte wners o

On the first day the convoy climbed to Lucknerhaus (1920 metres in altitude) for a stunning photo opportunity.

ntains make The rugged Alpine mou

kdrop. for a magnificent bac


hristian Schlüter who joined in along with Bullis from VW’s new Oldtimer rolling museum, a 67 Fire Truck, 63 Samba and 1965 sub hatch Westfalia S0 33 (factory fitted camping Mosaic Kit), takes up the story …“In wonderful sunshine we arrived on Friday in the peaceful Osttiroler alpine village of Kals, nestling at the foot of the 3,798 metre high Großglockner Bullis take over the parking platz at the summit.

VW’s own 63 Samba can be seen on the right sporting its Oldtimer logo.

62 | November 2008

mountains. The cordial reception at show from the Truck of Porsche Austria set the scene for a family Bulli meeting. A parking lot was kept free exclusively for us T1 drivers and the whole village worked like a dream world - everywhere Bullis! Since the Bulli was not built just to look at however, in the late afternoon we set off in convoy to the Lucknerhaus 1920 metres above sea level. What a photo opportunity that was with 200 Bullis before a dream backdrop. Even a camera team of the Austrian television

participated! After driving downhill, testing nerves and brakes, we made our way into the music pavilion of the village of Kals for beers and a barbecue. Some people partied on past midnight despite the arduous drive waiting the next day. Saturday dawned with a violent thunderstorm raging over the valley – not a good omen! Fortunately the sun showed up again in time for the convoy. After meandering through wet Alpine meadows with jagged peaks gazing down at us we started the climb up the Nasfeld Pass, which reaches 1530 metres at its summit. Hairpin after hairpin saw us climbing 900

An original signwritten panel and Samba with matching Westy trailer soak up the view.

The head of the Nasfeld Pass at 1530 metres above sea level.

Alpine villages cling to mountain sides on the tortuous climb to the Nasfeld Pass.

The UK group celebrate their success!

Graham and Anne Dean from the UK had no problem on the climbs and descents with their big motor and special brakes! Party time at the top of the Nasfeld Pass! Our rare SO 33 Camping Mosaic Westy looks on enviously!

meters over 24 kilometers! All the trusty air cooled Bullis performed superbly and when we arrived at the top a large buffet was waiting for us! Refreshed and exhilarated, we then began the return descent. The group from England was awarded the long distance award having travelled more than 1,000 kilometres to meet up with us and they assured us their experiences were worth each litre of gasoline. So it came as no surprise when the dates for the 2010 trip were announced that everyone cheered and clapped. Get your Bulli ready and come and join us in 2010 on the drive of a lifetime! Sambas stop for a scenic photoshoot.

“we started the climb up the Nasfeld Pass, which reaches 1530 metres at its summit. Hairpin after hairpin saw us climbing 1530 meters over 24 kilometers! All the trusty air cooled Bullis performed superbly� issue thirty eight |


Gasure.UK Specialist LPG Conversions for Air-Cooled and Water-Cooled Dubs G Insurance approved G All equipment matched and certified to ECE 67.01 G Tanks to suit most applications, vertical torroidal to replace

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Unit 32, Evans Business Park, Chester West Employment Park, Minerva Avenue, Sovereign Way, Chester CH1 4QL Tel/Fax: 01244 389344 Ask for Steve Email:

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Profile for David Gamble

Volkswagen Camper and Commercial  

The UK's finest magazine dedicated to the Volkswagen Camper Bus and Van. A beautiful colour coded custom camper with a stunning interior; a...

Volkswagen Camper and Commercial  

The UK's finest magazine dedicated to the Volkswagen Camper Bus and Van. A beautiful colour coded custom camper with a stunning interior; a...