Italy 2012

T-shirt LogoCharlotte has been work overtime on a logo for our trip and I thinks she's done a cracking job!

Along with the logo we've been taking some photos on the build up and preparation of our buses.

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Andy's '62

Looking Good!As you can see from the picture opposite, the restoration of Andy's '62 is in full swing with panels being lined up ready and tacked in place ready for welding.

The photos in the gallery will give you an insight into just how rotten this puppy is!

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British Volkswagen Festival 2011

1st July 2011 Katie’s 17th Birthday

It was a case of cliché reversal and out with the new and in with the old as we attended BVF in our new bus (“Reckless”).

Reckless Resto!It had been quite a hectic few weeks prior to the show getting all the bits and pieces that constituted in essence an SO42 and piecing them together. However, come the day of the festival and after assistance from Phil to get some electrical pieces sorted we were off to BVF! Minus the shower, toilet, central heating, satellite television, double glazing, kitchen, bunk beds, king size bed etc……… but most of all minus 130bhp!

We set off just after four with five souls on board and raced along the M4 and were soon heading up the M5 at a steady 50mph and at 45mph every time we were sucked backwards by an overtaking articulated lorry. The motorway seemed to meander gracefully up till the point I realised the motorway was straight and the bus was meandering away. Following Phil’s advice I tried not to over correct the bus and soon the miles were flying by. We stopped at Michael Wood services for a quick break and to check all was well with the bus. This also gave Cinz in the Sk**a a chance to catch up which she duly did after a few miles after we rejoined the Motorway. We were all having great fun with the new stereo playing merry tunes and the road passing by under the accelerator pedal where there is a grommet missing.

Reckless and the Big Top!Cinz soon got bored waiting for us and sped off at a giddy 70mph to join the rest of the world in their need for speed. We caught up with Cinz at the end of our motorway journey after she had waited two days for us to arrive. We then proceeded in convoy to the showground with Cinz instigating a small weave in the Sk**a which really looked like a badly driven SO42 as the sk**a didn’t count.

We arrived at the showground and Phil pointed us to our spot. In no time at all it seemed we were back home with all the usual friendly faces of the No-Ideas clan. We quickly erected our sun shade much to the merriment of those around as it did resemble a circus tent! Circus tent or not the shade it gave became invaluable as the temperatures began to soar. The bus stayed nice and cool and was a great place to sit and chill.

We had a quick wander around some of the stalls that were open followed by an evening meal of chilli cooked by Chinz and Charlotte. There was the usual round of chips cooked by Pete in his magical Dutch stove and a birthday cake, candles and singing for Katie.

Daytime EntertainmentThe funfair was next with Elliot finally tall enough to be officially scared on the rides and even being allowed the privilege of paying for it. Lily and Charlotte joined him on his first ride on the scare-omatic which saw Elliot sinking under centrifugal force and almost sliding under the safety bar. We then rejoined the other happy campers for beer, wine and camaraderie around Petes brazier.

The next day the festival started properly with all the usual attractions. The trader stalls were not as plentiful as Vanfest and some of the bigger suppliers were not there or only sent a small contingent however, as newcomers to the world of Volkswagen ownership we probably didn’t miss anything as we are not quite sure what we are looking at unless it has a label. We can say there were plenty of buses, cars and variations to look at and gain inspiration from.

BBQ Heaven or HellThe evening started with what must have seemed like a barbeque cook off, complete with meats of all description suffering from various states of culinary ineptitude. We started our meal later as Emma and Katie had gone on the “Runfart” in an extremely rare semi automatic beetle with a lady called Antika? Having returned to the site and the assembled chefs in line with their varying array of barbecues we had a pleasant meal followed immediately with Pete handing out more of his vunderbar chips. Following the mad mix of greasy food it was off to the fair again for more fun on the rides. Logic dictates that this is not a good move following the meal but all went well with no further additions to the already bright colour scheme on the rides.

Elliot and EleanorAnother evening followed around the fire with the senior members recounting days gone by and how much fun it was before kids. Talking of kids we had lots of children in our group and it was great to see them all join in the fun and enjoy exciting times together re-enacting the storming of Omaha beach with their assembled weaponry. It was quite obvious to us as BVF newbies that it is a more family orientated event than Vanfest and we enjoyed the atmosphere that purveyed.

It was great to see that Phil was in great humour and was merciless in his ribbing of all present, singling out Jaz’s hair no more than twenty times. All in all a great atmosphere was present with everyone enjoying each others company and the fabulous weather.

BVF Special Display organised by the VWOCGBThe following day was spent looking and the stalls with Emma and Katie buying suitcases and stickers and having fun “ratting” their new luggage. We went and saw the special vehicle displays which had the only other SO42 we saw all weekend. It had featured recently on VW’s commercial vehicle ad on the telly and was almost as good as our bus.

In the early afternoon we were joined by Theresa, Giordano and family who had a wander round the festival before it was time to go home (where did the time go). We left around five and headed in convoy (Emma & David, Lee, Chinz & Phil and Theresa & Giordano) for the Air Balloon Pub for a nice meal to round off the weekend.

It was still very warm and “Reckless” was beginning to warm up nicely. It was just as the temperature was beginning to get a tad too warm when we encountered Birdlip Hill. The bus was doing well as Phil seemed to pull away up the hill and then, as we reached the summit the bus started to gain ground on Phil and I slowed down to fall in behind. The bus did not appreciate this and the temperature soared to 250 oF. The lesson we learned from Phil was that on hills it’s a free for all (so long as you know where you are going!). After a hearty meal (Yorkshires aside) we set off again. Then it happened. On the hill leading from the pub we overtook someone!! It was our first overtake and we were flying at almost 35mph, the 40 ton truck didn’t stand a chance.

We followed this with a pleasant drive through the countryside and Cirencester town centre, ending up on the dual carriageway in to Chippenham where the others slowed down to let us take the lead and weave back to our house.

All in all a great weekend and first outing for “Reckless” . Made better by superb company and Petes Chips!

Dub-reporters: Dave & Emma, Katie, Lily, Elliot & Reckless

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Proper West Country!

Some video footage of whats left of Cinzia's beetle after Phil, Andy and Dale set about stripping her down!

The west country accent is there for effect, of course, and not how I really sound! I hope. ;-)

Aircooled Classics

"Aircooled Classics, a magazine devoted to aircooled Volkswagens and Porsches models of all types, is a 150 plus page magazine with a distinctive twist. It has been put together with your PC, laptop or iPad in mind, so it's easy to read and the content is well balanced between VW & Porsche. It has contributors from all corners of the globe and each is as enthusiastic as the next when it comes to aircooled classics."

At first glance the offerings are clear and concise with articles from around the world including tech tips and the usual spattering of trailer queens and their history.

Take a look inside....

Cinzia's Beetle

Body and Floorpan separated!As you can see from the picture opposite, the restoration of Cinzia's '64 has started in earnest with the strip down and eventual separation of the floorpan and body taking place over the May Bank Holiday.

Initial investigations show the usual rot in the usual places, with some rather interesting "restoration" techniques being applied in the past.  An example of which were the several angle brackets welded along the heater channels, both sides, then self-tapped to the floorpan in an attempt to stop the two from separating!

Other interesting restoration works included the use of rubber seam sealer to repair areas that "didnt need welding" and the use of sound deadening to cover holes from prying eyes.

Anyway, with the easy bit out of the way, the parts search can begin for the extensive list of body panels and running gear that'll need replacing over the coming months.  Wish us luck and stay tuned for regular updates!

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Cruise To The Prom 2011

CTTP 2011With this years April being the warmest on record we decided to make the most of the unseasonably nice weather, dig out the bucket and spade and head to the beach for the 2011 Cruise to the Prom.

So with the Van loaded with various beach toys, picnic and kids safely strapped in we headed on our journey West. First stop, to meet up with the guys n girls from the Wilts VW Club at Leigh Delamere. It’s a cruise after all!! A good turnout of around 30 various VW’s spilled out into the slow lane and trudged it’s way towards Weston. Bringing with it the common window licking and head craning response from passing passengers! Several waves and photos later, with the kids Mulberry Bush CD beginning to wear thin we eventually rolled onto the seafront at Weston, with it’s swanky, shiny new Pier gleaming in the morning sun.

£5 handed over we all parked up in usual VW show style, that being that you’d be lucky if you could get a fag paper between us and the bus next door! No parent and toddler parking for us! It’s a shame the organiser didn’t let us (Wilts VW group) all park together but we were close enough.

So Buggy out, sun-cream on and camera at the ready we strolled up and down, admiring and commenting on the eclectic mix of VW’s that had made the pilgrimage West. Almost every type of VW was represented with old frequently standing alongside new. This was certainly the case for the T5 brigade who were certainly out in force in their blinged up rolling discos. Don’t get me wrong I appreciate the work that’s gone into them but can’t help feeling the only thing we have in common is the VW badge on the front of our vehicles; maybe that’s enough?

After an hour of indulgence with the camera for daddy, lunch was drawing near, so we loaded up the buggy with gastronomic delights, well crisps and sarnies and headed off to sample the shows entertainment; the beach and the new Weston Pier. Which frankly is like any other Pier just newer. Yes, slot machines, crap beer and over priced soggy fish and chips? I know you’re all thinking: that’s what Piers are all about!

ICE CREAM!Our day ended with a visit to the Split screen Ice cream van, which was very cool indeed; literally! We headed back to the van with our Marshfields in hand, catching up with some fellow van owners on the way and reflecting on the day.

Conclusion, a great day out if the weather’s good, you have to make your own entertainment and the cruise is certainly an integral part of the day, so thanks to gang for inviting us along. As for Weston and T5’s, the jury is still out!

Dub-reporter: Lee Hodge!

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Panzer-Bus?Fancy a tank and Bus combined? A liquidation company in Little Rock, California has un-earthed this fantastic species of our beloved bus!

Steered by a strange pedal and lever system, this bus looks like its seen better days.  The previous owners of the bus reckoned it could reach a top speed of 70kmh!

If you fancy a butchers at the ad for this van you can see it on the Vehicle-Liquidator.com website.

Reckon you would turn a few heads when you arrive at Vanfest with this beauty eh?

Source: VW Bulli Website/Newsletter

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Low n' Slow - A Beetle Film from Stephen Brooks on Vimeo.

Dub Finder: Lee Hodge


BeetleHello campers, as you all know we sit around the fire eating Eckley's fare at Vanfest and say 'we should do more of this, and maybe some other shows' so this year Nicki the dogs and I took out a bank loan for the petrol and put our van where our mouths are.

We cruised down the M5 at a respectable 55mph on the Thursday in an effort to miss the Friday rush and arrived without a hitch or missed beat. The show is held on Warren Farm Holiday Centre on the only road there is and over the sea wall from the beach, so even un-signed 'VW show' it was easy to find.
Being only the 2nd van there we chose our spot, set up and hit the beach, followed by the fire pit, manx kippers and a bottle of red which just about set the theme for the next 3 days....

The show itself was very well organised with the normal 'no worries' bonhomie and had everything one expects. The extra day was only £5 a head and dogs gratis and at £25 a head for the rest of the weekend well worth the drive.

Facilitys on site were palatial, everything you can think of plus more, laundry, showers, though these had the feeling of Belsan as the head was in the celing and you put your 50p in outside and sprinted to the cubical before they started. Pub, two takeaways, shops that sold everything we took with us 'just in case' and a cafe for a fry up on Sunday.

Entertainment was on on both nights and again good enough to shake a leg at 'which we did with style' There is a whole raft of things to be done around the show site though the beach is a major bonus with miles of sand and a stone's-throw away.

One for the diary? most definatly, i'd go as far as to say it's worth going even without a show being on.  So now it's back to looking at the rust on the van and thinking about doing it, maybe some nice wheels, or the bigger engine, thats the problem of going to a show......

Dub-reporter: Dale Bettinson!

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