VW Camper & Commercial 106

VW Camper & Commercial 106
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Inspired by the classy vintage VW meetings at Bad Camberg and Hessisch Oldendorf, the Lavenham Show brings together some of the finest, and oldest, unmodified and untampered with pre 1967 classic VWs. Held every four years in the medieval town of Lavenham in Suffolk, the event basically takes over the town and draws visitors from all over the UK as well as Europe. This month’s welcome image only hints at the delights to be found – as well as pre 1957 VWs taking over the main square, a well signed walk took you through the town and into Lavenham Hall, where Karmann Ghias graced the lawns and gardens while the stable yard was packed with 1956 – 63 (small back window) buses and campers. Further on, the sports field had Schwimmwagens, Kubelwagens, post 58 Beetles and an impressive line of 1964 – 67 buses, as well as a trade area where the focus was on parts and scouring autojumble. No big engines, modified running gear, lowering, alloy wheels – the Lavenham show is all about stock and original VWs that are driven, not museum pieces. Maybe not everyone’s cup of tea, but most definitely mine! Torrential rain in the afternoon resulted in a water logged field and the ignominy of our T5 getting stuck and having to be pushed out through mud, but spirits were not dampened and it just added to the atmosphere! It’s good to see an event that focuses on vehicles not entertainments, and The Lavenham Show is something quite unique in the UK calendar; a full report will appear in a forthcoming issue, meanwhile congratulations to the Historic VW Club for taking on the show and making it even better.

Whilst I have to admit that for me stock and original buses are things of beauty, I can still appreciate and admire custom buses. Those of you who also get excited by original buses will especially enjoy the 71 Danbury feature this month. It has been bare metalled and repainted in its original Chianti Red and White but apart from that everything else is intact and original. If you prefer original paint and patina however, check out the 1967 non-sunroof Deluxe Microbus which has sun bleached charm and character and which blends stock and custom styling perfectly. I just love the laser cut artwork on the cargo door panels! The 1961 Split single cab is another stocker which had been stood for forty years and basically only needed a clean and tune up. Paired with a vintage tent awning this bus just loves getting out and camping in the American wilderness. The custom theme continues with a 1975 Sopru Camper, now with an elegant, contemporary interior. There’s also a metallic gold Highroof T3 sitting on Porsche wheels and a gorgeous yellow T5 with monster 20” rims. 

Show wise we re-visit TOMIE, Dubford, Stanford Hall and Vanwest, whilst the Clockwork Orange makes its return trip from Malta through the fraught border crossings in Europe.

Camper Jam is imminent as I write this, then we are off to Cornwall for an old fashioned camping in the bus UK holiday, then to Split Bus Nation in Belgium, so the old T5 will be putting in some miles. I may love stock old buses, but I don’t regret no longer owning one. (Well, maybe just a few regrets).