Originally uploaded by Phil_Parker.
Those solder spots visible in the photo will disappear under the thin coat of primer. I hope.
A daily updated blog typed by someone with painty hands, oil under his fingernails and the smell of solder in his nostrils who likes making all sort of models and miniatures. And fixing things.
The shame of it. For the first time in 11 years as a visitor to Stanford Hall VW show I turned up in a vehicle that wasn’t a VeeDub.
In my defence this was because all my VW’s are broken, or in the case of the Type 2, would be broken if I drove it 30 miles with bits of tinware as absent as they currently are. I wore a T-shirt from the Everybus show to prove my commitment and hopefully restore some of the lost karma.
This show just gets bigger every year. Although there are acres of fields, with only a few sheep droppings, to park in there was a shortage of spaces. A high percentage of the vehicles were from the correct marquee too. You’d think this was a given but not always nowadays. A lot of people are attracted to the “VeeDub lifestyle” which they interpret as acting like hippies and being laid back. They do this by buying crap with bad pictures of cars on them - not by getting their hands dirty actually keeping some decrepit motor on the road.
Because of this I have noticed the numbers of stands selling rusty bits dropping over the years. I love a good autojumble where you rake through boxes hoping to strike gold. This year it would be particularly important, as I needed to replace the bit of tin that sits above the exhaust. I’d been forewarned that I sought a bit often to be found suffering from rot, so knew it was going to be fun tracking one down. VW Heritage will sell a repro version for 90 quid which sounds a lot for a single, albeit large and complicated, bit of metal.
By late morning it looked like my searches might be in vain. A new (to me) engine bay door had been acquired for a very reasonable 25 quid. Seals etc. were available from several vendors but no big engine tin. Then I spotted a bit. Not pretty but serviceable – OK better than the one I have which isn’t saying much – and only 20 quid. I resisted biting the vendors hand off and wandered a bit further, coming back after lunch and loading it in the back of the car, wrapped in a plastic sheet as it’s filthy. Apparently I had missed a perfect piece that had even been powder coated for 60 quid earlier from the same stand.
Shopping list complete it was time to take in the displays. The best bit was the Westafalia section sponsored by the excellent VW Camper & Commercial Magazine. I really want a splitte van with one of those awnings. My chances of affording one ever are nil though as the prices have gone through the roof and aren’t stopping.
Fortunately the weather held so I came away with a slightly sunburnt face (how ? we had cloud cover all day), a Stanford Hall tradition. The only one too, as the other is getting hopelessly lost on the way which we didn’t this year.
Bargains missed ? A couple. 5 years worth of Safer Volkswagen Driving (later VW Motoring) mags for a quid – missed by 20 seconds. Also a jump seat for 50 quid. I was amazed this didn’t sell as 70 is the normal price and they go at that. I had run out of cash and anyway my van doesn’t have the fixings to fit it any more. I took pictures and wonder if I could make one myself though.
Favourite VW ? Wedge Karman Gypsy campers with over the cab beds. Saw at least 5 including one for sale. I know the splitties are lovely and I’m a sucker for a good condition Bay, but this was different. A really practical camping machine, although pretty useless in other respects being too big to take to the supermarket and having the steering wheel on the wrong side. Two cars is plenty though, especially for someone who doesn’t like driving. Mind you my Dad can’t drive and he loves this show and has a thing for type 25’s so it shows how broad the appeal of these cars is.