Saturday, 16 September 2017

Bug Jam 31 (part 1 of 3)

Firstly I would like to apologise for not posting a blog review last Saturday, what with work commitments, family commitments and various other things I simply didn't have time to write the blog. This is the first time since 2011 that I haven't had the time to sit down at the PC to write a review and hopefully it will be the last !. I know that there are numerous people who like to ready my blog on a Saturday morning, so my apologies to you all. Anyway this weeks blog review is a three part review all about  the Bug Jam VW Festival. Bug Jam is now in it's 31st year, and has as far as I know has always been held at the world famous Santa Pod Raceway in Northamptonshire. Bug Jam is a weekend festival for all makes of Volkswagen's and this year was held over the weekend of 21st - 23rd July. There is always plenty to do and see at Bug Jam including: 5 music arenas, drag racing, run what you brung (public track time), show and shine, comedy artists, traders, stunt displays, jet car, auto jumble, fun fair and much more. Bug Jam is billed as 'Europe's biggest and best VW festival' I haven't been to that many European VW festivals so I can't comment if it's the best show or not, but it certainly is big. There must have been tens of thousands of visitors over the weekend, many of who stayed for the whole weekend. Due to family commitments I could only go for the day on the Saturday, but there were literally thousands of Volkswagen's of all descriptions there parked up with their the camps set up for the weekends festivities, and hundreds more vehicles who like myself went for one day only. Whatever type of Volkswagen rocks you boat, I guarantee you'll find it at Bug Jam. As you enter Santa Pod Raceway the service road takes you through the camping area towards the 1/4 mile strip, fun fair, catering vendors and different display arenas. I always wander off the road and wander through the camping area as this is where you get to see plenty of quality Volkswagen's parked up.
To see all my other blog entries, go to ‘My Blog Archive’ to the left of this page. Simply click on an arrow for a particular year, then click on an arrow for a particular month, this will then give you a drop down menu for all the blog entries for that month.

The first vehicle I spotted was this gorgeous 1976
bay window bus. This really was a clean and
straight looking bus. I did like the mesh sun visor
and the 'truck' style mirrors.The lack of the indicators
in the normal place give the front end a clean
smooth look.

Another gorgeous vehicle I spotted in the camping
area was this light gold coloured 1969 Karmann
Ghia. This old KG has been seriously hit with the
lowering stick.

You can see just how low this KG really was from
this side profile photo.

Not a very good photo due to the reflection, but
you can just make out how clean and original
looking the interior was.

The Karmann Ghia is such a beautiful shaped
car, it has a timeless beauty about it.

This T3 Variant (squareback) was also of 1969
vintage and equally as clean as the KG (above).
I do like these Variants, as there aren't
 that many
around, compared to buses and bugs.

This really was a lovely example of the type 3.
These variants, along with the notch and fastback
models were produced from 1961 - 1973.

The campsite was full of camper vans of all
descriptions, and even had this camper van
shaped early bay tent.!

This super clean 1969 imported bay looked
gorgeous. I did like the colour which really stood
 out in the morning sunshine.

The side markers denote that it is a later bus,
but maybe the owner just prefers the marker lights
rather than the reflectors, it doesn't really matter
as it looked fantastic.

The stunning gold coloured oval window bug
looked amazing, it was so straight and clean..
oh, and so low!

You can see just how low this early oval really
is from this photo. The top of the wings are just
starting to show signs of patina

The oval window bugs are such lovely looking
cars, and when they sit this low and are running
on Porsche rims they just look so much better.

This lovely mid sixties split screen caught my
eye, maybe it was the two tone colour, maybe
it was those lovely Fuchs style wheels or maybe
because it was just because it looked so clean.

This stunning bright red 1970 bay looked great
in the sunshine. This slammed bus was painted
in the single red colour, including the roof and it
looked great.

Talking of slammed vehicles, how about this
yellow 1970 bug. This bug has a slight RAT look

and the body was virtually sat on the grass.

Another slammed bug was this pure RAT look
1970 two tone bug. If you like the RAT look then
you'll love this patina'd bug. I did like the overall
look of this bug.

The roof rack and rear screen blind were neat
touches that suited the look. The camber of the
rear banded wheels show you how much this old
 bug has been lowered.

This lovely white 1971 bug has also been lowered
but not to the extent to the two above. The banded
black steel wheels with chrome caps and white wall
tyres looked the perfect choice to compliment the
overall look of this lovely bug.

This 1967 splitty caught my eye, as it gave off
a glow in the bright sunshine. The two tone lime
green and bright green paint is a very unusual
choice of colours, but they actually look good 

The bright lime green bumpers and the Fuchs
wheels add to this buses cool appearance.

This 1969 beige bay also caught my eye as it
just looked so clean and tidy. This deluxe bus
looks like an import which means it should also
be solid.

The old '69 deluxe had some lovely retro curtains
that suited the buses overall look.

A pair of blue bays parked up nose to nose at
Bug Jam. A clean 1977 late bay and an early
bay with a slammed, nose in the weeds stance.

This cool graffiti painted 1965 split screen stood
out parked up in the camping area. The name of
the game is be different and this colourful bus
was certainly that.

Wandering around the campsite, the place was
full of Volkswagen's of all descriptions.

If you like the rust / patina look then you'll love
the look of this 1973 late bay.

The T25's were very well represented at the Bug
Jam festival. These 2 caught my eye as although
they are both T25's, they look so different.

This 1970 Dormobile looked like a good honest
bus, what you see is what you get. Yes it had
signs of a hard life but it was on the road and at
Bug Jam, and that's all that matters.

This 1971 beetle is 'Miss White' a road / strip
beetle belonging to a mate of mine, Jonny.

Unfortunately Jonny only managed one run down
the 1/4 mile as he destroyed the diff whist doing
a burnout at the start. Jonny, being Jonny still ran
the bug down the strip though even with a broken
diff. As Jonny said, you can't un-break it!

Miss White has a 1641cc engine and the car
has been built mostly by Jonny. It's a shame the

diff broke as it would have been good to see how
fast all Jonny's hard work would have been.

This silver 1970 bay stood out from the others
as it was just so different. This bus had numerous
body modifications including the indicators up
where the fresh air vent is, the home made bull
bar and the steel mesh visor, and the single
wiper mounted in the middle of the screen. I did
like those big chunky tyres

On the front bumper this old bus had stickers
from various European countries that I assume
this bus has visited. If I'm right then this is one
well travelled bus. !

A lowered split screen panel van and a stock
height early bay parked up end to end at Bug
Jam. It doesn't matter what type of VW you have,
it's about coming together for a fantastic weekend.

Just trying to be artistic with this shot.. The variety
of vehicles at the show was amazing.

The blue early panel van looked to have some
fire damage on the rear quarter and engine lid,
and rather than repair and paint the effected
areas it looks as though the owner has just left
it, which does look cool.

Another attempt at being artistic...  a '71 tin top
and a '73 pop top.

I've seen this very cool looking surf themed split
screen on several occasions and every time I see
it I think, oh yeah, I like that! 

I have a 'thing' for sign written buses and this
bus has plenty of hand painted signage to grab
my attention, it also just happens to be painted in
my favourite colour.

I think this gorgeous dark blue and white split
screen belongs to a guy called Stuart, who I did
the 'Run the Ring' with last year. It certainly looks
like his bus (although I could be wrong!)

That was part one of three all about Bug Jam
2017. Next week will be part 2, where you can 
see plenty more quality vehicles including a 
lovely '67 single cab split screen and a very
unique (I've not seen this before) Karmann Ghia.

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Stonor Park 2017 (part 3 of 3)

This week's (shorter than normal) blog review is the final review all about the VW Expo show at Stonor Park, (or the Wolfsburg Bus Crew club meet as I think it should now be called!) which is now in it's 33rd year.  Each year The Association of British VW Clubs organise the Stonor Park VW Expo Show. It is held in the grounds of one of England’s oldest manor houses, being built around 1190 and it has been owned by the same family of the same faith for 850 years. The house and grounds are situated in a beautiful setting in rural Henley on Thames in Oxfordshire. The house contains a remarkable collection of Old Master Paintings, European sculptures, stained glass and contemporary ceramics, and for one day a year the grounds contain a remarkable collection of Volkswagen's, both air cooled and water cooled. The show has something for everyone including: Trade Stands & Auto jumble / Concours d’Elegance / Club Displays / Miss VW contest and a Children’s Fancy Dress (for the under 12’s). This year I had arranged to meet up with good friends of mine Matthew and Caroline in their '69 Westy to drive the 25 miles or so to the show. We had also arranged to park up inside the show with the Wolfsburg Bus Crew, who must be one of the biggest VW clubs around, with members from all over the world. Rich Coxhill who runs the club had posted on Face Book about this show and the interest shown by members in going was encouraging. You can find the Wolfsburg Bus Crew on Facebook or at: 
To see all my other blog entries, go to ‘My Blog Archive’ to the left of this page. Simply click on an arrow for a particular year, then click on an arrow for a particular month, this will then give you a drop down menu for all the blog entries for that month.

This lovely crew cab pick up looked to be a very
similar colour to my early bay, velvet green. This
pick up is deceiving as although it has an early
front clip it is actually a 1975 late bay. It has a
new 1641cc engine that has done less than 2000
miles. It has been restored to this immaculate
condition using 90% new parts. 

Another immaculate vehicle at Stonor Park was
this stunning 1950's (?) silver / grey oval window
beetle. This car really was like new, the attention
to detail was amazing.

You can see just how clean and straight this old
oval really was in this photo. The rear wheels look
as though they have been banded and suited the
overall look of this car perfectly.

Another early bug, but this time a split oval from 
1949. I just loved the colour of this bug, and those
chunky tyres that filled the arches. This really was
a lovely car.

Again it's a very solid and straight looking car and
that retro roof rack suited this old '49. That could
well be the original paint judging by the look of it,
I'd like to think so anyway.

Looking along just one of the rows of Volkswagens
on show at Stonor Park. The diversity was immense
and there was something for everyone.

This stunning silver blue Porsche 356 (model 52)
has to be one of the cleanest vehicles at the show.
It was purchased from Oregon, U.S.A. and shipped
to the U.K. in 2011 where it underwent a restoration
using the original floor, doors, bonnet and boot etc. 

I doubt this 356 looked this clean when it left the
production line back in 1952. The attention to
detail was amazing and during the restoration
research was carried out on every task to ensure
the car was as close to original as possible.

The immaculate interior of the gorgeous 356. The
attention to detail inside the car was just as high
as the attention to detail on the outside.

Just one of the many split screen campers on
display at the VW Expo show at Stonor Park.

Looking along another of the rows of quality VW's
on display. The standard,and sheer quantity of
vehicles was amazing. This show really does have
something for everyone, whatever your in to.

Maybe you like the early oval window bugs, well
this show had plenty of them including this lovely
sky blue oval. This stock looking bug really did
look nice.

This 23 window samba was another immaculate
vehicle on display. The sealing was red ( I think)
and white paint scheme looked great as did
the original painted wheels. This bus looked to
be riding at virtually stock height which suited it.

This bus was so straight, as you can see from
the reflections down the side. This really was a
lovely bus.

This stunning 1955 oval window beetle painted 
in what looks like glacier blue (although I could 
be wrong!) really was a lovely looking car. I like
the way the paint continues to inside the arches
and onto the wheels.

Just look at that reflection in the door (if you click
on the photo it will enlarge it). The period deck
lid rack was a nice accessory that suited the bug.

Not all the vehicles on display were immaculate
of show winning standard, as this very low, RAT
looking Karmann Ghia proves. Although it had
the RAT look it was just as desirable as any of
the painted shiny vehicles. 

You can see just how low this old KG really was
from this photo. The Karmann Ghia was produced
from 1955 to 1974 and this 1960's model looked
great. The BRM (I think) wheels looked good and
suited the car.

This car attracted plenty of attention and its easy
to see why. The Karmann Ghia has such a beautiful
body shape, even if it does have the RAT look.

This lovely looking 1967/68 orange and cream
bug looked great.The slammed stance suited
this bug, and those black painted steel wheels
tucked up under the arches looked fantastic.

You can see just how low the bug sits from this
photo. It looks as though this bug may have a
narrowed front beam as those front wheels are
really tucked under the front wings. This really was
a lovely clean car...

... well apart from the deck lid which looks to have
suffered some recent fire damage, check your
fuel lines today to prevent this type of damage,

or worse!

The rows of vehicles on display just went on and
on and have every conceivable type of Volkswagen
you can think of.

This slightly lowered 1975 sand coloured 181
Trekker, or Kurierwagen as it should be called
looked fantastic. These cars were produced for
the West German army during WW2.

I saw this radical Volksrod back at the start of 
the show season at the Volksworld Show.. I liked
it then and I still like it now because although it's
a work in progress, it's just so different.

Like I said, it's a work in progress but it has all
the signs of great potential.

Whether you like or loath this very radical Volksrod
you have to admit that it's an amazing feat of

metal fabrication.

The variety of Volkswagens was diverse to say
the least. From tube railed beach buggies to
show winning restored Porsche's this show has

The quality of Volkswagens on display was just
amazing, and the quantity of show cars just went
on and on.

Just a small selection of the Beetles that were on
display at the Stonor Park show, a perfect setting
for a huge Volkswagen show.

Here is a couple of buses that I recognise, the
blue and white bay belongs to Rich who runs the
Wolfsburg Bus Crew club and the blue split screen
belongs to Phillip, also a member of the WBC.
 Both these buses feature in part one of the Stonor
Park review, which you can find at the top left of
this page in 'My blog archive' 

As the day grew to a close vehicles started to
leave the venue. I think the yellow Porsche 356
was taking a short cut across the grass.!

This lovely beige beetle also took the short route
over the grass. Still it gave me a photo opportunity
that I couldn't resist. I did like the banded steel
wheels on this old bug.

As the heat was getting too much, Matthew and
I headed for the shade of some trees. Looking
out towards the show vehicles in the bright sun-

A better photo looking into the show area from
the shade of the trees.

Turning 180 degrees and I was facing the trade
area, where sellers were selling everything VW
related you could think of. There was also a
autojumble where you could find those hard to
find OEM items. There were also plenty of food
and drink vendors.

So that was my 3 part review of the VW Expo at
Stonor Park 2017. I have been attending this show
for 5 or 6 years and this year was by far the most
enjoyable for me. Having my good friends Matthew
and Caroline there with me helped as did being
part of the Wolfsburg Bus Crews club line up. The
WBC is such a friendly club, with the most amazing
members who all have some gorgeous vehicles.

A big thanks to both Matthew and Caroline, and 
all of the Wolfsburg Bus Crew, especially Rich for
organising the line up for making Stonor Park
such a great day out. Next weeks blog will be all 
about 'Bug Jam' VW festival at the Santa Pod 
Raceway so be sure to come back next Saturday.