Field of Dreams Show Report 2014

Field of Dreams VW Show 2014
Written by Mark Stutt of Camperscape;   Photos by Lauren Frost & Rick Goodwill

We couldn’t make the first Field of Dreams Aircooled VW Festival (FoD) in 2013, so we were very keen to get to this one, it being in the North saving hours on the motorway and that it’s organised by friend, Kate of Classic Volks, was a bonus!

We were also keen to get along as to be honest I’d fallen a bit out of love with VW shows, what were great events focusing on the cars became massive and expensive with traders selling hardly anything VW related or complete tat; the music on offer wasn’t to my tastes and the growth in popularity of T4s and T5s meant air-cooled vehicles were becoming a minority and I say this as someone lucky enough to own a Late Bay as well as a T4! Indeed, a group of friends and I started the Tynemouth Classic VW Rally a one day air-cooled show to counter this trend, and as it’s by the beach with the vibe and atmosphere we wanted and that we felt others did to, we’re onto our fifth one now. I knew anything that involving ClassicVolks.com would be top notch so early bird tickets were purchased, dates put on the calendar and time booked off work.

The great day arrived and we purred (our Late Bay, Gracie, having received a new exhaust!) through the Tyne Tunnel on the A19 and headed south.  An hour and a half later, with more and more VWs appearing, we turned off the A19 (no need for maps or sat nav, 98 miles on the same road!) and into Escrick Park. Straight away one of the selling points of FoD became apparent when we were directed to the air-cooled only parking area! Although to be fair, the steward did have to ask if we were aircooled, so maybe a VW spotters guide should be included for the stewards! It easy to forget that not everyone is as obsessed with aircooled VWs as we are…

A short trundle over the fields, and a friendly chap guided us into our spot and that set the tone of all the stewards/organisers – friendly, helpful and approachable (no ‘hi-vis vest of power’ attitude here).  Awning up, kettle on, camp chairs out and relax! We were pitched at the bottom of one row of aircooled VWs, a mix of Splits, Bays (Early and Lates) and a few T25s with a large area in front of us leading to the marquees and food and drink stalls, so a long walk to where things were happening certainly wasn’t going to be a problem.

Catching up with old friends and exploring the trade area took up the rest of Friday. The trade stand area itself is worth mentioning as it was the best one I’ve seen at a show; enough relevant, quality stands to offer a great choice (including three swap-meet stalls) but not too many that it overwhelmed the show. It’s positioning was ideal, being right by the main site in between the two camping areas and when the sun set the strings of light bulbs for illumination were a really nice touch.

I’ve mentioned there were two camping areas, one was air-cooled only and the other was for any VW or even (whisper it) the odd caravan… These gave people the choice to camp in the mixed area to be with friends who don’t own an air-cooled VW or, if they did, be part of the actual event, as it’s raison d’être! A busy week before FoD led to an early night on Friday but it was very pleasant listening to the excellent music of The Inspectors coming from the marquee and once that had ended a very good night’s sleep ensued.

Saturday started overcast but warm and the appearance overnight of the Rothfink crew from Cardiff. They’d brought the awesome “Rustbus” (drool…). Parked up with them for the Haul of Rust display was a beautiful patina’d Beetle, a couple of ‘Things’ and If you don’t know Rothfink (and why not?) they produce a natty line in clobber and some great photshoots of old Dubs, tattoos, bikes and anything else that catches the zeitgeist. They are a nice bunch too as I found chatting to Jason as our daughters caught some air on the bungee trampolines!

Saturday day was spent chatting with friends, tree climbing, lounging on the handy straw bales listening to some excellent acoustic music and observing Kev’s  masterclass in MCing on the wireless mike! Next to the music marquee with it’s cool Beetle DJ booth was a chill-out tent with more straw bales and blankets in case the weather turned, thankfully it stayed dry, but it was a nice touch.

Due to tragic events at the Manchester Dogs Home the Canine Show n Shine was almost cancelled but people rallied round, volunteered and the show did go on! Bravo to all those who helped. All proceeds from the dog show were sent back to Manchester with Dogs N Dubs to be given to Manchester Dogs Home to help with the rebuild of the home.

Green Bay Café (a café housed in a Green Bay bus…) provided caffeine a converted DubBox trailer provided alcohol and lots of food stalls provided grub (the wood fired pizzas proving very popular with us!) and a very pleasant day was had by all.

The evening’s music kicked of with TEN79 playing some cover versions and their own songs had an early REM vibe with the headline act The Talks and their two-tone, ska, rap fusion going down a storm. The theme for this year’s FoD was ‘A day at the races’ and special mention to Steve (from Dubenhams.com), Honor, Gary and the rest for turning on the style.

To round off a most excellent day Kate had arranged for an exclusive showing of the VW bus film ‘Circle the Wagen’; the tale of a couple of young lads who bought a Late Bay bus off Ebay and decided to drive it from New York to Los Angeles! Needless to say things didn’t run (in every sense of the word) smoothly but along the way they made friends, learnt more than they could have bargained for about air-cooled engines and discovered the fantastic VW community that we all value.

The Show n Shine took place outside our awning door on the Sunday and there were some cracking vehicles, a Split Screen Beetle drawing a lot of attention and for me a gorgeous Karmann Ghia  was the highlight as it was the double of my Uncle Johnny’s that sparked my interest in all things air-cooled and VW. Reggae was playing over the PA and everyone was kicking back and enjoying the show. Our daughter won the Hobby Horse race and I was persuaded/blackmailed in to entering the Men’s Hobby Horse race – the 1.20 from Escrick! I came last but special mention to the awesome home made horse and outfit from one of the Flat 4 Dubbers – outstanding!

We had to leave before the prizes for Show n Shine were given out, but I bet the judges had some tough decisions to make.  All in all Field of Dreams 2014 was without doubt one of the best VW shows I’ve been to, the location was great, facilities spot-on, enough things to keep kids entertained, not too big, but with enough people and vehicles to create a special vibe that other shows just haven’t got. If you didn’t make it this year, make sure you get your tickets for 2015, it’ll be one of the best shows of the year, you heard it hear first.

Thanks Kate, and all the others who put this show on, you nailed it!

2015 dates are 11th – 13th September, tickets are available from midday on 27th October 2014 by going to the website

(www.classicvolks.com/vwfieldofdreams.html)

 

 

Tatton Park VW Show 2012 – Photo Report

Show report and pictures by Rob Blackwood of originals-art.com – if you particularly like any of the pictures you see here then please pop over to his website and get in touch – all pictures are available to purchase.

Now I’m no VW expert, but I love to look at them and more particularly, take photos of them and this caused us a bit of a problem at Tatton Park! Why i hear you ask …well let me tell you,choice and people is the answer.

We have been going to VW shows for a good few years now and we always manage to get hundreds and hundreds of shots between us, at Tatton we took a little over 100 shots, this was nothing to do with the quality of the vehicles on show (more about that later) the reason we took so few is simply because of the crowds, there were swarms of people surrounding all the super cars and buses on show it made getting a nice clean shot almost impossible! It really sounds like I am complaining, but believe me I really am not, quite the opposite really.  The quality and variety of vehicles on show was amazing, there was dubs there that I have not seen at any other show, along with some very nice Porsche and some very wacky beach bugs.
The whole showground had a really nice buzz about it, I’m sure the lovely sun had a lot to do with it, when we arrived on Saturday night and seen the 3hr downpour we thought it was going to be a washout, but like I have heard people say, Tatton seems to drain well and when we woke early on Sunday,the ground was almost bone dry!  The main reason for the feel good vibe, was just the fact it was one hell of a good show and a real family show.  We traded here for the first time and even the range and variety of trade stands were excellent, with lots of stalls to help us part with our hard earned cash!!  We had heard such alot of good reports about Tatton and sometimes this can be a recipe for disaster because you have such high hopes,but the show lived up to all our expectations.
Now the most technical bit you will ever get from me,our fave dubs were a nice two tone beetle and a ratty split that we have seen at many shows,i think its the cyclops light we like! and i loved the couple of old Porsches and the VW variants.
Hope to see you at a show soon,if you see a confused looking photographer say hello and explain that the engine is in the back.

Picture Blog from VolksPower 2012

I have decided to just do a picture blog for this show, partly because I am so busy cleaning mud of everything and doing my usual day job (running Classic Volks & York Classic VWs) and getting ready for setting of to CamperJam 2012 on Friday.  Seems the working weeks are very short currently as I am at shows pretty much every weekend, so I spend Mondays cleaning all camping equipment (all shows so far have been wet and muddy), and then Fridays are spent packing up and getting ready to go, with a day in the middle somewhere to give Miss Betsy (my 1969 Beetle a bit of love ready for her next trip).  We took plenty of pictures so please enjoy.

Dubfreeze 2012 Show Report

Some may say we’re totally crazy, others know and understand our obsession. Yes, it was the middle of February and extremely cold but that was not going to stop us heading down for a night of camping in order to be on site ready for the first Veedub show of the year.

We Met a couple of club members in York and set off just after 12:30 – all very excited and very much looking forward to this – marking the start of the 2012 VW events season. Our first stop was Woodall services just over an hours drive from York, here we met up with some of the Sheffield Owners club and some of the Doncaster club as well as some of the RULE (R U Low Enough) Club. From there we convoyed the rest of the way down to Staffordshire Showground.

We arrived at the Showground at around 4pm and found our York Classic VWs Club camping area – a couple of our members had arrived before us as they had been in the area the night before. We set up our tent in the freezing cold – although I have to say putting the tent up and the excitement must have kept us warm as we didn’t notice how cold it was after a while. Once the tent was up it was time for a coffee in the tent with the heater on. We then all had a bar-b-que and sat around and chatted dubs for a few hours, then decided it was getting a little cold so thought we should head of to the bar where it may be a little warmer. The walk over to the bar, although only a few minutes, was absolutely freezing so the warmth on arriveing was very welcome. We stayed in the bar and chatted to fellow Veedubbers for a few hours. We then headed back to the cold, cold tent. Heater on and coffee made it was time to try and get some sleep. We managed to stay warm enough to get some sleep which was great – with the help of a heater and a great big duvet! The next morning we were all up nice and early – part of this due to the cold and partly because we were all very excited about the show. Coffee and bacon on the bar-b and then ready to head over to the show – thankfully this show is an indoor one. We had woken in the morning to snow on the ground (it did disappear pretty quickly though as the sun was shining).

The show The show didn’t open til 9am so until then we decided we should have a wonder round and look at some of the lovely VWs around, and there were some real beauties. At about 9:30 we decided that the queue would have gone down enough so to the show we went. First stop was up to Dogs N Dubs up on the balcony to take them a much needed bacon butty.

The show was absolutely jam packed – obviously a very popular show, I think the majority of people drove to Stafford on the day (not too many people around mad enough to camp in this cold weather!). It was very difficult at first to get anywhere – so busy. We had a good wander around the show and shine area – some absolutely gorgeous dubs in there, I would have found it very difficult to pick a winner. If you are looking to buy anything VW related whether parts of accessories or clothing this is definitely a show to visit. We saw some fantastic cars and vans for sale – if only we’d had some cash on us (actually, probably a good thing we didn’t as there may have been a good few veedubs heading back to York with us! There was an amazing number of parts for sale including panels etc. All in all a very good show – although I do think they maybe need a bigger venue.
To get a real idea of the show please visit our facebook page: and have a good look through the photo album for Dubfreeze 2012, I have only added a small sample of the photos on here.

History of VW…

Written by Kate McCarthy of York Classic VWs – Click here to visit York Classic VWs Website

The history of these fantastic vehicles fascinates me and so I thought I would share a little of what I know with anybody that is interested in where they came from and why.


The majority of people in Germany in the 1930’s couldn’t afford a car due to the cars of the time mainly comprising of luxury models.  There were not many who could afford anything more than a motorcycle, which wasn’t the greatest way to get around with a family.  









Adolf Hitler decided that what was needed was a state sponsored Volkswagen “Peoples Car” Program.  Hitler wanted a basic car that would be capable of carrying two adults and three children at a speed of 62mph (100km/h).  A savings scheme was set up for citizens of the Third Reich and the car was to be sold at 990RM (ReichsMark – 5RM was roughly 1GBP, average weekly income was about 32RM per week)  – this was about the same price as a small motorbike.  

There were existing projects of this kind (not state sponsored) that many people tried to persuade Hitler to go with.  Hitler decided he wanted and all new state owned factory for his project.  He then needed to find an engineer to design the “Peoples Car” and approached the already famed Ferdinand Porsche, who was happy to and agreed to create the Volks Wagen for Hitler.


The idea was that Germans would buy the car by means of a savings scheme and would have to put aside 5 RM (Marks) per week – Fünf Mark die Woche musst Du sparen, willst Du im eigenen Wagen fahren” – “Five Marks a week you must put aside, If in your own car you want to ride“.  Around 336,000 Germans paid into the scheme before war broke out.  After the war citizens of West Germany had there savings honoured but East Germans did not.

Prototypes of the car were appearing from 1936 onwards and the first was the Kdf-Wagen (“Kraft durch freude” – meaning “strength through joy”).  The idea was that these cars needed to be fuel efficient, reliable, user-friendly and economical for repairs and parts.  The prototype had the distinctive round shape that we all know and love, it was air cooled and had the rear mounted engine.

The new factory building was started on 26th May 1938 in the new town of Kdf-Stadt – now called Wolfsburg. A town which was purpose built for the factory workers.  When war broke out in 1939 there had only been a handful of cars built.  None of the holders of completed savings stamps books had their car delivered, but a Type 1 Cabriolet was presented to Hitler on 20th April 1938 as a present for his 49th birthday.

When war broke out, production at the factory had to be changed to military vehicles – the type 82, Kübelwagen being one of the vehicles produced there.  During the war slave labour was used at the factory – this was not totally admitted until 1998.  Many of the workers during the war (around 80%) were from slave labour and many coming from the concentration camps.  In 1998 Volkswagen decided to set up a voluntary restitution fund for the survivors.

The town of Kdf-Stadt (Wolfsburg) was badly bombed during the war including the factory which was then placed under the control of British Army Officer Major Ivan Hirst.  To start with use of the factory was going to be for military vehicle maintenance.  But Hirst painted one of the factory cars in green and showed it to the British Army HQ, as they were short of light transport, in September 1945 the British Army ordered 20,00.  The first few hundred cars went to occupying forces personnel and some to the German post office.  When British service personnel were demobilsed, some were allowed to bring their cars back to the UK.

The factory was still in disrepair but managed to be producing 1,000 cars a month by 1946.  Unfortunately as it was in such a bad state of repair rain stopped production and some of the cars had to be traded for steel that was required for production.  Post war both the car and the town had their names changed, the car became Volkswagen and the town became Wolfsburg.  It was unknown at this point what would become of the factory, many countries motor industries were offered the plant but all rejected it one even saying that the car was too ugly and too noisy for the average motor car buyer!  In 1945 the factory was to be dismantled and moved to Britain, fortunately for VW no British car manufacturer would touch it.  The car survived in Germany by producing cars for the British army. Protected by Major Ivan Hirst the factory survived and then became part of Germany’s economic recovery.

Major Hirst stayed until 1949 by which time it had been reformed as a trust and was controlled by the West German government.  Until his death in 1968 Heinrich Nordhoff ran the factory and stuck to a one model policy other than the Type 2 commercial van (van, pick up and camper) and the Karmann Ghia sports car.

VW started to sell in USA in 1949, but got off to a very slow start – only selling 2 in the first year.  This did increase dramatically with production reaching one million by 1955.

The car became more and more popular throughout Europe and USA beating the world record on 17th February 1972 when the 15,007,034th was sold.  By 1973 production had risen to over 16 million!

And so the story goes, there were many models made and many other vehicles designed and built from that first car, they have all been very popular but none ever as popular as the ever loved VW Beetle.

I will follow this up with model descriptions from 1938 onwards.