On The Road – Touring Adventures with SunHatFrance

Photo of the Gorges du Verdon, France
Words and photography by Liz of SunHatFrance

Sunhatfrance recently launched their Classic VW Camper van hire in the stunning location of Provence/Cote d’Azur in the South of France.

Now that Spring has arrived, sunny days and lighter evenings we thought it would be the ideal moment to experience a few days touring our favourite places locally in our newly refurbished VW camper van ‘Cassie’.  She is a beautifully restored 1978 Westfalia, T2 Bay Window.

This last year has been an eventful one for her, she was shipped over from Oregon, USA to the UK where she then underwent a total revamp before taking up her new residence with us here in the heart of Provence in France.

Photo of the Gorges du Verdon, France

Beautiful Gorges du Verdon in France

From our base in Cabasse we decided our first stop just had to be the absolutely breathtaking Gorges du Verdon, aptly known as the Grand Canyon of France.

When we originally had the idea of offering this style of holiday it was the image of Cassie or Joe camped under the stars alongside the lake at Ste Croix du Verdon that fired our imagination that this could create a very special travel experience and hold memories that would stay with you for a lifetime.

Preparations underway we began loading her up with all we’d need for a few days luxury camping, we’ve carefully planned to include everything a self-drive adventurer will need when they choose to rent a Retro VW Campervan from http://www.sunhatfrance.com/

Next morning we wake to an azure blue sky and brilliant sunshine, everything on board, oil level checked (a little ritual you must perform regularly when driving a Classic VW like Cassie) and we’re off!

We know the route will take us through some of the most picturesque villages in the South of France and plan to take our time and visit one of our favourite vineyards en route http://www.chateaucarpediem.com/  we are after all in the famous wine producing region of the Var.

Cassie at Cotignac Market in the South of France

Cassie at Cotignac Market in the South of France

So, the wine chilling in the fridge, next stop the picturesque village of Cotignac http://www.provenceweb.fr/e/var/cotignac/cotignac.htm  to get our provisions for the next couple of days from the colourful  market, a selection of wonderful fresh French produce, perfect.

The quiet meandering country roads seem to be designed in perfect harmony for one of these vintage VW Campers, that refuse to be rushed along, the slower pace being beneficial for the camper van and better for us too!!!

An hour or so later we find ourselves looking down on the sparkling blue/green waters of the Lac Ste. Croix and the spectacular entrance to the Gorges du Verdon, this view never fails to make you gasp with the sheer beauty of it.

We decide to pull up and picnic making the most of the fantastic views that surround us, so roof up, picnic table and chairs out and relax….

We can’t resist taking a few photos of our Classic VW Camper in this setting, she just looks so amazing, her pastel green and white paintwork is absolutely gleaming in the Provencal sunshine, and with her brand new bespoke interior  featuring Ivory upholstery and Walnut cabinets she is the perfect blend of classic design and contemporary styling and it’s no wonder that so many people notice her as we pass by, we get many smiles and friendly waves as we tootle along, everyone seems to have a soft spot for these Iconic Camper vans.

SunHatFrance having a picnic by their VW Campervan

Time for a relax and a spot of food!

We could quite easily stay here all day long just absorbing the breathtaking scenery and atmosphere of this very special place, however we are excited to arrive at our destination and set up camp so we pack everything back in the van and head for the camping http://lesrochesverdon.com/  this is a tranquil little spot close to the village and right on the lakeside.

This is the bit we’ve really been looking forward to, setting up home and actually living in our VW Kombi for a couple of days, we want to try everything out so we can ensure all goes to plan when we offer her for campervan rental.

We put the awning together without any hitches, it’s amazing how much extra living space this creates, we can now store the picnic table and chairs in here leaving the campervan  clear, there is even a zip up bedroom compartment in the awning which can sleep 2 people if required.

It hasn’t taken us long to ‘make a home’ and before we know it we’ve got the kettle on.

We could have then gone off touring further afield, leaving the drive away awning to mark our camping plot, but we are so pleased to be here that we

Lake at Gorges du Verdon

Stunning scenery

have decided to spend the next couple of days around the van, walking alongside the lake, dipping in for a swim and a laze on the beach.  When evening time comes around it’s the moment to open a bottle of wine, cook a meal chez Cassie and sit chatting under the stars before turning in for a good nights’ sleep in our lovely classic VW camper.

We’ve had a great weekend and enjoyed every part of being ‘on the road’ in Cassie, having experienced this road trip first hand we are now confident that anyone choosing to book a holiday with Sunhatfrance   http://www.sunhatfrance.com/camper-vans/campervan-cassie/ are going to have as great a time as we have had, we can’t wait to do it again and have already planned our next trip to the beach near St. Tropez!  

If you would like to book with SunhatFrance you can either go to the Classic Volks Hire Page for France or direct to their website

Thanks for reading. Stay tuned for the next instalment.

Road Trip with 69 Campers – by Matt Tombs

Image shows the 69 campers advert

………….where to go? France was the choice and it had to be the South, sun atmosphere scenery and shopping were very high on the list!  St Tropez, Cannes, Juan-les-Pins, Antibes, Monte Carlo the choice was endless but not the mode of transport. It had to be the iconic VW Camper van in the shape of Margot 1978 and Amélie 1968 Bay window courtesy of 69 Campers, a company offering a range of vintage and T5 VW camping cars for touring in absolute style around the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region of France.

Four people, two Campervans and our road trip… cruising this stunning coastline from St-Tropez to Monte Carlo over 14 days. Let the fun begin…..

We flew into Nice, left-hand side of the plane was the place to be with magnificent views of the French Riviera which were to be our playground for the next two weeks.  With a transfer organised by 69 Campers we were whisked away to their headquarters in Seillans, the heart of Provence, in less than an hour. Paperwork and Campervan tutorial done we set off.

1- St-Tropez was our first point of call, a unanimous vote and a great opportunity to get the hang of the gears and brakes of our Campervans as it was downhill all the way!  A great ride meandering through the vineyards of backcountry Provence down to the coast, with a journey time into St-Tropez of 1hr 20mins and 67 km.

For our first night, we stayed at Les Tournels Camping Village 10km south of St-Tropez. Camper vans parked up it gave us our first opportunity to see them close up. Margot 1978 Californian Bay dressed in Yukon Yellow and Amélie 1968 Bay from Alabama in Pacific Blue both feature bespoke interiors comprising of fridge, sink, gas hob, 240V hook up, radio/cd and leisure battery.  The Campers can sleep 5 but the Rock ‘n’ Roll bed was all we needed. With the roof popped and bags unpacked we made full use of the luxury hamper we had pre-ordered with 69 Campers. Outside table and chairs prepped, we sat back and enjoyed our first evening under the star filled sky drinking chilled champagne and eating homemade brownies.

2/3-Awoke to blue skies and sun, a quick check on the vans in the morning, dipsticks at the ready, oil looking like golden syrup we headed back into St-Tropez.  With our windows down we cruised in convoy waving at our appreciating audience. Parking the vans at the Port, a 5-minute walk brings you instant chic as you enter the stunning harbour front that is St-Tropez.  Later that afternoon we headed to our next campsite, a short journey of 12km round the Bay of St-Tropez to Camping De La Plage, Grimaud.  This was to be a 2 night beach stop of pure chill and indulgence and to just absorb the atmosphere – the pink light, the fragrant air…. A simple campsite with a pitch on the beach gave us panoramic views of the bay morning, noon and night. The two Campervans parked up next to the beach really brought home to us the ethics of what this holiday was about. That evening chez Margot & Amélie, we served another fine meal and a night to remember with great friends….

4 -Managed to tear ourselves away from the Golfe de St Tropez and then headed 52km inland, to the boys choice, actually they had made a good choice, a wine tour and tasting chez Le Château des Demoiselles, La Motte.  Fantastic scenery, culture, history and wine

Armed with new liquid provisions and a sober driver our overnight stop was 40km down the N7 through the roman town of Frejus with it’s Amphitheatre, to St Raphael and Esterel Caravaning.  A 5* campsite with, get this, YOUR OWN private bathroom and jacuzzi on your pitch!! The private bathroom contained: a shower, toilet, washbasin, mirror, blow-dryer, and dishwasher, pure luxury!  All the basics of electric water and drainage as well.  An early evening swim and Wifi time provided a catch up on life.

5- One of the most stunning natural features of the Côte d’Azur is the Massif de l’Esterel, a coastal mountain range of red-ochre rock which forms the backdrop to some of the most iconic images of the South of France. The Massif de l’Esterel is located between St Raphaël and La Napoule, then onwards to Cannes. The N98 coastal road called the Corniche de l’Esterel is a must for driving, plus being in a Campervan brings that added height to enhance the experience through it’s numerous twists and turns. A 30km route to remember, striking red rock and azure-blue sea creates spectacular views.  Along the road we found numerous places to stop and take some holiday snaps plus a mid-morning swim. The road passes through such places as Agay with its sheltered bay and beach, Le Trayas and Théoule-sur-Mer with its scenic harbour and local cafes.

 

Specially organised by 69 Campers, we had an afternoon of water activities with Thierry at Jets’Cool. After thrills, spills and total exhaustion on these top of the range jet skis we drove to our campsite for the night Les Cigales in Mandelieu-la-Napoule. With the nights chef democratically elected we ate chez Margot with Amélie playing the summer tunes. This option was really growing on us – your own private space, eating what and when you like, dressing how you want and drinking as much as you wanted . It is so soothing just to be outdoors, listening to the sound of our neighbours the Cigales (grasshoppers).

6 – Day 6 and a tick in the box for Cannes, girls had a big smile and the boys conveniently forgot their wallets as we shopped in the chic boutiques of La Croisette.  Another must is the Forville market with its vast provençal larder where you can stock up the fridge. Residence that night was Camping Parc Bellevue, a 3 star campsite with all the necessities needed to accommodate our Campers as we headed off for a night in Cannes.

7 – Cannes in a day… no chance.  The girls had found the wallets and we split up. Shopping without the boys, and beach starring without the girls….

 

8 – Heading out of Cannes with the windows open, we spent the day driving in convoy up the coast through the elegant residences that occupy Juan-les-Pins and Cap d’Antibes. A real eye opener to wealth that the Côte d’Azur houses. One thing for sure every turn and twist on the coastal road brings a different shade of blue in the crystal clear sea. Margot and Amélie’s admiration over the week had been growing, two stunning vans in tandem presented another photo shoot at the Château Grimaldi in Antibes which houses the Picasso Museum.  You may be surrounded by wealth and beauty but driving a classic VW Camper beats a wide and loud Ferrari any day.

Two nights planned at camping Le Sourire in Villeneuve Loubet and we are loving this simple lifestyle.  Drive onto a pitch, pop the roof, put the tables and chairs out and in less than five minutes you are pouring your first drink…. silently sniggering at the other campers struggling with their tents.  This is definitely camping in style.

9 – Another day of blue sky and our activities were planned at Marineland and Aquasplash, conveniently placed side by side.  We watched a great sea life show followed by lunch back at the vans with few admirers popping their heads in, our French had improved immensely over the week!  Aquasplash that afternoon with swimwear intact, a great place for all families and ages.

 

10 – An early start and Amelie led the way into Nice (20km), four lanes of traffic and very little road markings provided the mornings entertainment!!  Followed by calming visit to the old town (Vieille Ville) with its narrow streets curving between old buildings with red-tile roofs, small restaurants and open markets.  Driving along the Promenade des Anglais with the windows down and the tunes pumping we were the epitome of cool!  In the afternoon, we headed up the coast – literally- into Villefranche Sur Mer.  The Camper made light work of the hills and we were greeted with a spectacular view of the coastline below.  We drove into the port, a test on the brakes….and managed to park alongside the beach giving easy access to chilled drinks and the picnic.  That evening we escaped the heat with a 20km drive inland to the foot of the beautiful perched village Peillon, which was our stop for the following two nights.

11 – Headed back to the coast in the morning to visit the medieval village of Eze (24km) and the ruins of its 12th-century fortified castle (torn down in 1706).   Amazing girl shopping and the opportunity to partake in the outdoor café culture that reigns throughout the region.  An enriching morning of history followed by an afternoon on a private beach in Eze-Sur-Mer with our very own man-servant providing the mojito’s.  Designated driver took us back to Peillon that evening, there is a lack of campsites in this area so be sure to book in peak season.

 

12 – A big day for the boys as we headed to to the furthest point of our trip – Monaco and Monte Carlo (30km).  They were desperate to drive the race course; another ambition fulfilled although not quite at warp speed.  Margot pipped Amélie by a tenth of a second!  A final drive through the beautiful principality of Monte Carlo to wave at the rich and famous before we headed back down the coast to Cagnes Sur Mer. (36km)  We thought we would brave the motorway and were pleasantly surprised at how well our Campers faired with the lorries.  We cruised along at 100km per hour, albeit on the inside lane, without causing too much trouble.

13 – Final day on our epic trip and we headed inland up the D2085 into Grasse (25km), the perfume capital of the world.  The old town is very interesting with tiny streets winding forever between the 17th and 18th century buildings, up and down ancient steps, passing through arched tunnels and sometimes opening out onto large squares.  We meandered to our final stop in Saint Paul en Forêt (31km), enjoying the country roads and beautiful views.  A evening in a secluded woodland setting drinking the remainder of our rosé…. it doesn’t matter that we have drank all that we intended to take home, summed up this VW Camper experience for us.  As the 69 Campers tagline states, we went our own way, saw many of the beautiful sites this region has to offer and truly experienced the joys of driving and living in a VW Camper van.

14 – A short drive back to 69 Campers head quarters in Seillans and the end of our VW Camper tour.  We handed the girls back, finalised the paperwork and with were whisked back to Nice airport with a camera full of photo’s and a head full of happy memories.

 

Distance total 500km (310 miles)

 

If you like the sound of this, get in touch with 69 Campers, you can find them on our France hire page

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)

 

 

Absinthe Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Words and images by Martin Bellamy

Spring 2011: I’m chatting with my friend and business partner whilst out on a cycle ride and he says, “Did you know that you can buy new VW campervans?” “Really?”, says I, “I thought they were all old ones, that break down all the time” “No”, he says, “I saw an advert in the paper yesterday – they’ve got an offer on with £500 discount*”

 A month later and Mrs B and I are on our way to Yate, near Bristol, to visit the Danbury showroom. We’ve got an appointment for 2pm (you can’t just turn up) but we’re an hour early. The receptionist (sitting behind a desk made of a VW T2 body) isn’t sure there’ll be anyone to see us yet but she’ll ring upstairs to try and find someone. After a short while, Dan comes down and so starts the bewildering process of buying a new Brazilian made VW T2 Kombi.

I suppose driving down to “look” at a Kombi is a bit like going to “view” a litter of puppies. Apart from timewasters and those who can’t stretch themselves that far financially (and, believe me, it’s a stretch of gymnastic proportions) both outcomes are liable to produce a sure fire sale.

We’d thought about buying a classic 60s or 70s Campervan, but I don’t have the mechanical skills to keep one on the road. If it’s a pen you want pushing then I’m your man – but the thought of being stranded by the roadside with my limited skill set fills me with dread. What we wanted was something reliable that we could use at weekends and for summer holidays.

“Why not get a modern T5 then? They have power steering, modern interiors and much more powerful engines” That’s my head talking, of course, whilst meanwhile, my heart is doing cartwheels at the sight of the iconic T2 shape and suddenly I’m the hippie, free-spirit that I dreamed of being back in the 70s.  In reality, I’m MD of a commercial insurance broker in Wigan but, hey, we can all have our dreams.

So, it had to be a T2, and we got down to the process of choosing the options available. I’m 6’5”, so sleeping room was essential and we opted for the full size double bed option. Ker-ching! This meant the spare wheel had to go on the back and we’d need the locking wheel cover, of course. Ker-ching!  Do we want all leather on the seats? – you betcha, we do! Ker-ching! How about having her lowered? Oh, yes and BRM alloys please. Ker-ching!

What about colour? Now, we knew we wanted green over white, but weren’t’ prepared for the option of having ANY green we wanted. We’d expected a small choice like you have with modern cars but Danbury have swatches and swatches of colours. Eventually, we chose Spice Green (“Metallic?” “Yes, please” Ker-ching!)

With the addition of a retro wooden steering wheel and classic bowed roof rack we were done and the order was placed. As we drove away we looked at each other and thought, “What have we done?”

Collection was to be in August so we had 3 months to wait – time we spent worrying about the cost and thinking of where we could go in the new van. I found a Forum specifically aimed at the Brazilian Bay which proved to be a brilliant resource for information and which was so friendly we’ve made scores of new friends in the real world as well as cyberland.

We were so excited by delivery day and the train journey from Preston to Yate seemed to take forever. It was all worth it – our first sight of Absinthe (yes, of course, she’s got a name) was fantastic and we couldn’t wait to drive her home. Paperwork done, Mrs B took the wheel and we set off.

What was immediately obvious after years of driving modern automatic cars was that this one was going to need to be driven. The gearbox and gear stick seemed to have minds of their own and the steering was eccentric to say the least. That didn’t stop us from grinning from ear to ear though (what we now recognise as the permagrin of the VW enthusiast) and being thrilled by the waves from other VW owners.

 

It’s the last bit that has been the real thrill of ownership for us. The VW world is a small one with lots of interconnections and in the main we’ve been welcomed wherever we’ve gone. Sure, there are one or two die-hards who consider anything without an air-cooled engine as less than authentic but, in the main, Absinthe brings a smile to most peoples faces.

The recent ending of production in Brazil has brought the T2 into the limelight again and in 30 years time I’m sure the current incarnation will be as revered as the originals are now. For us Brazilian owners, the attraction is the freedom to use the van as often as we want.

Many of the Forum members use their vans as their everyday vehicles and many have now added power steering to make day to day use even easier. We use Absinthe almost every weekend from Spring until late Autumn and the pleasure we’ve had from her has been immense.

We’ve had 3 week runs through France and Spain and weekends away throughout the UK. We’ve done our first ever Festival (Larmer Tree in Dorset) and have used her as overspill family accommodation at our Static Caravan in the Dales. She’s shifted furniture and been to the tip. We’ve had afternoon teas overlooking the coast and icy mornings in the Cotswolds. She’s even part of our Xmas decorations over the holiday break.

Would we swap her? No! Are we glad we found Danbury? You bet we are.

* a bit like DFS, Danbury nearly always have a £500 offer running

 

 

 

 

 

Go your own way…. Classic VW Camper van hire in the South of France

Image shows the 69 campers advert

It’s the fanatics, the curious, maybe the first timers that continue this story… from the initial “plattenwagen” design that the restorers piece together, the cabinet maker that mixes modern with iconic or the feel and smell of an era gone by.

69 Campers launch their very own and unique way of holidaying in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur.

A vintage vehicle comes back to life in an area steeped in natural history and beauty; 69 Campers have married the classic VW Camper van to this esteemed region.

A premium range of VW Split screen and Bay windows from the 1960’s and 70’s have been sympathetically restored to realise today’s customers requirements without harming the integrity of the vehicle.

All the Campers hail from the sunny climates of the USA and France, enabling a professional bare-metal restoration and mechanical overhaul. They have new 1600cc twin port engines, re-conditioned gearboxes and new electrical wiring looms.  Bespoke fitted kitchens with two gas burners, sink, fridge and storage give a touch of luxury in a retro classic. Thoughtfully equipped with iPod connection, solar shower, 220v leisure battery, sun canopy and outdoor furniture to name a few… a truly fine product with beautiful toning hand-made interiors complimented by matching linens and tableware.

The Camper vans have all been named to reflect their personalities so a relationship can flourish from the moment you turn that key.  Margot a  1978 VW Bay window is our shimmering light from California, oozing beach and sun in her soft yellow and pearl body work.  Amélie is a 1968 VW early Bay, our sweetie from Alabama dressed in pacific blue and pearl.  Estée is our little star, a 1968 VW Bay window in velvet green and pastel white originally from gay Paris. Finally Gigi, our fabulous 1964 VW Split screen Sundial Camper, an Arizona belle shining in two tone beige and alpine white paintwork.

Margot, Amélie, Estée and Gigi are available for rental all year round, or why not consider hiring one for a wedding or another special event.

Collecting your VW Camper van could not be easier, fly to Nice, Marseille or Toulon, take the TGV or drive direct.  Your self styled adventure starts in Seillans, one of the medieval perched villages in Provence, the home of 69 Campers.  From collecting your beautiful vintage Camper the choice is yours, explore the vineyards, take a culture tour or head for the chic resorts of the Cote d’Azur and Monaco.  Discover Provence and the French Riviera with 69 Campers.

For all enquiries please contact Matt Tombs of 69 Campers

Tel: 0033 483 11 17 75 Mobile: 0033 675 85 25 76

Email: matt@69campers.com

Visit: http://www.69campers.com

69 campers banner logo

Press release – Field of Dreams 2014

Field of Dreams 2014 HeaderEscrick Park Estate, 12th – 14th September 2014

Field of Dreams Aircooled VW show is back for a second year.  After an extremely successful first show in 2013, tickets for this year have just gone on sale and are already flying off the website!

Those that came in 2013, may have been aware of a couple of issues we had with the venue that were completely last minute problems and totally beyond our control, thankfully, we decided we couldn’t put our trust in a venue that could make things so difficult at such short notice!  We will be putting on a very fine selection of music yet again, this, apart from the fantastic aircooled VWs on show was most definitely a highlight of the first Field of Dreams and is going to stay as part of the show for years to come, with music to suit most tastes at some point over the weekend.  Last year, we had soul, funk, ska, rock, dance, reggae, indie and more, bands that played covers and bands that played their own excellent material, plus DJs, a dance tent, and even an acoustic tent!  All three music tents last year had people dancing on the Friday night, for a full 12 hours on the Saturday and throughout the day on the Sunday.

As well as all the aircooled VWs on show, we also had some fantastic traders, including autojumble, craft, VW gifts and parts along with some unusual stands and some fantastic food! We had a fancy dress theme, we are currently deciding on a theme for this year’s show.  There was a fantastic Canine Show and Shine, run by Manchester Dogs Home and sponsored by Dogs N Dubs.  We had a hobby horse race, I felt we had to have something horse racing related with our venue being York Racecourse.  We will be doing the hobby horse race again this year, so get those hobby horses dusted off and customized, there will be a prize for the best hobby horse!  And then of course there is the aircooled show and shine, I was amazed by both the quantity and quality of the show n shine for our first year, this is bound to only get bigger and better as the year’s go on.

Escrick Park Estate is a fantastic location, easy to find and is roughly, just a 15 minute drive or bus journey from the beautiful, historic, City of York and some of last year’s weekend guests, did pop into the City for a look around and some in fact spent a few days here before the show.  If you don’t know York, it would be a real shame to come to the area and not visit, in my opinion it is one of the most beautiful cities in the UK, if not the world!  York has a vibrant café culture, hundreds of museums and historic monuments along with many other attractions, excellent street entertainers, great shopping and so much more.

Field of Dreams, is an aircooled VW show and there is a camping area that is strictly for aircooled VWs.  But, we do have a general camping area that is for all vehicles.  This can be somewhat confusing if you haven’t been before, basically, if you have a vehicle that was built as an aircooled VW, then if you would like to be in the aircooled only camping area then you purchase an aircooled ticket, if you are coming in a watercooled VW or a non-VW, you can only book into the general camping area, no other vehicles will be permitted into the aircooled area.  If you are coming in an aircooled but want to be with your club or friends that don’t drive an aircooled, you may of course book general tickets – the general area is for all vehicles, watercooled VW, aircooled VW and non-VW.

We look forward to welcoming you all to Field of Dreams 2014.  You can buy tickets and book trade pitches by going to the Field of Dreams page on our ClassicVolks.com website www.ClassicVolks.com/vwfieldofdreams.html  Earlybird tickets are well and truly sold out but there are still a few extra discounted advance purchase tickets left, these are at a 10% discount of the advance purchase price. Be quick though because when they’re gone, you guessed it, they’re gone. *UPDATE 21/07/2014 – only a very limited number of these left!

If you are a business interested in sponsoring the show then please get in touch with Kate at events@classicvolks.com for more information.

The VW Kombi – it may not be the end!

So it was expected that December 2013 would mark the end of production for the VW Kombis that are still rolling out of the factory in Brazil.  This was due to new safety laws coming into force in Brazil – as they previously had in other countries of production, the last being Mexico in 1995.   The new laws include ABS brakes and airbags, which there just isn’t room for in the Kombi and so the only answer was to end production after 63 years!

Brazil’s finance minister, Guido Mantega, is looking at a possible exemption from the new safety regulations that meant the production of the Kombi had to stop.  The finance minister is saying that an exception may be made for the VW Kombi because of it’s iconic status and they may allow production to continue.  The Kombi is still very popular as a workhorse and is seen being used as a work van all over Brazil.

The factory in Brazil had produced a limited edition of 1,200 to be the last ever Kombis to roll of a production line, anywhere in the world, all in blue and white with a commemorative plaque on the dash, going for a price of £26,000.

Monday (23rd December) will see final decision day and the finance minister will anounce if there is to be a reprieve for the Volkswagen Kombi!

Watch this space, we will keep you updated!

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.