If the VW Beetle is the people’s car, then the VW camper is the people’s camper (or ‘bus’ as they’re often called). From a UK perspective the Transit probably wins out as the people’s van.
Essex Veedubbers’ Battlesbridge show was a sea of camper vans…and some minters at that. But you can find loads of pictures of those kinds of vans on the internet, so speed-blur decided to pick on the more unusual ones. Like this pick-up with funky canvas cover and a spot of wood flooring:
Perhaps more unusual though was the tub, go-kart, pushchair thing that accompanied it!
This one stood out for rocking flip paint. About 10 years ago every motor in the modified car scene was falling over itself to be coated in the stuff, but it soon got old hat. It doesn’t look a hell of a lot better now in all honesty, but it definitely makes you stop and look.
Flip paint is probably one of those things that looks great on paint charts, should make for an incredible finish on a car… but ultimately never seems to look as good as it should, even when it can change as brilliantly from green to yellow and gold as this example.
Harlequin paintjobs on the other hand could go the other way. Ridiculous idea, but it seems to suit VWs.
When it comes to a van that’s all good though, this Syncro takes some beating. It’s not the shape everyone goes crazy for and it’s a double cab pick-up rather than a ‘proper camper’… but just look at it!
Four wheel drive, army-spec paint, exo-skeleton bars and a winch; it’s a utilitarian dream.
*Quick retro break*
It wasn’t just older campers on display. This photo probably shows most generations of VW’s favourite vans:
But you can understand why the old ones are so popular. This split-screen camper looked very period-correct and the black and white humbug paint had a refreshingly simple effect.
Other owners had a little more time on their hands to stamp some unique personality onto their vans.
This one had plenty of amusing touches. The guy must scour some seriously obscure shops or have mad eBay skills:
From perfectly apt and raunchy stickers…
…to Spartan helmets, old lamps and the skull of some half human/half goat freak. He even managed some original artwork with a self-deprecating doodle of a rat.
Of course, some people use roof racks for more functional things. They even have the foresight to paint chess boards on their bonnets in case they get really bored at a car show.
*quick retro break number 2*
To finish this post are two of the most interesting and coolest vans at the show.
Firstly this matte black, high top camper. We’ve never seen another like this, which is both good and bad. Good because the owner has something unique, but bad because it means we’re less likely to ever find one like it.
Admittedly it’s kind of ugly, but the best vehicles often have a touch of that (Lancia Integrale!). Plus, as over six-footers this looks a whole lot more practical than your usual camper van.
And secondly this smart looking van. You may have seen a detail of the art work on this vans side in our earlier post on this event, but it was only right we show you the whole thing. It’s a bold move with some crazy contrasts in colour but it definitely works. The fact that it has the roll back sunroof is just a massive bonus.