If you have a bunch of motorcyles, a load of bits and pieces to do with old bikes and a few good mates, what’s the next logical step? Open a museum of course!
That may not be exactly how the motorcycle museum at Battlesbridge in Essex came about, but it’s definitely the vibe it gives off. Open on Sundays only, it seems like a good excuse for these vintage motorcycle fans to chew the cud, sit outside the front and watch the antiques-hunting crowds stroll by.
For the bargain price of £1 though, you can interrupt their Sunday club briefly as you shuffle past into the inner sanctum. Not being motorcycle geeks particularly, it’s not the two-wheelers that stoked our initial excitement.
The Pegasus logo from Mobil’s history seems increasingly popular with car and bike fans after a retro twist. These guys, however, may be the only ones who opt for the moustached high diver mannequin as the way forward in creating some old school nostalgia. It’s kind of bizarre that it fits in so well really!
The skeleton on a bike was equally bizarre. Perhaps this is a warning to other bikers about the perils of practical jokes on your co-riders, i.e don’t superglue your mate to their bike seat… you’ll never get him off.
You’ve got to love some of the details on these old bikes. Even the paint schemes have a certain element of ‘craft’ to them, you know, that attention to detail that sometimes feels a bit lost in a robotic and computerised age.
Those details continue to things like these bottles, presumably for oil. Can you imagine a plastic Castrol bottle ever looking good in a museum of the future?
Everywhere you look there’s something oozing with man nostalgia… from the bikes themselves to the hordes of signs that you can’t help thinking would make for good decor in your own garage. It feels a bit like that actually, more like a very lucky enthusiast’s garage, filled with personal artifacts from a life of petrol and passion. For £1 entry, it’s worth the visit just for the atmosphere alone even if you don’t care that much about motorcycles.
If any one car defines a scene and a way of life, it might just be the VW Beetle. Whether you love them or hate them, there’s no denying the Beetle’s impact on automotive culture and their uncanny ability to win fans from both genders and of all ages. The people’s car in a very real sense.
The recent Essex Veedubbers show at Battlesbridge certainly had its fair share of VW Beetles on display. You might think that a car that has been customised for so many years may leave owners struggling to come up with a fresh take on things…but you’d be wrong. Or, we may just have been blinded by the all-out funkiness, immaculate preparation and awesome stances on display to not notice the fact these Beetles were all old hat! But that’s probably not the case…
Rat-look cars are another Marmite bit of car culture. If any car really suits it though it’s the VW Beetle. Some of them are that old that they’re probably rocking that style naturally too.
Others take a cleaner approach to things. Simple paint, nice splash of chrome…
… awesome exhaust. Job done.
And you can never escape the SoCal/surf culture link when talking about Beetles. This matte grey didn’t over-do it though, which was nice…
Car of the show for us was this stunner though. Again, you could imagine it bombing around SoCal, giving hot rods a run for their money. When you look at it closely the unusual front bumper is one of the sweet touches that help the overall effect
But it’s the safari-style windscreen that is a bit of a treat, normally something preserved for VW campers. As far as we know this was never a factory option, but there are enthusiast companies that have created various systems to give Bug-lovers the look.
The other bonus of the opening windscreen is people can clearly see your awesome aluminum bucket seats!
From every angle this car just looks right, presumably the popped engine cover suggests it also has the brawn to back up the beauty.
Against other Beetles the colour really stood out too. Anyone else think it looks like the Laguna Seca blue used by BMW on the E46 M3?
Cream, on the otherhand, is a more classic take. Check out the stance of this one though…serious camber made more noticeable with the whitewall tyres
Up front, there was some serious tucking going on.
Something shared in common with another classic looking Bug.
It might be ironic, but you can’t help thinking the tow rope wrapped around the front bumper might be there as a precaution – a precaution grown from experience!
While not adopting such a grass-kissing stance, the simple approach of this car was appealing.
With a race tuned engine and a few graphics with a bit of motorsport orientation, this is a Beetle built for function more than anything.
The old Pegasus logo from Mobil was particularly cool. They don’t make logos like that anymore!
From concourse clean and classic, to low down, tuned and dirty, this show had the lot. Whether you do love a bug or not… surely there’s one here you’d be happy to have in your garage.