Camper van become TV star

http://www.shropshirestar.com/news/2014/07/03/revamp-sees-camper-van-become-tv-star/

Revamp sees camper van become TV star

When Mark and Polly Stoker bought their latest VW camper van they had big ideas.

Now - David Lowe, of V Dub Body Shop, Audlem, with the van
Now – David Lowe, of V Dub Body Shop, Audlem, with the van

Hoping to enjoy its ultimate potential, the artistic Newport couple wanted to create more space in the vehicle and use it as a camping haven.

After months of work, the stunning split screen VW Camper, named Matilda, is set to be featured on Channel 4’s George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces, thanks to its exciting revamp and interior design.

Before – George Clarke with the couple’s van part-way through the restoration work
Before – George Clarke with the couple’s van part-way through the restoration work

David Lowe, owner and manager of the VDub Bodyshop, in Audlem, said: “When they bought it to me it was drivable, but they wanted to make a lot more space in there.

“I did all the metal work, so we media blasted it, taking all the paint off, so it was just a shell.

“The van was blocked off so you couldn’t walk from the passenger seats to the back of the van, and we removed that and it opened it up completely.  They also got a pop top roof for the van, so the roof can go up significantly when they park up.”

The van was then sent off to another company, who completed the interior design work.

Mr Lowe added: “They really put a lot of work into finding the right colour for the paint, and getting the right bits for it.”

But for the Stokers, it has been a dream for a long time. The couple run an ice cream business, Polly’s Vintage Ice Cream Parlour, from another VW van they have had restored, named Florence.

Mr Stoker said: “I’ve had Matilda for about five or six years now, and we also have Florence, who we converted into an ice cream van.

“Matilda really got put on the back burner I suppose whilst our other project was going on, but the whole idea was that we could really use the space and maximise its potential for a camper.

“These things were made in the sixties, and not built for a six foot man like me, so we had to install different things to make it work for us.

“It’s a proper camper though, not one of these vans you go to shows with and pose.

“There’s a rock and roll bed, a camping stove, a fridge, and we’ve got a trip to Belgium planned already.”

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