Show season has arrived!!       Volkswagen enthusiasts from across the county gathered at the Brayford Waterfront to show off their personalised camper vans at a special event in Lincoln. Dozens of vehicles, many of which had been customised by their devoted owners, were parked up and left open for inquisitive members of the public to take a look at on Father’s Day. Alongside the display, which was organised in association with Lincoln BIG, there was live music from Relentless in the morning and a DJ in the afternoon. Hungry families could also pick up a quick bite to eat at a number of stalls and restaurants in the local area. Tony Morris from Lincoln was showing off his air-cooled 1979, T25, Volkswagon and insists that the community aspect of the show was the biggest draw. The 49-year-old said: “I think days like this are really important to making people feel good and getting them out the house. “It is all about the people at the end of the day – you make a lot of friends with other owners who travel around to events. “Having one of these vans opens up a whole new lifestyle of camping and freedom which is what we want to promote.” David Blades, another exhibitor at the event, agreed. The 72-year-old said: “I got to shows across the country and I think this is the best one because people seem to be really interested and want to ask you questions. “It is good to have events like this as it brings people out.” However, Chris Weston from Lincoln said that there were far fewer vans than his previous visit and believes it was not advertised enough. The 54-year-old said: “There are a lot less vans in here than last year but then I did not know about it until one of my friends told me about it. “It needs more advertising – I am sure it is a good thing for local businesses. “It is nice having it in the city centre but it does limit you.”

Volkswagens of all shapes and sizes could be viewed during the Midian Shrine Bug-O-Rama car show in downtown Wichita on Saturday. The show was held to raise money for the Shriners Hospital for Children in St. Louis.

Most of the Bugs in the east-side parking lot of the Midian Shrine went by the names of Beetle, Karmann Ghia and the Thing.

That’s where the Shriners were hosting Bug-O-Rama, a car show and fundraiser at 130 N. Topeka for the Shriners Hospital for Children in St. Louis, and where aficionados of the Volkswagen brand were displaying their mostly vintage automobiles.

There were shiny, restored Beetles and rusty ones. There were well-maintained Volkswagen camper buses and others that were just the opposite.

There were some Beetles in chassis and engine only, sporting a dune buggy – or “sand rail” – body instead. And then there were a couple of more rare Volkswagens, like a 1973 Type 3 Fastback and a 1960s-era Notchback.

In all, there were nearly 60 Volkswagens of different vintages and types on display.

The show is in its fifth year, and in its second year of ownership between David Ryan and Robert Hoch, a couple of Shriners who decided to make it a fundraiser when they bought the show.

“There’s Bug-O-Ramas all over the U.S.,” Hoch said.

Hoch estimated this year’s show raised about $2,800 in registration fees and sponsorships, almost triple from last year’s show.

He said there are a number of reasons why Volkswagens appeal to owners and collectors such as himself.

“It’s like any other Volkswagen owner will tell you,” Hoch said. “They’re easy to work on, the aftermarket (for parts) is huge, and they’re very inexpensive to own and maintain.”

Compared with the money it would cost to restore a muscle car from the 1970s, “I could restore three Beetles,” said Hoch, who owns a 2002 Turbo S Beetle, a 2000 Beetle, a Passat and a 1974 Volkswagen Bus.

The simplicity of vintage Volkswagens is the allure for Robert Hyle.

“It’s because they’re so dirt simple and they were designed and made so anyone can work on one,” said Hyle, who owns two vintage Volkswagens: a 1968 Karmann Ghia sport coupe and, more recently, a 1962 Beetle, which he has named “Bob the Beetle.”

Except for the mechanical parts of Bob the Beetle, Hyle has kept the exterior in the condition he found it.

“I was kinda wanting a rusty, patina-looking Bug,” he said. “These old cars, they’ve got stories to tell … all the dings and dents.”

Kelly and Lora Harper said their 1969 Camper Bus has a lot of stories to tell.

The shiny, immaculate bus that they bought about 10 years ago started its life in the U.S. under the ownership of a Utah professor who Kelly Harper said “put over 200,000 miles on it” taking his family on summer trips up and down the West Coast.

“I have every piece of paper” on it, he said, going back to “when it came into the harbor in San Francisco.”

Kelly Harper said the professor who owned it also attempted to set a land-speed record with the camper bus and its engine that the professor souped up.

The Harpers bought their bus from Lora Harper’s boss. He owned it after his son – who bought it from the Utah professor – died.

Lora Harper said she had admired the bus for years. Her boss occasionally drove it to work, and for several years following his son’s death he was unwilling to sell it.

And then one day, she said, he offered to sell it to them, and for a “super” price.

“We feel honored to own it,” Lora Harper said. “It meant something for us to buy it from him.”

“We love it and I’ll never sell it,” she added.