Member’s Motor – Bex Randall – Florence

I have always dreamed of owning a T2 VW
Campervan, but until last year (2016) I had
never been in a position to do so. Being a
complete novice when it comes to anything
mechanical (I can just about do the tyres and oil
on my car), I soon realised that buying a T2 was
a complete minefield, for which I was woefully
ill equipped. I wanted one that I could drive
and enjoy straight away and not a renovation
project, so it had to be in very good condition,
both mechanically and bodywork wise.
This meant I needed help; Hubbie is not
mechanical either, so luckily my help
came in the shape of a friend’s husband,
who not only is a trained mechanic but owns
his own racing car business (featured on
Dragons’ Den), AB performance Ltd.
So in 2016, the hunt began in earnest and after
several failed missions with Andy telling me
“NO!!” because of rotten bodywork or needing
too much interior work, I spotted Florence. She
was for sale in Gloucestershire, a long way from
home and too far to extend the good will of
Andy to help inspect her.
From the advert and pictures, Florence looked
She was born on 01/09/1974 in Australia and
only had one owner whilst over there. She was
originally an 8 seat micro bus, with an 1800
petrol engine but when imported to the UK
in 2005, she had been extensively refurbished
with fresh paintwork and an engine re-build
with new twin Solex carbs. Florence has a no
fuss camping set up, with sink, gas cooker, rock
‘n’ roll bed and 12v leisure battery. There were
only two previous owners in the UK, making me
her fourth proud owner.
In the interest of not wanting to buy a duffer I
decided to use the services of Type 2 Detectives
in Burwell. They acted on my behalf and went
to inspect Florence, carrying out a full external
and internal examination. Paul’s words to me on
the phone were “I’ve never seen such a good
example of a T2 and if you don’t buy her, we
will”. There was some work that needed doing
and bearing that in mind, Paul negotiated a
price at £21,500, £3,500 off the asking price
of £25,000. The owner was very reluctant and
sad to sell her, keeping her in a garage with a
dehumidifier, but needs must. So Florence was
brought back to Suffolk by Type 2 Detectives
on a trailer, where they then did some work on
her. They completed full rust proofing as her
under carriage was perfect, rewired the choke,
fitted new shifter couplings, new front discs and
brake hoses, new clutch conduits and a few
other bits and pieces. Florence has the added

bonus of a roll out canopy, which has proved
invaluable for doggy events!

So on 29th June 2016 I became the very
proud owner of Florence, a dream come true!
I purchased her with 54,772 on the clock and
she has averaged 120 miles a month from her
importation date to the UK in 2005. So what do
I use Florence for? I run a Doodle club with two
friends called “Doodles Do Splashes N Dashes”
(any poodle cross). We currently have 345
members and me and my chocolate doodle
PERCI have so much fun! We organise doodle
dashes (walks) and splashes (swims) and also
fundraise at our events for our local hospice “St
Nicholas Hospice” with an aim to raise £1000
this year. Florence is used as our base camp at
these events and we use her as a stall on our
fundraisers. This year we are going to Doodlefest
for 3 nights – a kind of Glastonbury for Doodles!
I just love every minute we spend in her, making
us and lots of other people happy. I have now
finally got her interior exactly as I want her. A
lady in our club Christine Winkless who owns
the Doggy Cookie Company has made all the
doggy accessories, campervan designed dog
bed, leads, collars etc. I feel privileged to be
able to own and thoroughly enjoy a piece of
history. Florence has clearly been cherished for
43/44 years and I will continue to do so. She is
currently having her winter health check with
Mark at M&J servicing and repairs. Mark is a
VW fanatic and air cooled specialist who will
continue to cater for Florence’s needs in my
mechanical ignorance!