Member’s Motor – Ian Crawford

One Careful Owner For 44 Years!
Continuing the new addition to Transporter
Talk magazine from the last issue, the second
instalment features Club member Ian Crawford’s
van “OTK 666J”.
OTK 666J is a ‘71 Bay Window, Danbury
conversion with a tin top roof.

Ian bought his camper in 1972 with 9,381 miles
on the speedometer for £1,270 and has a current
agreed value of £14,000, not a bad investment!
The speedometer now reads 92,249 miles,
meaning that in 44 years of ownership Ian has
covered an impressive 82,868 miles.
Ian’s camper has been garaged all of its life
and every winter it is “Put to Bed” and then
emerges again in April. Maybe this is how he
has managed to keep the bodywork and paint
completely original! The paint has never been
touched up and there is no known rust. All
door and window seals are also original, apart
from the Windscreen and Tailgate seals as these
were replaced when new glass had to be fitted
due to vandals throwing bricks! Ian’s secret to
keeping the rubbers soft and pliable is Talcum
Powder (don’t tell everyone!)
The 1600 AD Twin Port engine is still the
original that was fitted at build and it has seen
some work carried out over the years. In 2000,
Ian decided to fit a re-conditioned 34 PICT 3
Carburettor as it would have fitted originally
and what a difference this made to the running
of the engine, starting first time, every time!
The first major service that the engine received
was in 2001 at 60,547 miles. This service
consisted of a top end overhaul with new
valves, guides, push rod tubes, flywheel oil seal
and a new clutch. Work was carried out by F
Tuthill of Wardington.

In 2003, OTK 666J was back to F Tuthill for
more work. This time around work included
replacement of all fuel lines due to petrol smell
when driving (always worth doing), a new
clutch return spring, brake fluid and another
flywheel oil seal. The engine was also treated to
some fresh Fully Synthetic 20W60 oil.
Lastly, despite all of Ian’s efforts with the
previous work carried out, in 2014 the engine
was out and taken apart for all internal bearings
to be replaced. Once again, this work was
completed by F Tuthill.
The interior is that of an original Danbury, but
over the years Ian has tailored the layout to suit
his own needs. These personal touches include
a gas fridge, 2 ring gas cooker, water supply
using a 12v submersible pump, a porta-potti
and a 240v inverter for using a razor (no electric
hook-up). As well as these customisations,
Ian also designed and fitted his own IR Beam
security system and in 2001 he refreshed the
interior with some new cushions and curtains
from Individual Interiors of Upton-upon-Severn.
It is clear to see that Ian has looked after his
camper during the 44 years of ownership and
his efforts were recognised in 2004 when it was
voted “Van Of The Year” by members of The
Volkswagen Type 2 Owners Club. Well done Ian,
we hope you have many more happy years of
T2 ownership.
With all work completed, we have had another
excellent summer of camping and looking
forward to a winter where the work required
on Bluebell is reduced somewhat!
Despite all the hard work and effort, we
wouldn’t change our campervan and the
memories we have with her.
Here’s to more memory making and we
wish our members happy memories in their
vans too

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About Nick Gillott

Website Manager and General Committee member of the Owners Club. Owner of Eric the Viking (converted panel van with Viking roof) undergoing complete restoration. Tinkerer to Poppy the camper van (1972 Crossover dormobile).