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Tight squeeze: This is the moment 51 bus enthusiasts brought a new meaning to the term people carrier as they set a new world record for the number of people crammed into a classic VW Campervan

Breathe in everyone! People of all ages packed into the 1974 vehicle during the Busfest van festival in Malvern, Worcestershire, yesterday

A MECHANIC from Clacton has set a new world record by cramming an astonishing 51 people into his classic VW campervan.

Jamie Bakker, 26, of Coppins Road, was joined by friends Christopher Dee, Phillip Perry and 48 other enthusiasts for the attempt, which took place during the Busfest Van Festival, in Worcestershire, at the weekend.

Hop in: Bus enthusiasts also piled into the VW Campervan via the boot (pictured). The  Guinness World Record helped raise money for Make-A-Wish Foundation, a charity that grants wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions

The bid was part of a charity fundraising event for the Make A Wish Foundation, which makes the dreams of youngsters fighting life-threatening conditions come true.

Jamie, who works for Ace Autos, in Crossfield Road, said: “I restored the campervan myself and modified it myself – it was a project over ten years.

The attempt, recognised as a Guinness World Record, also helped raise money for Make-A-Wish Foundation, a charity that grants wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions such as cancer.

james Lewis, from BBC’s Flog It and Bargain Hunt, was there to witness the record-breaking attempt organised by Comfort Insurance.

He said: ‘I’ve been involved in quite a few world records in my time but this has been one of the most exciting yet, especially as it has never been done before and for such a worthy cause.’

One of those who took part, Calvin, added: ‘I didn’t think we’d do it at first. People’s hands and arms were squashed in my face. When it came to the last person, everyone joined in to pull him in. What a great atmosphere!’

Peter Cue, founder and director of Comfort Insurance, which organised the record attempt, said: “Our customers enjoy having fun with their campervans and we wanted to do the same. What better way than getting everyone involved in trying to set a world record, whilst helping families and children across the UK!”

Busfest saw around 25,000 campervan enthusiasts and 5,000 vehicles visit the festival over the weekend.

Give us a push! It was a snug fit but those who crammed into the VW Campervan set a new world record, even if they did need a bit of help

“I have loved VW campervans since I was a kid, so bought one when I had the chance.

“My partner, Lauren, saw something on the internet about the show saying that Comfort Insurance wanted a pre-1975 campervan to volunteer for something.

“We agree to do it and when we got there, we found out it was to set this world record and raise money for charity.”

He added: “It was crammed. It was comfortable to start with, but it got a bit claustrophobic in the end.

Giving the thumbs up: Packed in like sardines, there wasn't much room to breathe for the 51 bus enthusiasts who took part in the attempt

“They only had 40 minutes to complete it and after about 30 minutes they were getting a bit desperate and were shoving people into the gaps.

“I’m so pleased we were part of it – it was brilliant.


In total, 51 people squeezed into Jamie’s 1974 Type 2 campervan, helping to set the official Guinness World Record.

“There has never actually been a record set before – Guinness basically made it a challenge for 51 before they would consider it a record, said Jamie
Record-breaking moment: Two men help close the VW Campervan's doors to complete the attempt and allow everyone to get out again

Celebrating their success: Busfest saw around 25,000 campervan enthusiasts and 5,000 vehicles visit the festival over the weekend


VW van centres celebrate caddy and transporter launch


We’ve come a long way since 1954. From the original T1 and the Caddy pick-up, the Transporter and Caddy have evolved into the most versatile and technologically advanced vans you can buy. And with BlueMotion Technology available across the range, it means they’re also some of the most economical.

The Transporter and Caddy really have been perfected over generations. Why not come and experience these outstanding new vehicles for yourself? We can’t wait to show you the new safety and driver assist systems.

New Transporter: Starting from £17,745*

Raising the standards again, the sixth-generation Transporter sets the benchmark for quality, practicality and low running costs. The latest version launches with the widest range of engine, transmission and trim level options ever offered by Volkswagen. It also introduces a host of new design and engineering features, along with new assistance, safety, convenience and comfort systems.

Featuring cleaner, more efficient engines, the Transporter is available with a range of four 2.0-litre TDI Euro5 engines with outputs of 84 PS, 102 PS, 140 PS and 180 PS (Highline only) and a 2.0-litre TDI Euro 6 unit that develops 102 PS. All models benefit from Volkswagen’s acclaimed BlueMotion Technology modifications as standard. These include low rolling resistance tyres, regenerative braking and Start/Stop systems to reduce fuel consumption, meaning the new Transporter is cleaner and more efficient than the outgoing model.

In keeping with Transporter tradition, the new T6 model offers a range of body options and gross vehicle weights to suit the needs of all operators and drivers. In addition to three roof height options – standard (1,410 mm), medium (1,635 mm) and high (1,940 mm) – the new Transporter is available with four gross vehicle weights (ranging from 2,600 kg to 3,200 kg) along with short and long wheelbase options.

The latest incarnation of the Transporter boasts a host of new standard features including BlueMotion Technology, DAB+ digital radio, 5-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth phone connectivity and USB connection. Standard equipment also includes Volkswagen’s acclaimed Automatic Post-Collision Braking system, which automatically applies the brakes after a collision, reducing the risk or severity of a secondary impact.

Incident on the way from Busfest – let’s be careful out there!!


TWO people were taken to hospital after a crash in Malvern Wells involving a VW camper van and a Vauxhall car.

The incident happened just before 11am on the A440 Wells Road, bear the Bhan Thai restaurant.

A spokesman for the West Midlands Ambulance Service said that two ambulances and a rapid response paramedic were sent to the scene.
When they arrived, they found one male with facial injuries, and another patient with injuries not specified. Both patients were taken to Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

A VW camper can rally took place at the Three Counties Showground,. Malvern Wells, over the weekend.




Volkswagen T6 launch – press release transcript

Volkswagen California T6


Off on holiday – advance sales of the new California have begun

– In three equipment lines: Beach, Coast and Ocean
– Entry-level prices from just €41,429.85
– New TDI and TSI engines – lower fuel consumption and stop/start function as standard
– Modern infotainment, assistance systems and DCC suspension

Hannover, 10 June 2015 – Advance sales of the new California have started at dealerships in Germany. Prices start at €41,429.85 (Beach with 62 kW TDI).

The California is now available in three equipment lines: Beach, Coast and Ocean. The California Beach is the entry-level model. It is the perfect combination of a 7-seat passenger car and a motorhome with up to five berths. Equipped as standard with a manual pop-up roof and two different layouts (double reclining bench seat with storage compartment or folding triple bench seat with multiflex board), it provides the ideal base for everyday life and travelling. Naturally, the integrated roller blinds enable the creation of privacy and shade, just as the ability to turn the front seats around enables driver and passengers to sit together in a cosy seating group. In combination with the removable camping table within the sliding door and the folding chairs in the tailgate, you are always equipped for outings of all kinds.

New to the range is the California Coast. With a manual pop-up roof and an aluminium row of units in pale wood trim, it is more motorhome than passenger car, but without losing any of the high level of everyday practicality. With up to five seats, it shows how cleverly thought out the California concept is. The galley with stainless steel sink, 42-litre cool box with clip-in basket and twin-hob gas cooker with Piezo ignition, coupled with lots of storage space, facilitates comfortable living even on extended journeys.

The California Ocean offers very comprehensive standard features, including auxiliary heating, Climatronic, double glazing, closing aids and much more. The pop-up roof is operated by electrohydraulic power, rising and lowering at the press of a button. The new dimmable LED lighting in the pop-up roof and tailgate produce a whole new feel-good ambience inside the vehicle.

A key fundamental feature of the California range – besides the convertible, multifunctional interior and integrated accessories – is the fold-out double bed on the ‘first floor’. The pop-up roof with a sleeping area of 1.2 x 2 metres and the proven layout with a folding bench seat in the back, which if needed can be laid flush to form a bed, and, depending on equipment line, a slim row of kitchen units with cool box, gas cooker, sink and storage space on the left-hand side, has therefore been retained.
The vehicle height remains at practical 1.99 m on all three models.This successful concept has been made better still with enhancements to detail.

However, small details have been thought of as well. There is now, for instance, a multi-functional holder for the rear compartment. It is a cup, ashtray and towel holder all in one. A minor feature perhaps, but one that shows the designers’ attention to detail in this upgrade. The integrated accessories, such as camping chairs and table, can be stowed away in space-saving fashion and firmly secured, but are never in the way and always with you on board.

In addition, the California models have, either as standard or as options, all of the numerous innovations of the latest T-series generation – including driver assistance systems, the latest infotainment with ‘App Connect’ and adaptive suspension. Travelling is thus made even more comfortable, safe and entertaining.

The latest generation of engines provides in each instance exceptionally low fuel consumption (from 6.3 litres / 164 g/km) – without losing any of the joy of driving. All of the new TDI engines – from 62 to 150 kW – fulfil the Euro 6 emissions standard and have BlueMotion Technology with engine stop/start. Across the whole model series, the new engines save a litre of fuel compared to the previous generation. All in all, consumption has been reduced on average by 15% per cent. By the autumn further engine and gearbox combinations – DSG and 4MOTION all-wheel drive – and two petrol engines delivering 110 and 150 kW respectively will be incorporated into the range of models available.

Since the launch of the California model in 1988, every generation has seen its popularity grow. In the T3 version 22,000 California models were produced and in the T4 version 39,000. The T5 version the Volkswagen California achieved a production record of over 50,000 vehicles.

Black widow ‘lived for nine months’ in VW camper van

The spiderImage caption The spider has been rehomed at a butterfly farm

A couple found a venomous black widow spider had been living in their VW camper van for nine months after it was discovered by a mechanic in Worcestershire.

The couple, who do not wish to be named, imported the camper van from Sacramento in California in November.

They stored it in their garage before taking it to a Strensham mechanic, who found the spider on Thursday.

The spider has been rehomed at a butterfly farm in Warwickshire.

‘Very, very venomous’

Carl Marshall, from the Stratford Butterfly Farm, said: “The mechanic was working on the underside of the vehicle when he spotted the spider and told the owner it was there.

“We went over there and collected it last Thursday.”

Mr Marshall said although the spider was “very, very venomous”, it would have been unlikely to have attacked a human unless it had been squashed or sat on.

The female spider was found alongside a sac of eggs, which was also taken to the farm.

“The egg sacs were empty and it is very unlikely the young would have survived in Britain’s colder temperatures,” said Mr Marshall.

“The spider itself probably only survived the winter because it stayed in the camper van, where it was slightly warmer.”

However, he advised the owner to be cautious.

“It does sometimes happen that black widows are found in imported vehicles,” he said.

A spokesman for the Stratford-upon-Avon attraction said: “As the spider is renowned for being incredibly tough and living in dark crevices, it was easy for it to remain unnoticed in the camper van.

“It would have eaten insects to survive and caught its prey by snaring it in its web.

“Although living in the van for the last 11 months, it appears completely unscathed after its travels from the USA.

The spider is being kept in a biological hazard enclosure at the farm.

line break
  • Black widows are known to be one of the most venomous spiders in the world, with venom 15 times more potent than a rattlesnake
  • The venom, although potentially lethal, is only administered in small quantities, so rarely causes death
  • In the US between 1950 and 1989, 63 deaths were reported, about 2-3% of recorded bites
  • Female black widow spiders may cannibalise their mates after copulation to ensure they are well-fed to get through pregnancy. They can lay up to 900 eggs in an egg sac

Source: Stratford Butterfly Farm

Lovers of VW camper vans gather for weekend of food and live music

Strumpshaw VW Fab Festival. Photo : Steve Adams

Copyright Archant Norfolk 2015

Strumpshaw VW Fab Festival.Chris Hansen with his 1958 Transporter single cab that he restored and was owned by his family since new. Photo : Steve Adams

The VW Fab – Family and Bands – Festival came to Strumpshaw Steam Museum from Friday to Sunday, with scores of VW campers packing into the site.

Thousands enjoyed live music, a dog show, a charity raffle – which supported Priscilla Bacon Lodge and Scotty’s Little Soldiers – and even a camper van cook-off.

And the weekend proved so popular that by 1.30pm on Saturday the site was packed to capacity for the day, with the team unable to accept any more visitors.

Performances from acts including The Minute Steaks, East View Acoustic, Chris Brown and Tom Tonks kept crowds happy, with children’s entertainment for the hundreds of families.

A Dub Tucker Trial saw 10 contestants brave mystery meals, with courses including scrumptious skewers and a little tipple.

Festival-goers described the weekend as “brilliant”, saying they were already looking forward to next year’s event.

Scotty’s Little Soldiers supports the children of men and women killed while serving in the military, while Priscilla Bacon Lodge provides specialist advice and support for those with life limiting illness and their loved ones.

Guide to buying a VW campervan

Finding the right VW campervan for you If there is one iconic vehicle that represents the campervan it’s the Transporter-based model from VW. Since going on sale in 1950, there have been five different versions, with a new one due for release this year. And they are more popular than ever which makes buying one an absolute minefield. Unless you have this reference tome to handy.

VW Campers are generally built by specialist conversion companies and only in the last ten years or so by Volkswagen itself, but many are created by competent owners using off-the-shelf kits, or relying on their own DIY skills, either way the range of options available proving practically infinite. Each and every one is based on Volkswagen’s Transporter, a vehicle that has been around since 1950 and is now about to enter its sixth incarnation. Though a ubiquitous and popular vehicle in its own right, there is no doubt that the Transporter owes much of its success to the iconic status of the VW Camper.
So, are you tempted? Have you always fancied a VW Camper but don’t know where to start? Perhaps you own one already but secretly crave something with the latest creature comforts, or maybe a head-turning classic air-cooled model.

Whatever the dream, a new book called, rather aptly, the VW Camper Buyers’ Guide might help you on your journey to making it reality. This handy paperback will acquaint you with the history of the VW Camper and give a rundown of the best conversions over the years. This will help you understand the benefits of each generation, from the earliest split-screen campers to the latest new models. Which ones will suit your needs and which ones won’t? It’s time to assess your requirements and decide on the ideal VW Camper for you and your budget, before learning what to look for when viewing vehicles for sale and, or course, how much to pay.

Select the right model of VW for youInside the VW camperWhether you are new to VW Campers or a seasoned enthusiast, the VW Camper Buyers’ Guide is the only source of in-depth advice on buying all five generations of this iconic vehicle.

Richard Copping is Britain’s leading Volkswagen author and historian. With more than 25 books to his credit, he has written extensively on both the Volkswagen Transporter and the Volkswagen Camper. The book is in paperback format, measures 210x148mm and has 224 pages with 250 illustrations. The ISBN is 978-0-9928769-1-3. Published on 1 April 2015 by Behemoth and priced at £14.99, the VW Camper Buyers’ Guide is available from bookshops, Amazon and other online retailers.

Just what America needs — a VW pickup truck!–a-vw-pickup-truck-2015-3?r=US

Volkswagen Pickup
File this under “insane” mode for potential business decisions. Volkswagen, struggling to gain significant market share in the US market, is looking to shake up its product mix.

On the plus side, there could be a revived VW Bus, that iconic transport of hippies and assorted counterculturalists in the 1960s.

According to Bloomberg, “Volkswagen AG, which became part of U.S. pop culture with its bug-eyed Microbus, is looking at getting back into the U.S. van market.”

Groovy! But then … there’s … this:

The German company could also sell a pickup truck as it examines opportunities to broaden its range in North America, Eckhard Scholz, head of the light commercial vehicle unit, said at a press conference in Hanover on Wednesday.

“Pickup trucks are a dominating segment,” while there’s also a trend in the U.S. toward compact European vans, Scholz said. “We’re looking at both options intensively.”

Before you say, “Um, WHAT?!” please note that VW did sell a pickup in the US in the 1980s, a woefully underpowered compact model that was like a Rabbit crossed with an El Camino.

And VW currently sells a small pickup in a lot of countries that aren’t the US. It’s called the Amarok (see the photo above).

But the operative concept here is not in the US.

Because nobody can sell pickups in the US if they aren’t General Motors, Ford, or Chrysler. The big three own the pickup market. Toyota tried to challenge them, and basically failed. Nissan’s pickups have been also-rans, although some have been popular with outdoor-sports types.

On the one hand, it’s refreshing to hear VW addressing its vehicle-mix problems in the US. The company is far from realizing its ambitions to come back to the US a big a way and challenge GM and Toyota.

On the other hand, however, it’s downright disturbing to see VW talking about, of all things, pickups as part of its US comeback strategy.

Let’s hope, for VW’s sake, this is just speculation.

Read more:–a-vw-pickup-truck-2015-3?r=US#ixzz3V2MCDfg6

Vintage vehicle serves up sweet new venture

Paul Scott and his partner Deb Lawton, have set up the Fudge Bus. Picture: Ian Burt

Paul Scott and his partner Deb Lawton, have set up the Fudge Bus. Picture: Ian Burt

Take an iconic vehicle and a melt-in-the-mouth sweet and you could have a winning combination.

Paul Scott is hoping his 50-year-old VW camper van and a supply of award-winning fudge will be the recipe for success after giving up his day job and ploughing his savings into his new venture.

The former shop manager from Melton Constable bought the camper van last year and after sourcing fudge from a producer in Yorkshire he has put the two together to create The Fudge Bus.

He, and partner Deb Lawton, took the bus full of fudge to sell at a couple of events last summer where he soon realised that it could take off as a full time job.

With its shiny cream and green paintwork with the instantly recognisable VW symbol on the bonnet, vinyl seats that turn into a bed for weekend festivals and events, and oak fronted cubby holes cleverly making the most of every inch of storage space, the bus is already proving the perfect shop front for the new business.

Paul Scott and his partner Deb Lawton, have set up the Fudge Bus. Picture: Ian Burt
Paul Scott and his partner Deb Lawton, have set up the Fudge Bus. Picture: Ian Burt

“People are drawn to the bus,” said Mr Scott. “Then they see the fudge and can’t resist it so the two seem to go really well together.”

If the business takes off it will be a dream come true for 42-year-old Mr Scott, who was the shop manager at Pensthorpe Natural Park until last year, as it will be the chance to combine both his love affairs.

“My first car when I was 17 was a VW Beetle and I go to all the VW shows around the country,” he said. “I managed a sweet shop in Hunstanton for four years and made my own fudge so I know how popular it is. So I put the two together and on our first event we sold 50kgs of fudge. We have done some pop-up shops over the winter and now are booking into as many events as we can in Norfolk.

“It has been quite a gamble going from a full time job to working for myself but hopefully this year it will really take off.

“And the bus is a lovely place to work.”

Mr Scott’s camper was built in 1965 and he believes it was first bought by an Austrian and used as a bus to transport a football team to matches, before it was imported to the UK. Its top speed is about 55 miles per hour but Mr Scott prefers it that way as it means stress-free motoring which “puts a smile on your face” and it gets admiring looks wherever it goes.

Get a first look at the new VW T6 camper van at the Motorhome & Caravan show at the NEC

Visitors to the Motorhome & Caravan Show at the NEC this autumn will have the chance to see a collection of the new VW T6 Transporter conversions under one roof for the first time in the UK.

Four exhibitors have confirmed they will have VW T6 conversions at the show, including the original VW campervan converter Westfailia GMBH which will debut its new T6 Club Joker City on UK shores.

Concept Multi-Car Ltd (Stand 11,145) will launch its all new conversion for the VW T6 which is called the Reimo Free Van and expects to have another T6 based model on display.

Nomad Campervans (Stand 11,165) will have its new ‘Ranger’ T6 conversion, unveiling a layout that combines the comfort of saloon car seating with the functionality of a campervan. Taking advantage of the new T6 variable seating layout options of the back passenger area, this new family multi- purpose camper offers seating for 5 on full size seats without the usual compromise of sitting on a 3/4 width rock and roll bed.

Wingamm (Stand 8.08) will have the show’s only T6 coachbuilt conversion, with the new T6 Micro on show in the entrances to Hall 9 and 12.

Westfalia Mobil GmbH (Stand 12,160), widely regarded as the original VW campervan converter, will feature its brand new T6 based Club Joker City at the show. It comes with a pop-up roof and will go into production in autumn 2015. This new model is designed to be used ‘365’ days a year as a go anywhere vehicle acting as both daily driver and campervan at a height of under two meters. It comes with a cassette toilet in the rear and the possibility to include a shower. It also features a compressor-type refrigerator as well as a warm water boiler and heating, with innovative sleeping and seating arrangements.


Other exhibitors also expect to feature VW T6 campervan conversions pending delivery of base vehicles into the UK this September. AutoHaus (Stand 12,86) plans on featuring T6 conversions of all its popular models at the show. Danbury Motorcaravans (Stand 12,60) too expects to have a T6 conversion of its popular Surf model. Hillside Leisure (Stand 11,10) plans on featuring a T6 version of its Birchover campervan conversion. Vanworx (Stand 11,160) also hopes to feature a VW T6 converted to campervan specification at the NEC this October.


James Bissett, Marketing Campaign Director for NCC Events, organisers of the Motorhome & Caravan Show, said: “Our event is the UK’s national leisure vehicle launch show and we are really excited to have a selection of VW T6 campervan conversion models making their UK debut as this will be the first place visitors will see them all in one place.


“It’s testament to the industry how fast the leading converters have acted to get hold of the very first VW T6’s coming into the UK and burn the midnight oil to turn them into campervans. It shows the importance of our Motorhome & Caravan Show. Stay tuned to our social media channels and for updates.”


The Motorhome & Caravan Show 2015 will be opened by ex-superbike racer and ‘King of the Jungle’ Carl ‘Foggy’ Fogarty and is the first place to see a life-size model caravan made of LEGO® bricks revealed to the world on opening day 13 October. All new 2016 motorhome and caravan models from leading UK and European brands will feature alongside trailer tents, folding caravans, caravan holiday homes and lodges, campsites, tow-cars, awnings and porches.


Visitors can enjoy exclusive show only deals, new product demonstrations, the Experts’ Theatre, FREE caravan towing and motorhome manoeuvring lessons, browsing hundreds of accessories, free parking and a free show guide – plus kids go free too!


The show is supported by The Caravan Club and The Camping and Caravanning Club, fills 11 huge halls at the NEC in Birmingham and features every type of leisure vehicle.

To buy tickets (in advance from as little as £7.50 senior/8.50 adult*) and for more information visit: or call: 0844 338 7799