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.
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.
“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.
“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