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Hot rods to a VW microbus – Cruise Night attracts all sorts!

“Every year, as long as they have it the night they’re supposed to, there’s been more cars. This is the most I’ve ever seen,” said Wiltonian Paul Bonomo as he stood next to his 1932 Ford Highboy Roadster Hot Rod at this year’s Wilton Kiwanis Geeb Fleming Memorial Cruise Night Friday, July 10.

“I’ve always been a car guy, since I was 15. Lived in Wilton all my life. My family moved here in 1922. We’ve been here for almost a hundred years,” said Bonomo.

“I’ve come (to the Cruise Night) every year since they had it. I knew Geeb, the guy who started it,” said Bonomo.

Thomas “Geeb” Fleming was killed by a drunk driver in 2009. He started Cruise Night out of a love for cars and car people and ran it for eight years, and now, six years after his death, the Friday night destination is still attracting enthusiasts and non-enthusiasts alike.

“This is just great,” said Bonomo, “and there’s new stuff coming. I haven’t seen these Land Rovers before; I haven’t seen that Ford,” as he pointed to various cars around the Piersall Building parking lot. “A lot of stuff here that hasn’t been here before. A lot of stuff that has been, but a lot of stuff that hasn’t.”

Bonomo exhibited four of his 10 vintage vehicles Friday: A 1963 Willy’s CJ3B, a 1961 Corvette Hot Rod, the aforementioned 1932 Ford Highboy Roadster Hot Rod and, perhaps most interestingly, a 1966 21-window Deluxe Volkswagen Microbus.

“Believe it or not, that’s probably worth more than any of these three,” Bonomo said. “They became very, very popular in the late 60s. It was really the first minivan. People bought them, but nobody held onto them.”

To Bonomo, it is priceless.

“I was getting some parts in California,” he said, “and the part-guy offered me 40 grand for it; I said, ‘no.’ I put it up for sale briefly, and had another guy offer me 55; I said, ‘no.’ He upped it to 65; I said, ‘no.’ He said, ‘Will you go to 75?’ I said, ‘no.’ I’ve seen them go for $130,000.”

The man underneath the hood

“I’m just delighted that everybody picked up on the spirit of ‘Come; bring what you got; let’s all enjoy it.’ Frankly, I’m amazed,” said Kevin Craw, who organized and ran the event, and who has been doing so ever since Geeb passed away. Craw and Geeb were best friends, and Craw helped Geeb manage Cruise Night as his “second lieutenant” before fully taking over after his tragic death.

“Thanks to the Kiwanis Club for doing all the hard work with the food,” he added. “Certainly thanks to the Village Market for helping us get set up and providing us with all the great ingredients; they gave us a big break on the bill. And thanks to the Coachmen Car Club of Norwalk for bringing the sound system and helping to keep the vibe rolling. A lot of the really cool cars here tonight are Coachmen Cars.

“I think this is at least as good, and maybe more cars than previous years. Just a great turnout. I love the vibe. Ben’s Ice Cream Truck is here, gotta have a milk shake; they’re amazing,” said Craw while simultaneously fielding questions from passers-by and other individuals.

Craw showed a 1963 Triumph TR3B, a 1971 BMW 2800CS and a 1973 BMW 2002.

His favorite is the ’71 BMW. It belonged to his late father. The 2800CS was a limited production model and was BMW’s flagship vehicle from 1968 to 1976.

“My dad loved that car,” said Craw. “It was just a shell when I inherited it. It took me three years to restore. It used to be blue, with blue leather, too. Now, it’s Verona Red.”

New camper van from Rolling Homes


Get outdoors with the new Shackleton All the practicality of a VW camper conversion but at a fraction of the cost is the promise of the new Shackleton, entry-level VW camper conversion that was on show at the NEC, Birmingham. Based on a VW T5 Transporter, the Shackleton features a front elevating, German SCA deluxe roof, colour coded to match the vehicle paintwork, plus handmade, lightweight, real wood veneered board with solid oak edges and solid surface worktops.

A 120amp marine battery powers the 12v system that runs the compressor fridge, LED lighting and water pump. The layout is a classic side kitchen with the rear seats forming the double bed.  The kitchen gas a 50-litre fridge, Smev twin-burner hob with integrated sink, water tank and pump. At the front a double-passenger seat swivels round to face into the cabin. All the internal sides are fully insulated with sheep wool and the carpet features a soft, dark-grey trim. Overall length of the vehicle is 4.89m and the height with the roof extended comes to 3.04m.

The basic OTR price is £36,995 but there are a number of extra options that can be specified. These include a long wheelbase version, which is £1,200 extra, reversing sensors, awning rails and awning itself, 75w solar panel, under seat safe, VW bike rack, swivelling drivers seat and an electric blow heater.

If you want to try out a Rolling Homes campervan before you commit to buying then try hiring one for a short break. If you decide to buy after your rental then Rolling Homes will refund half the hire cost. Alternatively, just rent one for weekends or an entire week with either the Columbus model with one twin bed and a twin in the roof, or the Livingstone model with a rear kitchen and two single beds and a twin in the roof.

More details at

Shackleton budget range

The Shackleton provides the ideal starting point for anyone looking for their first new motorhome. This is our entry-level Camper which is built using the same components as the more expensive models. This has the same level of craftsmanship and attention to detail, but with a softer price tag.

  • Front elevating German SCA deluxe roof which is colour coded to match vehicle paintwork. Included is a deluxe bed which gives extra sleeping room for 2 adults.
  • Solid surface kitchen worktop.
  • Smev twin burner hob with neat integrated sink, water tank and pump. Sealed gas locker with regulator and gas safety certificate.
  • Extensive cupboards, lockers, wardrobes and a removable table made from top quality board.
  • Swivelling Cab Seats and a Crash test approved RIB seat/bed system. The seat folds simply into a flat bed of 6ft
  • Full internal gas system with steel gas bottle locker with fully sealed door. All gas work carried out by registered motorhome LPG fitter and certificated.
  • Twin rows of LED lights.
  • 50 litre Waeco compressor fridge freezer.
  • All Rolling Homes conversions are fitted with a bespoke CE approved 12v wiring system independent from the vehicles electrics and uses a 110 amp/hr marine battery to control the 12v equipment. This system runs the compressor fridge, led lighting and water pump and is charged when the engine is running or connected to the mains via a discrete 240v hook up.
  • All rear internal sides fully insulated with sheepswool and carpet lined with soft dark grey trim.
  • Double steel box centre frame – crash proof roof.
  • TV aerial system
  • 5-year guarantee plus manufacturers warranty.

Raising a glass with Camper Vin


Will, tell SoGlos readers a bit about yourself and where you work.

My name’s Will Spiers, I’m 32, and I am the founder and owner of CamperVin, the ultimate mobile bar business. I was born and grew up in Cheltenham but I’m now a country convert, living in Bourton-on-the-Water.

What’s your background?

I have worked in hospitality since the age of 14, whether it’s been my main job or as a second job while I worked in financial advice and recruitment, but it’s always where my heart lay.

What’s the best thing about your job?

I love it. Every day is different and there are so many challenges, ultimately the buck stops with me and it gives so much satisfaction when we do a great job for our clients.

How long has CamperVin been established?

We launched in May 2013 with our first van.

How did you come up with the concept?

It evolved in all honesty, I had seen some vehicle and caravan-based bars and decided I was going to take the plunge and do something similar. Initially the plan was to build a bar around a VW camper but it was suggested we modify the vehicle to be the actual bar and then we worked with some great designers to bring the concept to life.

Have you always been a fan of VW campers?

I have, they have such a classic feel to them and ever since I was little I thought they were fantastic. It’s amazing to see how many people they appeal to as well.

Did it take a lot of work to restore your vans?

It was an enormous amount of work; this hadn’t been done before so there were a lot of obstacles to overcome and a lot of things to learn about how it needed to be done. We didn’t have a plan or set of drawings to work from so it really was an evolution.

We love the name of business; did it take long to come up with it?

I’ll be honest; it was the first name I came up with driving back from my recruitment job one day. I loved it and stuck with it.

What is CamperVins’ drinks specialism?

We serve a great range of products and everything has been carefully selected to offer a premium offering. We believe our drinks are fantastic and love working closely with our suppliers to showcase the effort and passion they put into making them.

What sort of drinks do you sell?

We offer a full range of beers, wines, spirits and cocktails as standard but the offering is flexible so we can do a specialist wines, Champagne, cocktails or even a gin bar.

What sort of events do you attend? Has there been a favourite in Gloucestershire so far?

We do a huge variety of events including horse racing, food and drink festivals, charity events, music concerts, weddings, birthdays, firework parties and more. My favourite so far would have to be Cheltenham Races, I love going there as a visitor and it was great being on the other side of the fence for a change.

Are you busy year-round or is more popular in the summer?

We do have bookings and events all year round but the summer season is much busier; from the end of April through to the end of September we have only had one weekend without a booking.

Can you tell us a bit about your new sister company?

We are delighted to have launched Willy’s Wine Bar; it is a converted 1969 Rice Trailer horsebox and has been finished to an incredible standard. The wines we offer are really premium, and the reaction to it has been absolutely amazing, in fact delighted would be an understatement.

What is your personal, all time favourite drink and why?

I’ve really fallen in love with gin and tonics recently. They used to be so generic but there’s so much variety and the quality has improved so much in recent years that there is so much choice now. My personal favourite has to be Cotswolds Distillery’s Dry Gin with Fever Tree Tonic and fresh lime.

What do you get up to outside of work?

I have much less social time now, especially at weekends, but I try and play golf, hockey and cricket as much as possible. I love watching rugby, following Gloucester and England, and I’m really looking forward to the World Cup later this year and getting along to some games.

Where else do you drink in Gloucestershire?

The Black Horse Inn in Naunton is the best local imaginable and I always hit The Retreat in Cheltenham whenever I am in town.

How do you think CamperVin will have changed or developed in a year’s time?

I think we will move out of the food festival market and aim for more horse racing, weddings and corporate work in the next year or so.

Do you host any events or have any special offers you think our readers might be interested in?

We are attending some great local events in the coming months and we are still offering a no booking fee for events within 25 miles of Cheltenham if they are booked this year. For more information call Campervin on 07500 802753. – See more at:



Turbo-speed historic VW Camper Van up for auction


MORE used to attracting dedicated arts’ lovers, David Lay’s Penzance Auction House could be swamped with surfer dudes next Tuesday.

At their general and household sale, a recently restored 1981 VW camper van – the classic wheels of choice for many surfers – will be one of the lots up for grabs.

The van has undergone a Subaru engine conversion and with a two-litre Impreza engine, and David Lay has been told that it can easily manage 70mph uphill.

As well as having bags of speed, there is also plenty of space as the van has the much sought-after Viking ‘Spacesaver’ pop-top roof which can sleep up to four people and has been resprayed in ivory and Porsche aubergine.

David Lay estimates that the campervan will fetch £4-6,000.

Also in the sale is another vehicle designed for serious speed – this time on water, an Aquador 21 WA speed boat with a 225 Honda outboard engine.

It comes on its on twin-axle trailer and has a guide price of £10-15,000.

These items, as well as other vehicles in the sale, can be viewed at the Penzance Auction House in Alverton, Penzance on Saturday and next Monday, July 20.

The sale starts at 10am on Tuesday; for more details, contact David Lay’s offices on 01736 361414.

Volkswagen unveils a one-off Amarok ambulance

 Volkswagen unveils a one-off Amarok ambulance

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has created a one-off Amarok ambulance for the East Midlands Ambulance Service in the United Kingdom.

Designed to rescue patients “who are often stranded miles off the beaten track,” the ambulance has 4MOTION all-wheel drive and a snorkel which helps the model to drive through water that is up to 500mm (19.6 inches) deep.  The ambulance also has life-saving emergency medical equipment and a load area to transport patients.

The model is currently a one-off but Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles UK Head of Fleet, Chris Black, said “… the vehicle is already beginning to receive a great deal of interest and I am sure that we can expect to see similar Amarok ambulances in the future.”

Source: Volkswagen

Skoda Van Spied During Testing, It’s Based On the New Volkswagen Transporter T6

From 1950 to the present day, Volkswagen revolutionized the van industry through its Transporter series of models. 65 years after the lineage started production, VW prepares to roll-out the Transporter T6 while Skoda is working on its version of the VW Transporter T6 light workhorse.

Mladá Boleslav and Wolfsburg are brothers in arms after the VW Group acquired control of Skoda in 1994. Both of the manufacturers share an immense parts bin between each other, so it’s not that surprising for Skoda to produce its version of the Volkswagen Transporter T6. Spied by the peeps from, the Skoda van at hand is a pre-production mule that was spotted somewhere in Eastern Europe.

While much of the front fascia is wrapped in camouflage so psychedelic Jimi Hendrix would turn it into a purple haze, it goes without question what’s under the veil. The windshield rake, curvature of the A-pillar, shape of the side mirrors and wheel arch cutouts are the tell-tale signs this is a VW T6. If you look at the shape of the tailgate and the placement of the taillamps, there you have it – a Transporter T6 Multivan.

As a Multivan, this prototype has a generous glasshouse. It is not known if the production-spec Skoda van will be a run-of-the-mill panel van or an 8+1 passenger-oriented Multivan. It’s hard to determine what’s changed, from a visual point of view, over the 2015 Volkswagen T6, but except the obvious: different headlamps and taillamps, a Skoda grille, and some Skoda badges. Care to guess what we will receive under the hood of the Transporter’s brother from the Czech Republic?

No surprises, sorry! Front and 4Motion all-wheel drive, DSG double-clutch transmissions if three pedals are too much to handle, adaptive suspension, City Emergency Braking, as well as a selection of turbo diesel and turbo petrol engines. Oil burners range from 84 PS (62 kW) to a TDI BiTurbo with 204 PS (150 kW) while petrols start from 150 PS (110 kW) and top at 204 PS (150 kW). A chassis cab body style could be offered for the upcoming Skoda light commercial vehicle as well, joined by a high roof panel van variant

VW Kombi sells for record $202,000 at Melbourne auction


The fully restored 1960 Volkswagen Kombi '23 window' Samba bus.

The fully restored 1960 Volkswagen Kombi ’23 window’ Samba bus. Photo: Supplied.

A restored VW Kombi bus was sold for a cool $202,000 in Melbourne on Monday night.

The 1960 Volkswagen Kombi Samba attracted frenzied bidding at the Shannons Auctions in Cheltenham, auction manager Christophe Boribon said.

Believed to be one of just three examples delivered to Australia in this configuration, the 23-window Kombi sparked a wild bidding frenzy at the Shannons Auctions in Cheltenham, nabbing a record price for the vehicle in Australia.

260E1C3300000578-2967614-image-a-3_1424818714344“It was beautifully restored,” Mr Boribon said. “And it got a great result, absolutely.”

Only a handful of the split-window Sambas made it onto Australian roads, he said. The one sold at auction on Monday had undergone a $100,000 restoration over five years.


Once the preserve of hippies looking for cheap transport, the Kombi now enjoys a more mainstream cult following, with many models becoming highly collectible.

“We had over five phone bidders, several floor bidders and a couple of online bidders,” Mr Boribon said.

Bidding opened at $100,000 before the packed showroom, and climbed to $150,000 within 10 minutes.

“There was quite a lot of commotion in the room once it reached $150,000,” Mr Boribon said.

“The bidding slowed down from there, but it kept going back and forth until it reached $202,000.”

The winning bid was placed by a buyer over the phone, and the new owner wants to remain anonymous.

We believe the van is going to stay in Australia,” Mr Boribon said.

“It definitely is an auction record in Australia for a Kombi.”

Last year a battered old Kombi in need of a full restoration sold at auction for $30,000.

In late December, a restored Kombi camper sold for $74,000 at auction.

“There has certainly been a renewed interest and following in Kombis,” Mr Boribon said.

Unique VW camper van sells for £67,500


For an entire generation the VW camper van was the ultimate symbol of freedom, the utility vehicle that would allow them to drive off into the sun in search of new thrills and experiences.

For some it was a dream which eschewed material possessions in favour of spiritual enlightenment, for others it was a cheap and cheerful way of going on a family holiday around the country or across to the continent.

So it is not without some irony that a particularly rare example of the German designed camper van was sold at auction, on Saturday, for the not insignificant price of £67,5000 to an anonymous UK buyer.

The Volkswagen Type 2 Samba Microbus was never officially imported to Britain and, as a result, the SGP 62 sold at auction in Warwickshire is thought to be only example of its type in the country.

The right hand drive camper van was built at the original VW factory in Wolfsburg in 1955, before finding its way to what was then Britain’s original VW dealership – Colborne Garages, run by John Colborne-Barber, in Ripley, Surrey – from where it was sold on.

By a stroke of fortune – at least for all VW enthusiasts – the SGP 62 appeares to have been kept in storage in the West country for 30 years, where it remained in good condition before being discovered in 1992. It has since being lovingly restored to the original specifications, with a new ‘Devon’ interior modelled on its original 1950s period design.

Nick Whale, of Silverstone auctions, which sold the SGP 62, said: “This is a beautiful and rare samba- Microbus, and it is historically important in terms of VW’s legacy in the UK. These vehicles are hugely popular.”

Peter Colborne-Barber, 71, who took over his father’s dealership until he sold it in 2001, remembers the enthusiasm with which his father greeted new models such as the SGP 62.

“This particular model had front opening windows, which were traditionally made for warmer climes, so goodness knows how it ended up in Britain,” he said. “It’s a lovely example of a VW camper van and looks even better following its restoration.”

It was Mr Colborne-Barber Snr who set up the first dealership in Britain to specialising in VW cars when, in 1949, he bought one of the first VW Beetles to be manufactured in Germany under the reconstruction programme supervised by the Allied forces at the end of the war.

The 1947 Beetle had been brought across by former Army officer George LaHaye who part exchanged it with Mr Colborne-Barber Snr for a Wolseley 6/80.

Mr Colborne-Barber Snr’s son bought the car back into family ownership in the 1980s when, by chance, its then owner drove it onto his garage forecourt for repairs.

It then remained at the family dealership even after it changed owners, as a historic memento of VW’s origins in Britain.

“My father loved that car,” said Mr Colborne-Barber Jnr. “They were robust and reliable and could take you to Scotland without any problems. He knew straight away they would be popular with the British motoring public. And they obviously still are.”


Vintage VW campervan helps raise Alexander Devine cash



The team from the newly-opened Gigney’s Restaurant in Peascod Street is doing a series of events during its launch week, one of which included a photobooth inside a campervan and tombola, with all proceeds going to the Alexander Devine charity.

Photos with fun props in the van were free but donations for the charity were asked for if you took a print out.

The tombola included prizes such as a free burger at Gigney’s and a tub of ice cream.

Michelle Heywood runs the Best of Windsor website and helped to set up the fundraising event.

She said: “We chose Alexander Devine because it’s a great local charity. The restaurant is all about helping local businesses and the community so fundraising for charity fitted in with that.”