Jess Phillips crammed sheets into her battered, “clapped-out”, second-hand VW and set off for the capital with her family after being quoted £1,450 for a three-night stay
Jess Phillips crammed sheets into her battered, “clapped-out”, second-hand VW and set off for the capital with her family after being quoted £1,450 for a three-night stay
A newly-elected Labour MP planned to bed down in her camper van with her husband and kids because London hotels were so expensive, she has revealed.
Jess Phillips crammed sheets into her battered, “clapped-out”, second-hand VW and set off for the capital with her family after being quoted £1,450 for a three-night stay.
She is allowed to claim £150 a night for a hotel as an MP, but would have had to cover the other £1,000 herself – and realised she could ease the burden on taxpayers.
It was a stark welcome to the corridors of power for the 33-year-old – and confirmed her worst fears about parliament’s attitudes to families.
“After I got elected I rang the travel office and said I was going to be bringing my children with me for a few days. It was as if I said I was going to bring a nuclear bomb to Westminster,” she said.
“Lots of people kept ringing me back saying, ‘We can find you a bed in this hotel’, and, ‘You can have an adjoining room with your children’ – but they were quoting about £450 a night for three nights.
“I just thought that was totally ridiculous. It made me think even more that this isn’t a normal place for normal people with normal families.”
Showing her young kids to her new workplace was important to Jess in helping them understand why their mum would be away from home three nights a week.
So, in her refreshing style that is fast becoming famous around the Commons, she decided to make her own arrangements.
“I just thought, ‘Sod it, we’ve got a VW Camper Van’. I love it, it’s like a member of our family,” said the MP for Birmingham, Yardley, who used to work at a domestic and sexual abuse charity.
“We packed up duvets, rolled-up mattresses and shoved them in the back.”
The family – husband Tom, 36; Harry, 10; and six-year-old Danny – clambered aboard and headed down the M40 to London intending to park up for the night.
In the end, friends with a two-bed flat in South London said they could crash in the living room for a few days.
But the episode highlighted the difficulties, and cost, facing MPs with young families.
Parliament’s working hours have improved over the past 20 years, with former Prime Minister Tony Blair and, more recently, Speaker John Bercow putting in place family-friendly reforms, including installing a crèche.
But Jess feels there is more to do – and is ready to lead the fight for politicians who are also parents of youngsters.
Harry and Danny certainly made the most of their visit to Westminster, performing knee-slides in the airy atrium of Portcullis House, the £235million office block for MPs opened in 2001.
And encouraging kids to feel at home in the heart of Britain’s democracy is key to keeping MPs grounded and in touch with their constituents, said Jess, who ousted Lib Dem MP John Hemming on May 7.
As well as campaigning on benefits, domestic abuse and sexual violence, she hopes to use her unique experience to breathe new life into Parliament.
Jess added: “It’s really not geared for families at all, but hopefully we can change that.”
NOW you’re really buzzing! We’ve had the Golf coffee bar, and the Mini reception area.
Now we have… the VW camper van bar in a pub. And how cool is that!
The Car Expert tweeted us with the picture, and said: ‘I’ll see your VW Golf coffee station and raise you a VW Type 2 bar’.
The bar is in the garage-themed pub Jubilee Garage pub in North Street, Bourne, in Lincolnshire.
According to its website, the Jubilee changed to a new theme pub because it was originally a garage. Upstairs boasts this 1972 VW camper van which has been adapted to a bar. The building showcases an array of vintage and retro car memorabilia including old Castrol signs, hub caps, a 1950s petrol pump and exclusive BRM photos from the 1960s.
http://www.lincolnshireecho.co.uk/Volkswagen-camper-van-event-Lincolnshire-attracts/story-26738453-detail/story.html Volkswagen enthusiasts from across the county gathered at the Brayford Waterfront to show off their personalised camper vans at a special event in Lincoln. Dozens of vehicles, many of which had been customised by their devoted owners, were parked up and left open for inquisitive members of the public to take a look at on Father’s Day. Alongside the display, which was organised in association with Lincoln BIG, there was live music from Relentless in the morning and a DJ in the afternoon. Hungry families could also pick up a quick bite to eat at a number of stalls and restaurants in the local area. Tony Morris from Lincoln was showing off his air-cooled 1979, T25, Volkswagon and insists that the community aspect of the show was the biggest draw. The 49-year-old said: “I think days like this are really important to making people feel good and getting them out the house. “It is all about the people at the end of the day – you make a lot of friends with other owners who travel around to events. “Having one of these vans opens up a whole new lifestyle of camping and freedom which is what we want to promote.” David Blades, another exhibitor at the event, agreed. The 72-year-old said: “I got to shows across the country and I think this is the best one because people seem to be really interested and want to ask you questions. “It is good to have events like this as it brings people out.” However, Chris Weston from Lincoln said that there were far fewer vans than his previous visit and believes it was not advertised enough. The 54-year-old said: “There are a lot less vans in here than last year but then I did not know about it until one of my friends told me about it. “It needs more advertising – I am sure it is a good thing for local businesses. “It is nice having it in the city centre but it does limit you.”
Most of the Bugs in the east-side parking lot of the Midian Shrine went by the names of Beetle, Karmann Ghia and the Thing.
That’s where the Shriners were hosting Bug-O-Rama, a car show and fundraiser at 130 N. Topeka for the Shriners Hospital for Children in St. Louis, and where aficionados of the Volkswagen brand were displaying their mostly vintage automobiles.
There were shiny, restored Beetles and rusty ones. There were well-maintained Volkswagen camper buses and others that were just the opposite.
There were some Beetles in chassis and engine only, sporting a dune buggy – or “sand rail” – body instead. And then there were a couple of more rare Volkswagens, like a 1973 Type 3 Fastback and a 1960s-era Notchback.
In all, there were nearly 60 Volkswagens of different vintages and types on display.
The show is in its fifth year, and in its second year of ownership between David Ryan and Robert Hoch, a couple of Shriners who decided to make it a fundraiser when they bought the show.
“There’s Bug-O-Ramas all over the U.S.,” Hoch said.
Hoch estimated this year’s show raised about $2,800 in registration fees and sponsorships, almost triple from last year’s show.
He said there are a number of reasons why Volkswagens appeal to owners and collectors such as himself.
“It’s like any other Volkswagen owner will tell you,” Hoch said. “They’re easy to work on, the aftermarket (for parts) is huge, and they’re very inexpensive to own and maintain.”
Compared with the money it would cost to restore a muscle car from the 1970s, “I could restore three Beetles,” said Hoch, who owns a 2002 Turbo S Beetle, a 2000 Beetle, a Passat and a 1974 Volkswagen Bus.
The simplicity of vintage Volkswagens is the allure for Robert Hyle.
“It’s because they’re so dirt simple and they were designed and made so anyone can work on one,” said Hyle, who owns two vintage Volkswagens: a 1968 Karmann Ghia sport coupe and, more recently, a 1962 Beetle, which he has named “Bob the Beetle.”
Except for the mechanical parts of Bob the Beetle, Hyle has kept the exterior in the condition he found it.
“I was kinda wanting a rusty, patina-looking Bug,” he said. “These old cars, they’ve got stories to tell … all the dings and dents.”
Kelly and Lora Harper said their 1969 Camper Bus has a lot of stories to tell.
The shiny, immaculate bus that they bought about 10 years ago started its life in the U.S. under the ownership of a Utah professor who Kelly Harper said “put over 200,000 miles on it” taking his family on summer trips up and down the West Coast.
“I have every piece of paper” on it, he said, going back to “when it came into the harbor in San Francisco.”
Kelly Harper said the professor who owned it also attempted to set a land-speed record with the camper bus and its engine that the professor souped up.
The Harpers bought their bus from Lora Harper’s boss. He owned it after his son – who bought it from the Utah professor – died.
Lora Harper said she had admired the bus for years. Her boss occasionally drove it to work, and for several years following his son’s death he was unwilling to sell it.
And then one day, she said, he offered to sell it to them, and for a “super” price.
“We feel honored to own it,” Lora Harper said. “It meant something for us to buy it from him.”
“We love it and I’ll never sell it,” she added.
Beetlemania exploded near Bristol today with the first official day of the family festival Volksfest.
Today saw thousands of people gather in a field in Easter Compton to celebrate all things Volkswagen.
The festival returned for its 24th year – with organisers promising it to be the biggest one they have put on yet.
People from all over the country gathered to observe or showcase their VW vehicles. And the loyalists were keen to let it be known that this is the best VW festival in the country.
Steve Walker, 59, from Kingswood, has been coming to Volksfest for seven years. He told the Post: “I come every year and it is one of the best. There are lots of options – you can go on a club display or you can compete. It is a great family friendly festival.”
Along with his friend Brett Lerway, he was there to show off his old school VW which took years to get perfect.
Mr Lerway, 56, said: “It’s my third year in a row. It’s our local festival so we always like to come down.
“We go to shows all over the country but this is our favourite.”
The two came with a group of VW fanatics who exchange ideas and tips of how to keep their motors in good stead on an internet forum.
Owners of classic and vintage V-dubs stood by their vehicles proudly and many took part in a “show and shine” competition – where the best vehicle was judged by the public.
To keep things fresh, organisers brought in the UK lowrider nationals, which saw owners of American cars with hydraulics show off their suspension tricks.
And for the first time, The Wall of Death came to Bristol – a family who have been stunning crowds for decades by riding their motorbikes around vertical walls.
Bristol business owner David Schmid, 61, was at the festival for the tenth year in a row.
Selling car parts for VWs, he told the Post: “It is one of the best festivals in the country.
“I don’t think I will ever get bored with it.”
“There is something for everyone – it for children and dogs so the whole family can get involved.”
VW announces prices and details for its latest T6 Transporter commercial vehicle, on sale in July with the range kicking off at £17,745.
After the full reveal of Volkswagen’s sixth-generation Transporter earlier this year, we’ve now got full prices and specifications for UK buyers. It’ll be available to order on the 5th of July from £17,745, with customer deliveries commencing in September.
The new T6 Transporter starts from £17,745 with three trim levels available. Buyers have a choice of four versions of a more efficient 2.0-litre diesel engine and new assistance and safety systems.
VW claims the Transporter is the second most popular commercial van in the UK and the new one features a raft of updates to improve efficiency, comfort and equipment levels over previous generations.
The Transporter range comes with three trim levels and prices for the entry level Startline model begin at £17,745 before rising to £21,315 for top of the range Highline. Prices for the Kombi passenger version start from £19,840.
The T6 comes with four Euro5 2.0-litre diesel engines that offer 83bhp, 101bhp, 138bhp and 178bhp outputs.Two versions of 2.0-litre diesels that meet Euro6 standards will be added to the range over the course of the next 12 months.
All Transporter engines are equipped with VW’s BlueMotion technology modifications as standard, which means low rolling resistance tyres, regenerative braking and Start/Stop systems to reduce fuel consumption.
As a result the 101bhp engine returns 47.9mpg (a 10.2mpg improvement over the previous) and emits 153g/km (a reduction of 45g/km). The vans come with five and six-speed manual gearbox and a seven-speed DSG automatic as standard. The prices for the Shuttle, Caravelle and California models are due to be announced soon.
Going by many names, such as opposed, boxer, and flat, the engine configuration famous to such cars as the Porsche 911 has had a storied run throughout the decades.
The hallmark of the opposed engine is the fact that the engine has two cylinder banks and each piston, directly horizontally opposed from another cylinder, does not share a crank pin with the opposing piston. The latter characteristic is essential to the engine being considered opposed; often times people confuse the boxer engine with the 180 degree V engine family, which is similar, yet attaches both pistons to the same crank pin.
Gaining the name ‘boxer’ from the appearance of two boxers going at each other from the synchronously reciprocating motions of the pistons, the opposed engine was first patented in 1896 by Karl Benz. Almost as old as the automobile itself, the opposed engine design has certainly had its run throughout the decades. Perhaps one of the earliest and most prolific uses was on the VW air cooled flat four, which became the staple of the Volkswagen Type 1(Beetle) and remained in production for almost 70 years before being discontinued; however, its appearance in road cars went on the wane much earlier, beginning in the mid 90s. Porsche has also been reputed for using flat engines, particularly on the 911 and succeeding model variants. For a time, some of the most prolific boxer engines were also air cooled, though this is no longer the case; Porsche shipped the last air cooled 911(badged as the 993) in 1998, and the air cooled Beetle ceased with the introduction of the New Beetle in 1997. Beyond Porsche, Subaru has also made extensive use of boxer engines, with the Impreza being a well known example. Ferrari experimented with the flat engine design in the 1980s, with the most prolific example being the Ferrari Testarossa, which sported a flat twelve.
Boxer engines derive several performance advantages inherent to their design, since the center of gravity on an opposed engine is much lower to the ground compared to an in-line or V design. This allows for better lateral acceleration. In addition, the benefits to handling are enormous. Better turning/cornering capability, decreased roll, and better grip of the roadway all come natural to the flat engine over its alternatives, due to its lower profile. The boxer engine also has a leg up in terms of balance; due to the fact that its pistons are directly opposed to each other, firing motions can cancel entirely. Consequently, the flat four is ideally balanced over the in-line four, due to the fact that second order vibrations can cancel; the in-line four is seen as imbalanced, hence the need for balancers and dampening mounts. Boxer engines also generally have better cooling system functionality after start-up, since, due to the horizontal nature of its profile, oil and coolant remains more evenly dispersed throughout, rather than sinking down as happens in in-line or V designs. Lower profile also makes power transmission more even, as the engine is on a plane closer to the rest of the drive-train.
Despite all of the opposed engine’s benefits in terms of performance, however, it does have a few marked disadvantages which have largely precluded its rise over the decades. The flat configuration always catches flak for the fact that the wide profile makes the engine significantly harder to work on. With each cylinder head right up against the side of the engine bay, a simple task like swapping out spark plugs can become a protracted and arduous process. In addition to irking those who wrench on these cars, it also increases maintenance cost for the average owner when it does come time to have the car in the shop. But the added costs of a boxer engine don’t stop there. They generally require more parts and components, due to the fact that having two cylinder heads is innate to the flat design. This, in many cases, doubles the number of head components, valve-train components, and cooling jackets. The added cost builds up, making the boxer engine much more expensive to produce. Obviously weight considerations come into play here, though they don’t present a huge obstacle. Many boxer engines are constrained to mid engine designs, due to the additional size requirements imparted by its wide profile; this is not always the case, with smaller boxers generally exempt.
Some folks will tell you that the boxer engine is the best thing to ever happen to motoring, while others will contend it isn’t worth spitting on- just depends who you ask. Regardless of which of these two groups is right, one can’t help but notice that the engine has always been more of a niche technology. Where does this leave the engine’s fate in today’s automotive world, where things are changing so rapidly? Probably not anywhere different than it’s always been. Sure, no new manufacturers are adopting the configuration, but those who currently make them remain committed to the design. Subaru recently unveiled a new line of smaller, more fuel efficient boxers, designed to meet the challenge of a world where fuel economy and efficiency mean everything to so many. Porsche also isn’t abandoning its flat six tradition. In fact, the German manufacturer recently announced that it was investing in a brand new line of flat engines, including both four and six cylinder mills. The folks in Stuttgart are even rumored to be working on a flat eight to grace one of their upcoming models. And of course, BMW remains committed to its line of opposed engines employed in its motorcycles. Expect the flat engine to soldier on, much like it has for decades. It might not be the next big thing anytime soon, but it’ll be around.
- Which way does the cooling air travel through the shroud? Am I right to think that the air is sucked by the fan through the opening on the other side of the shroud by the firewall area?
- And then it is pushed by the fan down and over the heads and cylinder fins and exits under the back of the car?
- And in that case what is the purpose of the hoses that attach to the nozzles on either side of the shroud?
Sealing off the heater pipe outlets in the fan shroud will increase the air pressure inside the fan shroud a little and would result in slight increase in airflow to the cylinders (see our article on Solving Overheating Problems for better ways to increase cooling).
BUT – VW designed the heat exchangers to have a small continuous flow of air through them (which is spilled out through small slots at the front (front is front of car) of the heat exchangers when the cabin heaters are turned off) – for several reasons.
- It results in less heat-soak from the very hot exhaust headers which run past the rocker covers on the way to the muffler. This radiant heat from the exhaust headers would increase the temp of the oil in the rockers covers a little but the flow of cooling air around the header pipes reduce the temp the rocker covers nearby “see”, and
- When there is any moisture in the air it can get trapped between the header pipe and the heat exchanger outer cover and increase the likelihood of rust. Running a continous small stream of air through the heat exchangers prevents a build-up of moisture inside the heat exchangers.
- Is the cooling air actually picked up from under the car by where the transmission is and goes up between the shroud and firewall into the fan opening?
*Some* warm air is sucked in to the air filter via a pre-heated air hose, identical to the heater hoses that connect to both sides of the fan shroud. The air filter has a thermostat controlled flap that allows warm air to be sucked into the carburator from under the right side cylinders, when it’s cold enough outside. This helps prevent carb and intake icing.
- If that is the case isn’t that rather ineffective? Wouldn’t it be better to have actual ducting pick up the cold air from the outside and feed it directly into the shroud opening instead of relying on the air somehow squeezing it’s way up between the shroud and firewall and into the fan opening?
- Also where does the air that feeds the carburetor come from? The few magazine articles that I’ve read tell you to make sure your engine compartment is sealed properly so no hot air gets in.
- Does the carburetor air come through the row of louvers just above the decklid?
- But if the engine compartment is sealed, then after feeding the carburetor how does that air get out?
- And finally, I’ve read that you should keep your seals in good shape (sparkplug boots and all other rubber seals) so the hot air doesn’t recirculate into the engine compartment.
Toronto Blue Jays 21-year-old pitching prospect Daniel Norris used his $2-million signing bonus to buy a 1978 Volkswagen Westfalia camper van, which he plans to live in during spring training as he’s done the last two seasons.
The van, nicknamed Shaggy after the Scooby-Doo character, will be Norris’s home for the next 2 1/2 months in Dunedin, Fla.
Norris, originally from Johnson City, Tenn., recently spoke to the Toronto Star about his van.
Here are the highlights of the interview:
Q: How’s Shaggy (his beloved van) holding up?
A: She’s good. I was away from her for a few days, but it’s good to be back now.
Q: So you’re living in the van all through spring training, not just while you’re on the road?
A: Yeah (laughing). It’s a full-time gig.
Q: Where do you park it?
A: I usually park on Honeymoon Island (a public beach about a 10-minute drive from the Jays’ spring-training complex in Dunedin.) I talked to one cop who patrols the area and he said he was cool with it, but he’s only there Thursday through Sunday, and his partner who covers the other three days isn’t cool with it. So I park at the Wal-Mart Monday to Wednesday and then move to the island.
Q: What’s the best thing about living in a van? A: Being by yourself, making your own decisions and not really answering to anybody. Not that I don’t like being home with my family and stuff, but sometimes it’s nice to just be alone and take care of yourself. It makes you get up and do stuff. You can’t just sit in there and watch TV. I mean, you can, but it’s not comfortable. Being alone so much you learn about yourself. Last year especially I really started thinking deeper about myself and what it took to get me going. It’s definitely taught me a lot. Q: What’s the worst thing?
A: Every year I’ve gotten a lot better at packing lighter, but still it gets messy. I’m not OCD or anything, but there’s times when I just want to throw everything out. You have to be organized or else it starts to feel really cramped.
Q: How do you decide where to stop on the road?
A: I always make a point to stop at Folly Beach and Charleston. That’s a really beautiful area. But other than that I just go wherever. I’ll buy, like, $20 of gas and then stop when it runs out. I’ve
Norris pitched 6.2 innings for the Blue Jays last season.
Recently the Type Two Owners Club Facebook page registered 1,000 likes, meaning ONE THOUSAND people are following our online activities using Facebook.
That is some achievement in just over two years online presence and we hope some day to double this.
Thanks to all you followers!!!!
If you haven’t already – give it a visit.
Vintage Tyre Supplies (VTS) has launched the first commercial white wall tyre specifically for the type 2 Volkswagen Camper – the 185 R14C (102/100R) by Duramax.
According to VTS, Camper enthusiasts wishing to use white wall tyres have been forced to use car tyres which are often oversized and have insufficient load ratings. This is illegal in some countries and can run the risk of uneven tyre wear or worse. The new 185 R14C on the other hand was specifically developed for commercial vehicles. And therefore it has an increased load capacity of up to 850kg per tyre.
Other popular fitments include: Bedford CF, Ford Transit, Leyland Sherpa and LDV, Mercedes 207D/208, Toyota Hiace, Citroen C25, Fiat Ducato, Ford P100 and the Volkswagen type 25 and LT.