1990 Volkswagen Vanagon DOKA – German for Crew Cab


1990 Volkswagen Vanagon DOKA - German for Crew Cab 

Everyone wants what they cannot have, whether it is the forbidden fruit or a diesel Power Wagon. For S. Lucas Valdes, it is a diesel Volkswagen DOKA Syncro. There are a lot of words in there that our readers might not be familiar with, so let us break it down for you. Volkswagen imported the Vanagon to the United States from 1980 to 1991. It was the son of the hippie bus and father of the Eurovan. Kind of like the XJ was a Cherokee, but the son of the FSJ and father of the current KL Cherokee. The Syncro is the 4WD version of the Vanagon, and is fairly rare. The DOKA is the double-cab pickup version of the Vanagon, which was never sold in the U.S. Still confused? It is a 4×4 Volkswagen crew cab truck, based on a van, with a diesel.

As it happens, Valdes has built an entire business (GoWesty) around these unique vehicles and their dedicated following. So it makes sense that he would have the coolest of all Vanagons with tons of rare options and custom features. His friend Thomas, who frequently scours the German countryside for all sorts of interesting VW stuff, imported the DOKA shell from Germany where it served as a railroad municipality vehicle.

For four years Valdes built the truck up in his spare time, something you all can relate to, whether you drive a Jeep, a Chevy, or a Volkswagen. The end result is not only super-rare, but with a diesel engine and lockers front and rear, it is uber-capable as well.

002 Volkswagen Doka Engine Photo 176047535
003 Volksawgen Doka Engine Photo 104844304

When a friend of owner S. Lucas Valdes negotiated for this DOKA in Germany, he argued that the condition, or even the presence of the engine and transmission, were not important, which was a feature the sellers were pushing hard. After reaching a deal with the sellers, he went to grab a quick lunch. When he returned, the sellers were gone—and so was the engine and transmission! Valdes took the opportunity to replace the stock naturally aspirated 1.6L diesel with a turbocharged, intercooled 1.9L diesel. The engine is backed by a five-speed transaxle with revised gear ratios to crawl over obstacles while still being able to comfortably travel at freeway speeds.

004 Falken Wildpeak Tires Photo 176047529

30-inch-tall tires may seem puny, but they are a significant upgrade when you consider that the factory tires are only 25 inches tall. Valdes has been really pleased with the low noise and high traction of the Falken Wildpeak AT3W tires. They have 3D siping and a silica tread compound for excellent wet weather performance.

005 Volkswagen Doka Front Suspension Photo 104844301

The Syncro platform uses independent front and rear suspension with A-arms in front and trailing arms in the rear. Valdes’ DOKA has GoWesty progressive-rate coil springs that provide 3 inches of lift and 1 inch of additional wheel travel. The springs work in conjunction with Fox smooth-body reservoir shocks, one at each corner, that have GoWesty-specific valving.

006 Volkswagen Doka Rear Suspension Photo 176047526

The differentials in the front and rear of the Syncro are interchangeable. Valdes put Peloquin limited slip differentials inside the factory vacuum-actuated selectable lockers in both axles. He also swapped the factory 4.86 gears for lower 6.17 ring-and-pinions front and rear. In addition to the locking front and rear differentials, the DOKA is also fitted with a driveshaft decoupler for 2WD/4WD selection on the fly.

007 Volkswagen Doka Interior Photo 176047520
008 Volkswagen Doka Interior Photo 104844298

An incredible amount of work has gone into the interior of this truck, but the quality is so good that it looks factory to the uninitiated. The original, bare-bones DOKA dashboard has been replaced with a more plush Vanagon GL assembly, complete with knobs to activate the center differential driveshaft decoupler, as well as the front and rear lockers. The seats are also from a Eurovan, and the rear window is out of a Ford Ranger. Most DOKAs only have one rear door, but Valdes added a second rear door from a Tristar to his truck on the driver’s side.

009 Volkswagen Doka Seats Photo 176047514

Those seats though! Valdes swapped in late-model heated front seats from a Eurovan and had them covered in black leather and vintage 1974 VW camper bright yellow, black, and green plaid that has an uncanny resemblance to our Ultimate Adventure Summer Camp Jeep. For more comfort and legroom he swapped out the rear seat for a much more comfortable and safe Eurovan GL rear seat. Since the diesel Vanagon battery is in the rear rather than under the front seat, the underseat battery boxes were cut away to provide more legroom for rear passengers.

Tech Specs
1990 Volkswagen Syncro DOKA
Engine: 1.9L intercooled turbodiesel
Transmission: 5-speed manual transaxle
Transfer Case: Volkswagen decoupler
Front Axle: Volkswagen with 6.17 gears, Peloquin limited slip, and selectable locker
Rear Axle: Volkswagen with 6.17 gears, Peloquin limited slip, and selectable locker
Springs & Such: GoWesty 3-inch coil lift springs and Fox remote reservoir shocks (front and rear)
Tires & Wheels: 30×9.5R15 Falken Wildpeaks on factory VW rims
Other Stuff: Fourth door added, Ford Ranger rear sliding window, VW Camper plaid/black leather interior, custom diamond-plate bed with sprung-hinged engine compartment door, removable rear side panels, Vanagon GL dash, heated Eurovan seats, power windows, power door locks, sliding sunroof


You’ll never go camping again after watching this teaser for The Woods


The director of You’re Next and The Guest serves up a terrifying trip to The Woods with his new movie.

Adam Wingard is one of the most interesting independent genre directors working today, with his witty home invasion film You’re Next and 2014’s genuinely excellent super-soldier-run-amok thriller The Guest bringing him to the edge of mainstream awareness after several years before that of making scrappy, ultra-low-budget features and anthologies (he was also recently hired by Netflix to helm a remake of the Japanese manga/film franchise Death Note). Now working with his regular screenwriting partner, Simon Barrett, Wingard has apparently returned to his grittier horror roots with the upcoming The Woods.

At a first glance,  the new teaser for the movie showcases a film that deploys one of the most cliched setups in horror movie history: a group of young people go camping in the woods and meet up with trouble. But if Wingard and Barrett have shown us anything, it’s that they have an uncanny ability to take genre tropes and add a fresh spin to them, which is what I’m betting they’ve done with The Woods. And even on its own terms, the teaser makes the movie look damn scary (that eerie version of The Police’s “Every Breath You Take” doesn’t hurt, either).

Based on the filmmakers’ track record (you should really check out The Guest in particular) and the buzz I’ve heard so far, I’m ready to venture into The Woods when it comes out on Sept. 16. How about you?


Tent camping could lead to flame retardant exposure


Date:May 11, 2016Source:American Chemical SocietySummary:For campers, nothing beats sleeping in a tent in the great outdoors. But scientists are finding out the air inside tents might not be as fresh as people think. A study has found that flame retardants used in the manufacturing of tents are released in the air within this enclosed space, which could lead to campers breathing them in.

For campers, nothing beats sleeping in a tent in the great outdoors. But scientists are finding out the air inside tents might not be as fresh as people think. A study appearing in Environmental Science & Technology has found that flame retardants used in the manufacturing of tents are released in the air within this enclosed space, which could lead to campers breathing them in.

Millions of Americans go camping every year to escape urban and suburban crowds and to reconnect with nature. They might not be aware, however, that many tents sold in the United States are treated with flame retardants. This helps prevent them from igniting if errant campfire flames get too close. Studies have shown that some of these compounds are associated with reproductive and developmental problems. Other reports on exposure and health impacts of the compounds have focused largely on exposure to them by touching electronics and furniture. Heather M. Stapleton and colleagues wanted to see whether camping tents might be a source of exposure, too.

The researchers tested the air space inside 15 different tents for a set of known flame retardants. The air samples contained varying levels of these compounds, depending on the brand of tent. Based on their measurements, the researchers estimated that campers sleeping for eight hours inside the tents could potentially inhale compound levels ranging from a few nanograms per kilogram of bodyweight to 400 nanograms per kilogram of bodyweight. This is less than the acceptable daily dose of 5 micrograms per kilogram of bodyweight — as set by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission — of the most common flame retardant identified in the study.

However, researchers say that recognizing all sources of exposure is important for ultimately determining any potential health effects. Because of their low body weight, children would likely experience relatively higher levels than adults, they say. The researchers also checked the hands of 20 volunteers before and after setting up tents. The levels of organophosphate flame retardants on the skin were significantly higher after set-up than before.

Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by American Chemical Society. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Journal Reference:

  1. Genna Gomes, Peyton Ward, Amelia Lorenzo, Kate Hoffman, Heather M. Stapleton. Characterizing Flame Retardant Applications and Potential Human Exposure in Backpacking Tents. Environmental Science & Technology, 2016; DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.6b00923

Peace Vans taps into Northwest’s Westfalia camping cult


Dave Massie opens up the trunk of a 1991 Volkswagon Vanagon Westfalia camper van at Camano Island State Park, Friday, April 1, 2016. Massie, along with his wife, Chelsea, and Seattle Times reporter Tricia Romano, rented the van for a weekend from Peace Vans, a local van rental outfitter, located in the SODO neighborhood of Seattle.

Dave Massie opens up the trunk of a 1991 Volkswagon Vanagon Westfalia camper van at Camano Island State Park, Friday, April 1, 2016. Massie, along with his wife, Chelsea, and Seattle Times reporter Tricia Romano, rented the van for a weekend from Peace Vans, a local van rental outfitter, located in the SODO neighborhood of Seattle.

I never thought I would camp, any more than Harley Sitner ever thought he would own an auto shop.

For years, Sitner’s own Westfalia Vanagon had taken him to a Seattle mechanic. But the business was about to close, and Sitner, a former Microsoftie and entrepreneur who logged years in the tech trenches in Bay Area and Seattle startups, saw an opportunity.
“They were literally closing their doors,” Sitner said. “I was like, ‘No, there’s a real business here.’ ”

Three years and thousands of repaired and refurbished vans later, his business, called Peace Vans, has become such a successful operation — he has up to 100 vans on the Sodo-district lot at any given time — that he’s decided to pursue a rental business. He joins another local company, Black Forest Westfalias, in renting out the popular vans to customers for camping vacations

As the weather turns from rainy to sunny in the Pacific Northwest, the lure of the open road beckons, and the Westfalias are a good solution to bringing the comforts of home to the great outdoors. Increasingly, we want those comforts. We want hot food, a soft bed and a fully stocked refrigerator.

And by we, I mean, me.

I do not camp. I don’t even glamp. I spent eight years in New York and four in Los Angeles. When I want to convene with nature, I rent a cabin on the water and take a stroll outside and once it gets the tiniest bit uncomfortable, I go where it is safe. Inside, where there is electricity and warm food and heat and no bugs.

Campers make dinner as the sun sets over the Puget Sound at Camano Island State Park, Friday, April 1, 2016. The group of friends rented the 1991 Volkswagon Vanagon Westfalia from Peace Vans, and local van rental outfitter, located in the SODO neighborhood in Seattle.

Campers make dinner as the sun sets over the Puget Sound at Camano Island State Park, Friday, April 1, 2016. The group of friends rented the 1991 Volkswagon Vanagon Westfalia from Peace Vans, and local van rental outfitter, located in the SODO neighborhood in Seattle.

But what if I could have some of the comforts of home — a fridge, a stove, a bed with a mattress and the ability to flee under duress to a city if I became overwhelmed by the idea of camping? Maybe then I could be convinced.

A Westfalia could be the answer. There was only one way to find out: a trip to Camano Island in a Peace Van.

I met with Sitner, 47, the first sunny spring weekend in April. We went through the hourlong checkout where he showed me the ins-and-outs of the van.
It was clear that Sitner had a deep, abiding love of the vehicles. He thrilled at every little nook and cranny (and there were many nooks and crannies), and delighted in showing off the hidden compartments and clever details — like the metal countertop that folds down over the burners to create a cutting board, or how the removable tabletops could slide perfectly into a tiny sliver on the side next to the window.

“German engineering, right?” he said with a grin.

He first got hooked on the vans when taking trips with his daughter. “It’s just the ability to go anywhere and have everything with you. She’s 6, we can go get outdoors and go camping with her and create memories,” he said.

Westfalia Vanagons are the descendants of the Volkswagen Bus; a German company called Westfalia had begun converting them for camping in 1953, adding sleeper pop-tops and accouterments to VW vans. Vanagon production stopped in 1991. Because they are somewhat rare, they are now a hot commodity.
“A well-used ‘project van’ can go for under $10,000,” said Sitner. Or, they can be as much as $50,000. “I tend to tell people to get something reliable that’s not going to need a ton of work, it’s going to cost $20,000.”

Despite their limited availability (or maybe because of it) the Westfalia Vanagons, which are affectionately called Westies, have developed a cult following. One man, Foster Huntington, quit his job in New York designing for Ralph Lauren and embarked on a life of wanderlust: He created the hashtag #vanlife on Instagram.

The #vanlife hashtag trend caught on, and thousands of van enthusiasts have contributed to the hashtag on social media, documenting their trips and tricked-out Westfalias in blissful settings — the edge of Big Sur, on a beach in Albania, in the forest next to the Illinois River or rumbling through the desert in New Mexico.

“They are evocative of a road trip, which in general is a wonderful thing. There’s the sense of exploration and discovery,” Sitner said. “The van has everything you need; it’s a self-contained little adventure-mobile. It has a small footprint — it’s not a big, monstrous RV.”

His friendly competitor, Mike Kane, owner of Black Forest Westfalias, agrees: “There’s an appreciation out there — I don’t know if it’s nostalgia or what. Most people who rent them already know about them. They are looking for a Westfalia.”

Indeed the vans are so popular that Kane’s two vans are booked for all but two weeks of the summer; and Peace Vans’ four vans were booked at about 40 percent capacity at press time.

Dave Massie sets up an LED lantern that was provided by Peace Vans in the back of a 1991 Volkswagon Vanagon Westfalia at Camano Island State Park, Friday, April 1, 2016.

Dave Massie sets up an LED lantern that was provided by Peace Vans in the back of a 1991 Volkswagon Vanagon Westfalia at Camano Island State Park, Friday, April 1, 2016.

“It’s just wonderful to be a part of the community and be able to plug into that,” Sitner said. ”I went camping last week. The people across from me, they have a van, and now we share a beer, and are hanging out and talking. It was cool,” he said.

I was about to find out firsthand. I hopped into “the Pilchuck,” a 1991 Volkswagen Vanagon Westfalia with a burgundy exterior and pale-gray interior. Though it had stickers from Burning Man on its windshield (the Pilchuck had been Sitner’s personal vehicle), taking one to the Burn is strictly verboten.

Sitner sat next to me as we drove around the block a couple of times. At first it was awkward to be so tall and close to the front. (The engine is in the back). The positioning of the wheel at a flatter angle reminded me of driving a very small version of a school bus.

I bid farewell to Sitner and picked up my friend Chelsea (her husband, Dave, would meet us later). Our destination was Camano Island State Park. Sixty-seven miles from Seattle, it was close enough for a quick jaunt but remote enough to feel like a getaway. We’d arranged a sample rental for two nights. Peace Vans usually requires a weeklong minimum rental during summer months, offering rentals for as few as four nights during the offseason.

We arrived at the campground and set up “camp,” pulling out firewood and taking out the things we’d need for cooking. Though the van came with a fully loaded fridge and inside stove, we opted to use the portable stove and enjoy the weather.

Peace Vans come stocked with everything you could think of. Wine opener? Check. Plates, cups, pots, pans? Check. Salt and pepper? Check. Lanterns, dishwashing soap, something to sit on, a small table, fresh grounds from local company Conduit Coffee and a French press for the morning? All of the above. They even come with tents if you’re weird like that and want to sleep outside.

After an afternoon of Frisbee, we cooked burritos and roasted marshmallows. Afterward, we made our beds; the couple took the pop-up top and I slept “downstairs.” The vans are well-suited for a couple and a kid or two; four adults would make it a tight squeeze. It was better than sleeping on hard ground, but it was still chilly at night. The camper van couldn’t fix that; you only get heat if you run the engine.

We spent the next morning cooking breakfast — this time inside the van as the weather wasn’t so dreamy — and playing cards. It was so cozy it was tempting to stay inside all day, but Chelsea rallied us up and out into the world, where the sun had slowly started to peek through cloud cover.

We hiked a three-mile trail in the 173-acre beach park and enjoyed classic Pacific Northwest views — a collection of bleached drift logs and breathtaking scenery of Saratoga Passage.

My friends headed home and I stayed another night. Yes, that’s right, I successfully camped by myself and did not burn anything down. I cooked dinner and read by the campfire, and sipped some of the 2bar bourbon, a locally made spirit, provided upon request to customers by Peace Vans.

The next morning, I bid adieu to the campsite and toured the island’s rural scenery of wide-open fields and lush forests. I took the advice of a guide at Cama Beach State Park, where adorable cabins are for rent (and already heavily booked for summer), and took a road (fittingly, Sunset Drive) that eventually led me to English Boom Historical Park, overlooking Skagit Bay. I got lost a few times, but I didn’t mind; I could prepare lunch and sit at the water and read, free of charge.

There, the thing Sitner had told me would happen, happened.

A couple parked next to me and asked me about the van. They had a friend who had rented one down in Florida; it seemed neat. We talked about the allure of van life. Two people, who never would have talked to me, did.

Weeks after my trip, I found myself feeling wistful whenever I saw the vans on the road, already nostalgic. I could agree with Sitner’s sentiments. “They are just joy machines, really,” he said. “Everyone who drives them smiles.”

Busfest – Club discount!!!



If you are a current paid up member of the Volkswagen Type 2 Owners Club then you are not required to pay the Camping Unit fee at either of the Vanfest or Busfest events. (Note; This is restricted to 1 vehicle per membership).





What started as a small event called VANFEST in 1994 at the Malvern Show ground, UK has grown to become the world’s LARGEST INTERNATIONAL BUSFESTIVAL event for owners, lovers and enthusiasts of Volkswagen Transporter Van’s.

Held over a 3 full days in September, with over 8000 vehicles 25000 people attending plus over 300 trade stands the BUSFEST provides absolutely everything and anything you could possibly want to do with VW transporters plus a whole lot more.

The BUSFEST CREW extend a MASSIVE thanks to all of you who supported again at BUSFEST 2015. We look forward to meeting you all (and a whole lot more new Transporter Fans) again in 2016 at Malvern for the BIGGEST and BEST truly INTERNATIONAL VW TRANSPORTER FESTIVAL anywhere!

We have been through a difficult period over the past few years but are now well and truly back where we want to be and able to move forward again. We can promise that we will again be bringing you a really fantastic event for 2016.

Our ADVANCE TICKET BOOKING system will be opening JANUARY 15TH 2016 when we will also be announcing (most of) our 2016 EVENT PROGRAMME.


There is a small increase in our Adult entry fees for BUSFEST 2016. This is our first price increase in 3 years & necessary if we are to be able to continue to produce and develop what is the World’s Biggest & Best VW Transporter event.

The ADULT Price is now £40.00 Per Person. (Children up to & including 16 years FREE Entry)

The CAMPING UNIT Price remains at £20 for a 7mx7m plot.

(And unlike most other events you will NOT be hit with ANY additional Booking or Delivery Fees).

The DAY VISITOR price remains at £15 per adult.

There will also be an advance DAY VISITOR W/E (3 Day) Pass available at £40 per Person.



CERTAINLY – With a Full 3 days to keep you amused we will have the MOST comprehensive Entertainment programme for all ages of any VW Event. (We ARE still providing FREE evening entertainment).

UNDOUBTEDLY – We have use of the BEST Show ground and facilities in the country for staging our event (whatever the weather!!). With excellent fixed indoor (and outdoor) facilities, Welfare blocks (including showers), Restaurant & mobile Catering, good water supply, drainage and tarmac roadways we know you will have a good time when you are with us.

PROBABLY – We will be presenting the BIGGEST vehicle displays of any event (anywhere).

DEFINITELY – You will find we have the LARGEST Trade Area of ANY VW event (in the World!) with everything you may want (or not) for your Transporter. PLUS; a MASSIVE Vehicle Sales Area.

If you have any doubt as to what we are capable of achieving (or have not been to our events before then check out the info, comments & pictures on our face book page).














smart fortwo Humiliated by VW California Camper Van and Atom 3.5R in Drag Race

op Gear is known for caravans, track footage, the British pride associated with the Atom, and making fun of slow cars. We’ve got all of those here, as a brand-new Volkswagen California camper van meets the basic smart fortwo and an Ariel Atom 3.5R on an empty piece of tarmac.

The Atom could win this race in reverse. But this isn’t the basic one; it’s the 3.5R, the most extreme thing they’ve made since the crazy V8 and a comprehensive evolution of the super-lightweight formula.

At 350 horsepower, this car has 150 less than the superbike-derived V8 model. However, it’s faster, taking 100 miles per hour in under six seconds. The 2-liter four-banger from the Civic Type R is supercharged and has been matched to a close-ratio, rally-spec Sadev six-speed sequential box, operated by wheel-mounted paddle sifters.

The smart fortwo is one of the slowest cars sold in Britain. A 1-liter naturally aspirated engine sits under the trunk floor and sends just 70 horsepower to the back wheels. Meanwhile, the VW California is like a much heavier version of the T6 van, and it uses two turbochargers to extract 180 ponies from a 2-liter diesel block.

It also weighs around 2.5 tons, so it exceeds the weight of the smart and the Atom combined. However, the TDI engine produces 4.4 times the torque of the smart, so it’s actually faster.

When you lose a drag race to a refrigerator on wheels filled with camping equipment, you know it’s time to build a better city car… smart. There’s no conceivable benefit for having such an underpowered engine in this day and age. It’s not like the fortwo is cheap either. At £11,150, it’s more expensive than a Dacia Sandero with a dCi engine. Heck, you can get a Renault Zoe EV for £13,443 and never pay taxes.

Read more: http://www.autoevolution.com/news/smart-fortwo-humiliated-by-vw-california-camper-van-and-atom-35r-in-drag-race-107153.html#ixzz47myt0DP4




This retro VW fun bus isn’t real, but it really should be


Retro is cool. And retro sells. The Fiat 500 and Mini are just two obvious examples of this.


And their success has, with mixed results, been used to form larger, more practical cars such as the 500L and Clubman. But what if there were a classic car of larger proportions that could be reinvented more naturally?

There’s a blindingly obvious candidate, of course: the Volkswagen Transporter and its people carrying and camping slanted spin-offs. VW itself has dallied with bringing it back to life, much like it did the Beetle, but the closest it’s come is a two-tone Caravelle.


Cue David Obendorfer. We’ve featured his fine penmanship on Top Gear before, but he’s been at the rendering software again and concocted this, the T1 Revival.

Its design is based upon the floorplan of the latest T6 Transporter – so it’s of useful stuff- and people-carrying size – but with an extra 7cm in the wheelbase. It is also much cuter and curvier, with clear design elements from that first T1.


The cuteness continues inside, too; check out the amazing air vents atop the dash, the slender door handles and the single, round dial. All, you won’t be surprised to learn, ape their equivalents in that original 1950s fun bus.


So, then: this or a Fiat 500L MPW to shift you and your mates around? We imagine it’s no contest.

sfhdh sfhdgh

FBI report – Camper van used as part of a robbery


I just hope it wasn’t a getaway vehicle….


The man who the FBI says robbed a bank in Cheyenne, Wyoming late last month while wearing a surgical mask may be connected to a Volkswagen Camper Bus with a flower design and Colorado plates.

The robbery happened on Feb. 29 at around 11 a.m. The FBI says the man robbed the Warren Federal Credit Union inside of a Safeway at 700 South Greeley Highway. He left with an “undetermined” amount of cash.

Police described the suspect as a white man who is around 6 feet tall and 185 pounds. At the time of the robbery, he was wearing a heavy coat, black surgical mask and heavy knit cap.

He is believed to be connected with a white 1970s model Volkswagen Camper Bus with Colorado license plate that had a “flower or pattern design.”

Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to contact the Cheyenne FBI Office at 307-632-6224 or the Laramie County Sheriff’s Office at 307-637-6524.

Show season’s starting again!!!



THE fourth annual Volkswagen car show will be held at Harrogate’s Great Yorkshire Showground next week.

The Spring Dub show takes place on March 6, and will see classic VW camper vans and modified cars from the Dub scene on display with more than 400 expected to be on show

Also this year, there will be a display of scooters, including an original prop from the film Quadrophenia.

Spring Dub opens at 10am on Sunday. Tickets cost £7.50 online, or £10 per adult on the gate. Tickets for under-16s cost £4.

For more information go to springdub.co.uk


Spring Dub 6 March 2016 Indoor VW VAG show The Great Yorkshire show ground Harrogate


Fitting send-off for former VW Club chairman




Tony Varga, a former chairman of the North-East VW Club, recently died of cancer and his funeral took place on Tuesday, February 2.

Among the mourners were his wife Suzanne, their daughters Clare and Leigh and countless family and friends.

A convoy of Beetles and campervans followed the hearse from the Rolling Mills social club, in Longfield Road, to Darlington Crematorium.

Steve Lambert, the current chairman of the club, had known Mr Varga for about ten years and said his friend would have been proud at the turn-out for his send-off.

The Northern Echo: The funeral of Tony Varga, a former chairman of the Northeast VW club. Picture: TOM BANKS

Mr Lambert said: “If Tony had been there, he would have grinned from one side of his face to the other.

The Northern Echo: The funeral of Tony Varga, a former chairman of the Northeast VW club. Picture: TOM BANKS

“It was quite a sight to see all the Beetles and campervans lined up, Suzanne was absolutely over the moon.

“Tony was a lovely fella, he really was Mr Sociability.”

Those words had earlier been echoed by Clare Varga, who described her father as ‘the life and soul of the party’.

She said: “He’d love to be remembered as a good laugh who did his best to help anyone who needed him.

“He was very well thought of and we’ve been overwhelmed by the support we’ve had since he passed away.

“He was mum’s best friend and always there for me and my sister – his death is a huge loss to us all.”