Lovers of Vee Dubs turned out in their hundreds for Beaulieu’s second Simply VW rally in the grounds of the attraction.
Sponsored by Breeze Volkswagen Group, the event attracted 425 Volkswagens from early Beetles, buggies, Karmann Ghias and campers, through Polos, Golfs and Jettas to modern-day Passats, panel vans and motorhomes. From families enjoying a relaxing day out, to enthusiasts comparing their Vee Dubs, there was plenty to offer rally participants and Beaulieu’s day visitors.
Classic VW camper vans made a strong showing in the line-up, with their owners unfolding camping chairs, brewing up drinks on their stoves and enjoying the day’s sunshine at the event on Sunday 26th June. Split-screen Type 2 campers were joined by the later, hugely popular ‘bay window’ versions, along with the squarer Type 25 and modern day T4, T5 and T6, while camper conversions by Dormobile, Westfalia, Devon and Autosleeper could also be seen.
Beetle fans were spoilt by rare early examples on show, from an immaculate 1953 oval-window Beetle, to a highly modified split-window example. Visitors could see two examples of the stripped-out, military-themed VW 181, along with a pair of buggies and even an off-road Baja Beetle. Rare ‘Synchro’ four-wheel drive versions of the Golf Mk2 and Type 25 camper were parked up in the show, along with an astonishing VW XL 1 electric/diesel hybrid, one of only 250 built.
The New Forest Dub Club was in attendance with a number of campers and Beetles, along with the Vee Dub social group, while the R32OC owners’ forum showcased a stunning selection of high performance Golfs.
Enthusiasts looking to buy their own VW could have chosen between a split-screen Brazilian-built Type 2 minibus, priced at £17,500, and a 1978 bay window camper, priced at £8,995, while £3,900 would have secured a 1970 Beetle 1200. For those looking to spend less, there was a selection of trade stands selling VW-related accessories.
Throughout the day, visitors and participants voted for the People’s Choice Award. The winner was Spencer Brown with his immaculate 1966 VW Type 2 split-screen camper. “I’ve only owned this bus for four months, but it’s the eighth VW I’ve had in the last three years,” said Spencer. “I previously owned a brand new VW T6 camper but sold it to buy this. I go camping with it every weekend.” Spencer was presented with a Beaulieu trophy and a special Autoglym prize by Tim Treweeks of event sponsor Breeze Volkswagen Group.
Runners-up were Scott Teasdale with his bright red Golf and Zsolt ‘Joe’ Varga with his customised Passat. Sitting low on impressive alloy wheels, Scott had carried out a lot of work to his modified Golf during his one year of ownership, while mechanic Zsolt had also carried out most of the work to his Passat, turning it into a truly eye-catching example.
Also scoring high in the voting and popular with many visitors was Anthony Page with his remarkable Transporter van, kitted out inside like a miniature 1950s American diner and even complete with a jukebox. “I love music and Rock ‘n’ Roll culture but as I knew I could never afford a 1950s-style diner, I decided to build my own replica inside my van,” he explained.
Phil King with his Scirocco, Matt and Ella Davis with their silver Karmann Ghia, Darren Priston with his Corrado VR6, Shannon and Tom Baker-Roser with their Type 2 crew-cab and David Phillips with his Beetle and classic caravan combination, all gathered many visitor votes and joined the People’s Choice cavalcade.