Posts Tagged With: hitop

Hessisch Oldendorf 2013

AAaaahhhh man what a blast was this show!!!

I lefthome on the evening of wednesday 29th to meet up with fellow bus owners at dover beachfront where we parked up to get the early boat on thursday morning..
Once landed in Dunkerque we re-grouped and made a convoy of 11 Splitbuses.. this convoy was rather Unique, with a very early bus.. a ’50!! Owned by Dai Watkins and was “thrown” together to make this trip. ๐Ÿ˜€

Further more we had a 51, 52’s, 53’s, 54 sunroof, Single cab, early bullet buses and the hitop..

Chez’s 53 hippyracer and Ben’s 51 ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  ย  Buzz’s 54 sunroof, the green ‘windup’ barndoor and in the back Dai’s 50!




















The reason why we had to stop was a overheating engine in Ben’s 51..

Another stunning bus in the comvoy was the 54 deluxe from Graham! ย  ย  ย  ย Scotty’s 52 RHD, Simon’s 56 Pg/Sg and Mike’s 59 RHD.

Half an hour later we were back on the motorway continuing or ever lasting super slow convoy at approx. 45 mph.. We decided to do some shopping before we would go to BBT’s and so we came off the motorway just before going in the Antwerp Kennedy tunnel.

We draw a serious amount of attention at the local supermarket ๐Ÿ˜€

As soon as we tried to get back on the motorway we came to a complete stand still, we didn’t even made it on the motorway. I jumped out of the bus walked on to the motorway and saw a sign : accident – wait at least 1 hour. Damn!! A quick word with the rest of the group and I decided to lead all the buses around via the waaslandtunnel aka “bunnyhole” (konijnepijp) through the center of Antwerp whilst rush hour!!

A few shots made by Mike as I was too busy focussing on not loosing anybody!
Thanx to everybody for cooperating well and making phone calls in between!!

B- routing..

Dai’s ’50 – What a piece of history!!

Rush hour in front of the “konijnepijp” (waasland tunnel), a bit scary with all these expensive things on the road.. 4 lanes going in to 1 and not a single car that would leave you a gap, you literally have to squeeze yourself in.. Nearly impossible to do with a convoy.. BUT we all made it safe and sound! ๐Ÿ™‚

We finally arrived at BBT’s after a 7,5hr drive! The weather had turned from rain to beautiful weather which created the perfect atmosphere amongst loads of VW fans! (pics by BBT)

Plenty of people enjoying the FREE and fantastic BBQ from Bob by the fresh-a-licious catering team.










A great opportunity to see BOB’s own collection, he own’s an amazing car collection!!

We had a great evening meeting lots of old and new friends..

Early birds in the morning enjoying the lovely breakfast continued with the start of the convoy to Hessisch Oldendorf.


Because we had such a long drive to Antwerp we decided to have a lay in and skip the cruise in the morning so we could drive a little faster and don’t have to stop all the time.. ๐Ÿ™‚

A few pictures of the cruise..

Alan Scott’s (Scotty) 52 RHD – the oldest RHD on the road!




















Chez William’s 53 – He used to race this bus down the strip!













We catched up with the BBT convoy.. and over took them.. ๐Ÿ˜€







Vrooaaammm.. we were having a steady cruise at ยฑ 75 mph.. not bad for these old rust buckets.. ๐Ÿ˜€

Saw some very nice cars in the Convoy..















Eventually we over took the whole convoy and arrived about 15mins earlier.. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks to Niels for these nice pictures..

We parked up in the center of the town. Later on the eve they played music down the road and around 3am I called a night..









A very busy and lovely show started early saturday with the center square packed with barndoors

Chez doing what he does best.. ๐Ÿ™‚

Streets packed with early beetles..

Oval windows everywhere..

Streets filled with buses too ๐Ÿ™‚

Another Highroof!! Jari from Finland came down and drove about 2000km to get there..

A lot of very nice early buses!

One of the highlights of the show were the schwimmwagens..

They all went to the local river and gave a little demonstration.. impressive to say the least!!
I met a family from Singapore together with a friend of them, all VW heads (they have some split buses and even a kombi restaurant – Kombi rocks) and gave them a lift to the river, they enjoyed it a lot.ย If you read this, I hope to meet you again some time!!


Having some good times on the ferry crossing ourselves..














Sunday eve most people had left back home but we decided to stay on the campsite and had a nice warm shower ๐Ÿ™‚

Cool as pick up!

A nice chat and round up of the show with good friends before we took an early night and drove back to Belgium the next morning..

What a great weekend!!!


Cheers to everybody I met at the show..

Good times!!

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Thanks to all of you who came to say hello at the European shows!!!

It’s nice to hear that the roadtrip stories are still inspiring people to do the same!!

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And then there was music..

Wow, been a long time since I’ve updated the blog but we’ve been quite busy..

I finally installed a radio and leisure battery in Stella.

I got help with the wiring for the leisure battery from Ian Wheeler and his mate Graham.. thanks for that guys.. Even tho it was an easy job it felt a very hard one as we were all quite hangover!! ๐Ÿ™‚

I used speaker baffles which protect the speakers from moist and other crap that sits or lives behind these panels.. good stuff all be it a tight fit..
















I had all stuff kicking about for more than 2 yrs so glad it finally went in.. unfortunately the tweeters don’t work but that will be sorted soon..

Happy dayszz now in the bus..

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More bits sorted so less to do for the long trips around Europe soon..

Received a bIg box with a new treat for Stella..
Never liked the noisy A1 exhaust so looked around the internet and found a nice stainless steel one from VWspeedshop.
I also bought a few other bits, for the first in a very long time a bought a new battery strap. I could finally take my Airwalks out that kept the battery in place.. well sort of. ๐Ÿ™‚

As with any other job on the bus it’s never straight forward but I planned enough time for it and all went well.

Took the old exhaust off, the ceramic coating has completely peeled off and the header has become rusty..
So then it was time to fit the new exhaust with new gaskets and nuts..











Like my buddy Arnold would say.. BOOM BadaBling!! ๐Ÿ™‚

(yes I know my rear valence is a bit rusty..)

Fitted my new and very rare part, an original gearstick lock..

I picked up a new cover for the bus, well it’s 2nd hand and it’s a caravan cover really but nonetheless works fine.

I think the previous owner got me the wrong size tho as according to him this would give a snug fit..
It’s a waterproof yet breathable cover and it’s mahoosive.. look at the size of the bag !! ๐Ÿ˜€

Luckily Matt gave me a hand and she’s now dry and safe parked up.. ๐Ÿ™‚

When covered there’s no way you can tell there’s a bus parked underneath.. ๐Ÿ˜€




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Mechanical farming with Stella

Stella’s found a new home closer to my location and she’s enjoying life out there being surrounded by more air-cooled beauty..

A closer home means I can take her for a drive more often and can do some maintenance too.. at last!

There’s a few urgent jobs to do such as, re-setting the valves, replacing a knackered starter, replacing the exhaust, and some jobs on the interior .. mainly re-glueing the veneer, wall paper and cabinet parts.. having and using an oldie is charming but you just have to keep maintaining it all the time..

Anyways as I said Stella is in a great place and Matt & Chantal like her and have said to find it no problem to work on her so I got her ass up in the air to take the rocker covers off and reset the valves..

Nothing is straight forward and the muffler had to come off too to give more clearance working on the valves..

Only the best for Stella and to protect the clean and fresh gravel from oil I received a harrods 100% egyptian cotton sheet.. ๐Ÿ˜€











Over the last few months when driving back and forth to Belgium, both my truck mirrors got smashed.. so I finally ordered and fitted some new ones and they look crisp and clean..

Back to the rear end of the bus.. the reason for changing to a new exhaust is because this one’s as good as dead. It had a few repairs previously and now the bracket is broken .. also the internals are loose which gives a rattling noise.

Re setting the valves is a job I’ve not really been looking forward too, although it’s easy, my buddy Leslie explained me a few times how to go ahead with it and even made me do it several times. I still was unsure and looked it up in a manual for dummies and on internet. ๐Ÿ˜€ Mechanicals are just not my thing, however, I did sort it out and felt satisfied. ๐Ÿ™‚

Meanwile at the farm.. Matt doing what he loves most.. mowing lawn ๐Ÿ˜€ Well gardening that is! And the result is a simply stunning farm!
The early RHD (rare) crew cab is Matt’s daily driver a beautiful bus with a very nice patina!

His bus has a name too.. although for some reason I’m unsure if it’s genuine.. ๐Ÿ˜‰

As I haven’t ordered the starter and exhaust yet, I fitted everything back together and got her feet back on the floor.

The advantage of a hitop camper van.. spacealicious.. ๐Ÿ˜€














Another little job on the list was fixing my small spice rack, it holds all sorts of spares but mainly wheel bolts. And these are heavy and torn the rack apart..

The lovely weather was so good I couldn’t resist to take her out for a spin..


Next time, I’ll be fitting the new exhaust, starter and battery and maybe fit the stereo and a leisure battery too.

She needs to be ready for more roadtrips soon.. ๐Ÿ˜‰


Cheers Matt&Chantal for your hospitality!!

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This hitop is nearly ready to hit the road again

Matt, the owner of this special ’67 clino mobil invited me over for a brew and I was fortunate enough to see his beloved Highroof!

It’s in a rough yet solid condition and has some pretty cool features on it!


The clino-mobil is the German ambulance conversion and it features the typical high positioned windows on the side as well as the ‘drop down’ opening tailgate which helped with loading up “passengers” on a stretcher. This bus, however, features another hatch just above the ‘normal’ tailgate which is nice added bonus. Also to note are the big indicators on the top!

I could see the benefits of a hatch like that as it would be ideal for camping out in hot summer dayszz.. ๐Ÿ™‚


















The inside of the bus was previously decorated with a home build interior and finished in white .. It looks huge inside ๐Ÿ˜€

Although the bus looks rough it’s mechanically sound and Matt is nearly ready to put the engine back in so he can start enjoying this mad thing!!

Looking forward to cruise together soon!!


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Easter @ Antwerp

You never know how much you miss something until it’s gone…

So when I had the opportunity to go back to my hometown, Antwerp, I loaded Stella up and .. up up and awwaaaayyyy..

With temperatures still around 0หš it was a cold drive down. Not being well myself, I opted to drive straight down to Antwerp to catch an early sleep on my favorite spot at the river. Unfortunately the spot I normally park was now filled by several containers which were designed as hotel rooms with a view on the river.. Hmmm.. So I parked a bit further underneath big industrial ‘historical’ cranes, thinking, I won’t be spotted quickly and hoping on a quiet night.. WRONG bet! It turned out that the big events hall, only a few steps away, had some kind of a party going on and 20 mins after a put myself in bed there was one car after the other driving up and down the “knobbly” stones which made a noise as if I was sleeping on the motor way.. oh dear.. As if that wasn’t enough I had people walking past the bus all night and I even woke up one time thinking the bus was being rocked.. whether that was a dream or not I don’t know but it sure wasn’t a great night of sleep..

So I woke up early and took the advantage of shooting some nice pictures..


The sun was up early, and it was very welcome after such horrible weather in the past weeks..


I made a phone call to see partner in crime Iris and left, cruising past some of Antwerp’s stunning buildings..


Not the best picture, but, this recent impressive build is the new museum MAS (museum at the current). ย There’s a lot of locals who are divided about it..

I think it’s a cool building, in the wrong place ๐Ÿ™‚

The below building is one of my favorites! I lived opposite for several years and it was my first view when I walked out of the door.. Strangely though.. I’ve never seen it on the inside.. ‘the Museum of fine art’ houses an impressive collection of some of the biggest artists from the 14th century onwards..

The rest of the day I spent with my friend walking in the city, visiting the flea market and .. ย a well know known typical “brown” cafe named the “Duifkes” for some proper Stella’s from the draught!! Oh man.. I miss this pure golden liquid!!

After a good time in the evening I left Antwerp city and drove to my all time favorite club LAROCCA in Lier.. It’s approx 1.30am when I arrive. I asked my buddy Dennis to leave me a space on the parking in front of the club..

Larocca is not your average club.. it’s something where you come home to.. It feels just right, time after time, and so after a bunch of friends arrive the party kicks off until the early hours.. whoop whoop..

It’s about 9.30am when I get woken up by my buddy Leslie who pulls me up from the sofa at the entrance and drops me of in Stella.. A few hours later a wake up not really sure where I am and I freak out seeing a half naked dude next to me in bed.. EEeeK!! ย  ๐Ÿ˜€

It was now well past lunch time (1.30pm) and we could still hear the club going strong..

A quick view out of the bus made me realise we were now camping on the parking of Belgium’s best club ๐Ÿ˜€

The next morning I woke up, fresh as a bird :-), and ready to help Leslie out with a costumer’s ( and friend’s) bus who was waiting for some welding jobs..

As usual there’s always a very impressive collection of cars in the garage and this time it was no different..

Good lad Bart was represent as well, I met this fella last year and he’s is just so hilarious when you’re out on the piss and he’s suffering a hangover the next day.. Good to see you Bart!

A genuine Early speedster!!

A ’60 double door 15 window.. common as fuck.. NOT!!! and another 365, this time a genuine convertible!


Bobber’s and a stunning 57 mango that will see the roads very soon!




1930’s something – Vauxhall in original paint.. I started talking to the owner about how cool it would look being chopped, slammed, shortened but he was not having any of that .. LOL
















This is one uber sexy ride for sure!!!

The double door 15 window needed some basic cabfloor repair.. so I thought.. ?

She’s in overall good condition, but, does have some issues and the doglegs were actually in worse condition then I first thought..


Clean cut and ready for repair ..

Wimson stopped by at the garage to fiddle with his bobber and because I always see him showing of pictures of the lovely food from his ‘Teerak’ I kindly invited myself over for dinner.. Man .. his lady can cook some proper Thai food.. to say this was good is an understatement!! ย  ย yum yum ย ๐Ÿ™‚ ย  ย  ย  (thanks PUY!!)











The next morning I was back in the workshop rebuilding the LHS dogleg and trimming the replacement piece to go back in..










I finished the LHS of the cab floor and cleaned it all up looking all factory again and leaving as much of the good original metal as possible.


Good fit!

My Buddy Arnold from Holland came down to the garage as well and Wim invited us all for another fantastic Thai evening, his girlfriend Puy can cook some really really nice food.. Thanks again my Teerak! ๐Ÿ˜‰


Main dish..

And desert.. I’m seriously on a diet now..

On one of the mornings after leaving my bus parked for just 5 minutes ,I came back from the bakery only to find my mirror splattered all over the road.. Thanks tw@t!! ย Both of them now need to be replaced.. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

So after a weeks holiday it was time to drive back home to London..

But, not before my stop at Piet & Katrien who invited me for dinner and they even put a heater in Stella.. ย This was very welcome as it was very very cold every night.. I’d slept in Stella in the alps when it was snowing but somehow it felt much colder this week.

After a really nice evening filled with beers and great Belgian food I left in the morning to catch my ferry.

Whilst waiting in the queue to get on the boat I noticed this a old 4×4 with full length roof rack and overland roof tent and thought .. cool ride.. that dude is probably having a similar sort of trip.. A bit later on the boat I ran into Mark owner of the “kempes” barndoor and it turned out that the 4×4 is his and he just came back fromย a snowboard holiday and slept in his tent.. Proper hardcore me thinks !


Another flawless trip for Stella! Leslie did some tweeking on the carbs as it was puffing a lot and found the carbs being set to rich.. It now runs a lot better and is far more fuel economic!

A big thank you to all friends for your hospitality, food, drinks and showers..

I’ll be back in June for more fun ๐Ÿ™‚

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I’m tired of the cold rainy weather..

Roll on summer..!!!




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I’ve added a new section in the menu..


There’s a large selection of wallpapers, have a look and see if there’s something you like.. ย ๐Ÿ™‚


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Home sweet home..

A while ago we went back and forth to Antwerp..

Even tho it’s only 7 months since we moved yet it seems so long since we’ve been here together..

We slept at our favorite spot near to the river.. ย  it becomes a standard now when we go back. ๐Ÿ™‚

He’s becoming such a little poser.. ! lol





















There’s always something new around this place..


Until next time, hopefully not too long!!



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