air-cooled classics everywhere you look

Variety is the spice in automotive life

Although it was called a ‘Barndoor gathering’, there was no shortage of other air-cooled classic VW’s at Ben Pon 2018. It was fun looking around not just the area dedicated to the world record collection of barndoor buses, but also the rest of the Wagenwerkplaats site to see the plethora of amazing air-cooled VW’s that were at the event.

roof chop single cab – perfect summer cruiser
roof chop single cab – perfect summer cruiser

For example, how about this roof chop single cab? It would make a perfect summer cruiser, as long as the weather remained good. In the UK, that might limit its use somewhat, but hey, you’d sure look cool driving around!

too kool for skool – tough looking barndoor with patina to match
too kool for skool – tough looking barndoor with patina to match

I was loving this tough looking, streetwise barndoor. It had patina aplenty with an attitude to match, one very cool bus!

An amazing feat of engineering…

Then there was this amazing feat of engineering and bodywork. No this is not lens distortion! This was a pretty hardcore roof/body chopped ‘shorty’ custom 23 window ‘samba’ deluxe bus.

roof chopped shorty custom bus… not sure I would fit in it!
roof chopped shorty custom bus… not sure I would fit in it!

A lot of engineering skill and bodywork hours must have gone into producing this bus. Begs the obvious question as to why you would want to go to all this effort, but hey, why not I guess? Limited parking space and height restrictions? As you can see, it has been done to a high standard. Not sure I would actually fit in it mind you!

super cool Palm Green/Sand Green Barndoor with front roof Behr scoop air conditioning
super cool Palm Green/Sand Green Barndoor with front roof Behr scoop air conditioning

Classic Palm Green/Sand Green colour combo on this Barndoor with front roof Behr scoop air conditioning, the forerunner of the later peaked roof split screen bus (like mine) air condition system. It takes the air driven in at the front outside the bus and distributes it inside the bus. Simples. 🙂

not just Barndoor buses, plenty of other beautiful air-cooled buses to be seen
not just Barndoor buses, plenty of other beautiful air-cooled buses to be seen

There was a full array of so many of the various incarnations of the VW bus family options to be found in and around the different areas of the site. Exploring the show grounds was like going on a mini treasure hunt where you never knew what gem you might find lurking around the next corner…

beautiful black split window ragtop beetle
beautiful black split window ragtop beetle

Such as this line up of classic split window beetles, including this awesome ragtop variation – my favourite type of beetle of them all!

cool engine with a super cool Judson Supercharger – vintage speed upgrade
cool engine with a super cool Judson Supercharger – vintage speed upgrade

Really nice vintage speed addition to this very clean and tidy barndoor engine bay. A super cool Judson Supercharger to give that little bit of extra ompf, and millions of extra bonus cool points!

business or pleasure – cool vintage air-cooled work buses

Vintage VW buses are synonymous as classic campers, but they also were offered up as very practical workhorse vehicles. The reliable air-cooled engine coupled with a deceptive amount of interior space from such a small footprint, the bus could equally lend itself to the needs of businesses and trades that had to transport goods or equipment around.

aged sign written commercial panel van
aged sign written commercial panel van

It was rare to see this amazing fully kitted out vintage VW fire bus complete with all the equipment, pump and hoses with it. More often than not, all of this would have been stripped out (and probably discarded) when decommissioned and the bus put to other uses. This particular example was more like a dedicated museum piece! Amazing that it’s been kept so original and intact over all these years and has all of its original equipment and accessories with it. A proper time warp example.

fully kitted out vintage VW fire bus with all the equipment, pump and hoses
fully kitted out vintage VW fire bus with all the equipment, pump and hoses

Another really practical adaptation of the basic air-cooled bus concept. This time a single cab truck with an extra wide body rear load area to make it easier for transporting goods/equipment. Ace looking truck with its hoops and bows on and of course, loving those aggressive tread tyres! 🙂

loved this wide bed single cab bus – great looking work bus
loved this wide bed single cab bus – great looking work bus

Would be awesome to see this immaculate sign written barndoor panel van parked outside any business!

Again loads of pics, but there really was a lot of interesting stuff to see! 😉 Hopefully, this gives you a bit of a flavour of the event? It really is the show that kept on giving!

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