original, survivor, weathered, textured, rusty or patina?

an’ then there were two – the road to Ninove begins…

Ollie and Gez’s journey by train on the Eurotunnel wasn’t so quick in the end. Unfortunately they got delayed so didn’t rock up till 1.20am in the morning! I had long since hit the sack for some shut-eye. So it wasn’t until bright an early the next morning when got to catch up over a quick camp kitchen breakfast of porridge with coffee master Gez on the aero press coffee-making duties 🙂

early morning rendezvous at bonjour services (thanks Jamie Mellish for the pic)
early morning rendezvous at bonjour services (thanks Jamie Mellish for the pic)

We then took the quick drive to the nearby rendezvous at the Bonjour services for the UK cruise gathering to the Witkap brewery in Ninove, the official starting point for Freddy Files 2017 weekend. Seemed a fewer cars gathering this year from what I previously remembered, but still a decent turnout.

strong colours and styling on this late bay window
strong colours and styling on this late bay window

It was nice to put a couple of real world faces to some people who I’ve chatted to online on different social media channels. It was also good to meet a couple of other new people who I’m sure I would be bumping into over the course of the weekend.

the force is strong with this one
the force is strong with this one

The weather was looking really nice, so once everyone had time to gather and eaten a few croissants, it was time to hit the road… It’s no race, more a casual cruise at 50-60mph with a quick stop half way. It always quite a buzz seeing a big ol’ convoy of all sorts of classic VW’s on the go. You normally get a few waves an smiles en-route from other motorists on their daily commute. There really does seem to be a universal admiration for these iconic cars wherever you go!

original, survivor, weathered, textured, rusty or patina?
original, survivor, weathered, textured, rusty or patina?

We actually made good time getting to the Witkap Slaghmuylder brewery in Ninove. In fact such good time, we got there a bit early and the gates weren’t actually opened yet! After a brief wait we all got let in and filled up the quirky, rambling old courtyard space in the heart of the old brewery.

available in a range of colour combinations
available in a range of colour combinations

Round corners, under cover, on the grass, soon every bit of space was taken up with a variety of classic VW cars and busses plus a few other extended ‘family members’ from the air cooled Porsche family!

part of the extended ‘air cooled family’, a nice Porsche 356 SC
part of the extended ‘air cooled family’, a nice Porsche 356 SC

It’s good to see the way events like this can bring people together. The UK contingent mixing in with the local and other European fans who turn up for the Freddy Files event. The event organisers have commemorative beer glasses available to taste some of the Witkap brews (very nice!), plus lay on some burgers for those feeling a bit peckish after the drive.

this stunningly detailed crew cab never fails to impress
this stunningly detailed crew cab never fails to impress

Nice buzz about the whole gathering. It’s a great way to start the weekend’s event. Nice time to catch up with old friends and have a look at all the different vehicles that have been parked up. A great little automotive aperitif for the main event tomorrow 🙂

super low Karmann Ghia with lots of attitude
super low Karmann Ghia with lots of attitude

I’ve tried to take a few pics of a range of things that caught my eye to give some kind of flavour of the event. I’ve for the most part tried to not take pics of things I’ve seen before just to add to the variety. Hope you enjoy the selection…

the weather was good enough for ‘Badass Betty’ to go topless
the weather was good enough for ‘Badass Betty’ to go topless

For an event in early March with a slightly suspect forecast earlier in the week, the weather had really got its act together. Looks like we should have some nice weather for the weekend, which always helps.

another extended ‘air cooled family’ member, the classic shaped Porsche 912
another extended ‘air cooled family’ member, the classic shaped Porsche 912

After a few hours of catching up, looking around and taking a few pics, people gradually dispersed from the brewery to various parts of the town of Ninove itself. Some stay in hotels or nearby campsites, but we like camping in the streets of the town itself. No point having a camper if you don’t camp out in it is there! The town really embraces the whole event, and street camping is OK for the event as part of the annual air cooled takeover.

Irv’s Resto Shop immaculate single cab with canvas covered load area
Irv’s Resto Shop immaculate single cab with canvas-covered load area

We didn’t even ring ahead, but for the third event in a row, we manage to find the exact same special little spot/road we like to park up and stay in for the weekend. Our own little home sweet home in Ninove! Once we’ve pitched up and had an obligatory brew up, it was nice to take a walk around the town an’ stretch the legs.

slammed an’ stock height bus buddies
slammed an’ stock height bus buddies

We had pre-booked and got places for the event meal later that evening, so that was one less thing to worry about. To be honest, by this point it had already been a fairly long old day, so once we had eaten, we were all pretty shattered, so an early ish night was in order as it was another early start (having lost an hour to European time) for the main event tomorrow. The start to Freddy Files 2017 has not disappointed!

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