Ben Pon Barndoor gathering…
Despite its name, the 2018 Ben Pon Barndoor gathering wasn’t just Barndoor buses, there was a great selection of other classic air-cooled VW’s to see as well, such as this VW Type 181. It had many names across the various countries it was sold in. It’s a two-wheel drive, four-door, convertible, manufactured and marketed by Volkswagen from 1968 to 1983.
Originally developed for the West German Army, the Type 181 was also sold to the public, as the Kurierwagen in West Germany, the Trekker (RHD Type 182) in the United Kingdom, the Thing in the United States (1973–74), the Safari in Mexico and South America, and Pescaccia in Italy. Civilian sales ended after the model year 1980.
It was great to see some buses I had only ever seen pictures of, in the metal so to speak. Point in case was this yellow, über cool Greek Barndoor Samba school bus. I’d be tempted to go back to school if I could roll up in this!
Some people like to go off into the wilds and explore in their VW Bus. Well, this bus is built just for that! Full-length rack and ladder, front bumper mounted winch, plus a 4WD system of sorts! It had some form of syncro/diff lock arrangement on the gearbox. Not sure about the history or story behind this, but not heard of that before? Wonder if it was some kind of factory prototype, or borrowed from a four-wheeled drive Schwimmwagen or Kübelwagen? Crazy but cool! 🙂
If paint is not your thing, there are options…
If you’re having final paint conundrums over your bus, there’s an easy solution. Choosing the final colour combination is often tough, but not anymore. Simply sticker bomb your bus! Job done 🙂
This original paint on this Barndoor standard was seriously faded and eroded from the roof down. Patina perfection with nothing hidden.
Sometimes, keeping the aged authenticity of a bus is not an option. Some incredible restorations take place around the world from what might simple consider scrap metal remains! Some aim to keep the originality as much as possible, some go the way of a concourse restoration. They often end up in better condition than they would have left the factory!
What do you prefer? The vintage aged look of authenticity of an original paint survivor bus, or a full-blown, nut and bolt restoration with killer paint to finish? As you can see, there are plenty of options for everyone’s preference at Ben Pon!
Still more to see – the show that keeps on giving…
Seeing this tough looking matt black Kübelwagen reminded me that in the afternoon there was an opportunity to see some Schwimmwagens getting out and about in the water. This was something I really wanted to see again!
Outside of the main show and shine areas, there was still plenty of varied and interesting air-cooled vehicles to see and admire.
Not all that’s air cooled was strictly VW, but there were definite links and connections. Like this brilliant line-up of three Tempo Matador trucks. After some more wandering around the show, I decided to grab some lunch and then walk over to the riverside location to see the Schwimmwagens.
Always nice to get a bit of a feel of the surrounding area, and not just be limited by the show area only. It should be just over a mile or so away, so would make for a nice little stroll in the afternoon sun.
oh, and did I mention there were Schwimmwagens as well!
I last saw some Type 166 VW Schwimmwagens at the HO17 Hessisch Oldendorf show in Germany. It was one of my favourite memories from the show! Especially this particular crazy driver and the biggest splash entrance of the day! 🙂
Wandering around the streets of Amersfoort, it was reassuring to see an everyday Schwimmwagen at the traffic lights! 🙂 At least I knew I was heading in the right direction!
It was great to see a couple of Schwimmwagens in action in the riverside marina area. Not sure what the other boat owners thought when they saw them trundling down the slipway into the water!
Seeing the Type 166 VW Schwimmwagens in action made a great ending to what had already been a fantastic show! Looking forward to 2022 already… 🙂
Homeward bound, time to head back to the UK…
With the show drawing to a close, it was time to say au revoir to my SSVC camping buddies from the weekend, as we each headed off in our different directions home. I wasn’t in a rush to get back, so decided to take a slow journey back to make the most of the journey with a few detours and stopovers en-route…
Had a great nights stopover (and a fab pizza!) in the picturesque town of Veurne on the Belgium north coast. Beautiful canal side view to wake up to first thing in the morning 🙂 Being a bit of a seaside boy, it would have been rude not to have a quick paddle in the sea on the way back…
I found this stunning piece of seaside architecture to park up near. What an amazing place to live! I headed over the soft sand dunes to have a quick walk in the sea on the opposite side of the channel from my normal vantage point in Hastings. Have to admit, the sea really did feel much warmer on this side of the English channel! Oh well, a nice end to a great road trip. Time to fill up with petrol and catch the ferry back home…