Owner of this 1958 Split panel van Stu Radford is no stranger to custom cars, busses and bikes but would his first foray into a custom air-cooled project prove too hot for him to handle?
Well in a nutshell no…. but this project took more dives than a German U-boat and was testimony to Stu’s tenacity driving the project forward that finally saw it compete almost 1 year to the day later than expected.
Originally booked in with us for trim to go to the Volksworld show 2022 when disaster struck (one of many) which prevented the bus getting to us in time.
Fast forward almost a year and we got a call from Stu saying he could get the bus done and to our workshop for march and could we trim it ready for this years Volksworld show!
How could we not accept the challenge but with an already full to bursting show schedule it was always going to be a bit of a scary ride.
The bus arrived as planned and straight away you could see that it was the brainchild of someone from outside the air-cooled VW world which we really liked. But not only that…..this was the first ever air-cooled VW project tackled by the firms involved with the metalwork, paint and assembly of this bus so a big thumbs up to Reform Automotive and Sam Barrett paint.
From the one off custom made rims to the well executed air ride suspension and traditional hand painted sign writing the bus was a heady mix of old meets new.
Richard Booth designs had already made and fitted the carcassing for the L shaped seating, rear drawer unit and buddy seat/storeage box and I had already made and hung a one off Italian milled wool headliner the previous year before the bus got taken away for paint.
The rest was a blank canvas and with our other show cars finished we had just a matter of days before the 2023 Volksworld show opened its doors to the public!
Work commenced just after midnight on Wednesday eve/thursday morning and by 7.30am Friday morning after a 31 hour non stop marathon we were loading it onto the trailer to take it directly to the show!!!
Not something I ever want to do again but as the saying goes not only did we smash this one clean out of the park for Stu, but we were absolutely delighted to hear later that weekend that the bus had picked up a prestigious top 20 award along with another 2 top 20 awards winning cars we did interiors on.