It seems that certain aspects of the 90s are making making something of a resurgence (checked shirts, for example). One thing that I thought was unlikely make a comeback was a black beetle owned by an old school pal of mine, Jim. I was more than a little cynical, therefore, when Brad mentioned that a restoration might potentially be on the cards. The bug – named Lucille after BB King’s black Gibson – has been languishing in his old man’s garage for something like 20 years, ever since he moved down to the bright lights of London town. The last time I saw it was back in 2008 when I was toying with the idea of buying it from him – on that occasion I decided it needed too much work for it to be viable for me.
Looking back at the calendar I missed out on a trip to Harewood House last year because we were at the Great British Beer Festival at Olympia (poor old me), so this August it was great to take advantage of one of the few sunny Sunday afternoons of the summer and jump in the bug and head up the A61 for VW Festival 2017.
Previous years have seen the water cooled stuff feature more prominently but this year there definitely seemed to be a greater number of aircooled cars on show. One thing that doesn’t change is the ridiculously high standard of some of the cars. The top 3 aircooled cars – in particular the gorgeous black oval that took top spot – were stunning.
We didn’t manage to get to the Waterloo Inn last year and it took an inordinate amount of faff to get a date that we could all make but I finally got together with Nick and Darryl down in the Peaks at the end of March. We did well to get on the site as it was pretty much full, despite the crappy weather. Naturally there was a fair amount of beer consumed, aided by the fact it was the last weekend of the 6 Nations. England losing to the Irish didn’t dampen spirits in the pub that night though and we made a fair few new friends.
Forgive the title, it’s tenuous at best. 2017 is the year of the rooster apparently and, seeing as this is my first post of the year, a questionable reference to a Soundgarden song was the best I could come up with! The 22 visitors the site had from Iraq last summer might need that one explaining should they decided to make a return visit. Wonder if having Iraqi visitors to your website affects whether you’re allowed into the USA these days? The world is an even more bonkers place than when I last posted – it’s probably best to stick to waffling about old Volkswagens rather than making any sort of political statement though. There’s a degree of irony in that I guess, considering global politics has a very 1930s kinda vibe about it these days.
5 years ago Dee and I visited my great grandfather’s grave on the Somme in the bug on the 95th anniversary of his death. With 2016 seeing the centenary a plan was hatched to pay my respects again, this time in Clarence as part of a larger trip around northern France. Matt and I thought that throwing in a trip to Normandy to see the D-Day landing beaches would make for a pretty decent summer holiday.
All in all we covered over 1300 miles without a recovery truck in sight! I did have to change a brake light bulb but, other than that and the obligatory topping up of his oil, Clarence didn’t miss a beat.
It’s been a period of discovery of late. Perhaps that should be rediscovery. Whilst we’re not talking about anything particularly groundbreaking, it’s often these little moments that brighten up the drudgery of the day to day routine. The photos of the bug having just come back from the paint shop in 1994 for example, which I rediscovered over the weekend whilst sorting through some old paperwork. I’m not sure why I didn’t scan them in the first place. Maybe I’d just broken the Joomla site again so wasn’t really in the mood! It’s hard to think that paint job is 22 years old – although she’s looking more orange than red these days! I also came across a few recovery truck photos – I think some are from the Salisbury trip and the others (obviously) are from the trip to T2D to get Clarence lowered.