VW Northwest, held at Tatton Park in Cheshire is perhaps the largest VW show held in the north of England. In the 15 years since I last went to Tatton Park (sadly in my girlfriend at the time’s Peugeot 305), a number of other shows have established themselves in the north so I was really interested to see how the show has developed. And how would I be getting there this time? In the bug, with its lovely new engine of course!

The original plan was to stick a new 1600 in the back, just to give the car a bit of extra zip, however after a lengthy chat with Alex at VW Heritage (an extremely helpful chap), I decided to pop another 1300 in there instead. I must admit that I hadn’t realised that so many different bits and pieces would need changing to enable a 1600 to be fitted, and the overall difference in cost meant that by sticking with the 1300 I’d be saving best part of £700!

So a couple of weeks or so ago, I picked her up from John’s and the difference is amazing! I can actually hear myself think in there now, and there’s nowehere near the same amount of vibration in comparison to the old motor. In addition, he sorted out the front suspension problem, which as suspected was a couple of broken torsion leaves. So now I don’t have to drive around with gritted teeth whilst the ball joint grinds on the inside of the wheel rim! With that done, the only things that stopped her getting a fresh MOT first time around were a headlamp bulb, and some more pressure in the spare tyre.

My little trip to Tatton Park this weekend has seen me finish off the miles I needed to get under my belt to run the new motor in, and fortunately the weather today was significantly better than yesterday. Which brings me back to the show. As with pretty much all of the other shows I’ve been to over the last couple of years, it’s grown hugely since my last visit. As with VW Festival at Harewood House, there’s a very strong water cooled presence, and that’s really not my cup of tea. Where Tatton Park differs to VW Festival (based on last year’s visit anyway), is that the air cooled presence plays an equal, if not greater part. And I like that!

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