Family Life
VW Bus T4&5+|Issue 99
Family Life
Behind the scenes of Transporter Life and T4Life, there are several members of the Stowe family, who all seem to have developed their own specialist skills
Rob Hawkins

There’s something special and meaningful about a family-run business where everyone gets involved, learns their skills and enables the organisation to grow and expand. This is particularly apparent when visiting a couple of workshops a few miles from Preston in Lancashire. They are home to Transporter Life and T4Life, the latter, started trading in 2008 and specialises in camper conversions. Proprietor and head of the family, Toby Stowe, admits he was always destined for a life with some sort of VW camper, his first being a 1972 Bay Window at the age of 29. Since then, he’s owned over 150 VWs, including air-cooled Beetles and Split Screens, several Golfs, Jettas and modern Beetles. Prior to establishing T4Life, he was a maintenance contractor for Safeway supermarket.

Nowadays, T4Life could perhaps do with changing its name because it rarely works on these models (although the name implies a Transporter for life)—there’s always at least one VW T5 or T6 in the workshop that’s undergoing a conversion, if not two or three. Customers’ vans are converted and vans are regularly bought and sold, so there’s clearly a steady demand and consequently a waiting list.

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Issue 99