Good To Go
VW CAMPER & BUS|January 2019

What do you do when you can’t buy the crazy fast GTR you’ve set your heart on? Build a kick-ass Bus with a 2276cc EFI motor, that’s what

Gordie Woollacott

There are many ways to describe your typical classic VW owner. Seeing as we don’t tend to take ourselves too seriously, most of them would probably be self-deprecating. There is one thing, however, that we can rarely be accused of having and that’s a need for speed.

Don’t worry, we’re not going to go all Top Gun on you. Although, with the boost cranked and some ethanol injected, this ’66 13-window is more than capable of taking you into the danger zone. Honestly, this ends here. [It better. -Ed]

Computer says no

Owner, Rich Davies of Warwickshire, is the guy with the penchant for speed and, having just sold his 400bhp Focus RS MK2, was in the market for a GTR. Rich reveals: “It was a big upgrade and I needed a small loan to push it through. When I couldn’t get one, I threw all of my toys out the pram and went browsing on eBay instead.” With the money from selling the RS burning a hole in his pocket, he somehow found himself in the classic car section. Rich: “My mate used to have a Split Screen Camper about 20 years ago and I often helped him out when he was working on it. The time wasn’t right then, but I’ve always fancied one of my own.” With his dummy in the dirt, Rich was ready to unleash all sorts of mayhem on the right Bus. Rich: “I’d heard about high performance Subaru conversions being done and thought that sounded like something I could pull off myself.”

Buses for sale came and went, fruitless viewings became a part of his weekends until eventually he decided to buy himself a project. Of this, Rich says: “I looked at a decent number of Buses that were being advertised for £30,000 plus and you think you’re going to get something that’s pretty much perfect for that sort of money. Unfortunately, for me at least, that never proved to be the case.” Having decided to buy a fixer-upper and invest the rest of his money in getting it how he wanted it, Rich discovered this ’66 13-window, imported from the USA by Volkshaven. When it fell into Rich’s hands it was little more than a rolling shell, although as he says: “It did have a gearbox, but no engine and certainly no interior.”

At this point in our discussion, I spent some time trying to get inside Rich’s head and learn more about his thought process for the project.

Rich is a guy with a love of speed, who at most has done a couple of weekends camping in a tent and never owned a VW prior to this, yet there he was, standing on the precipice of a mammoth project restoring one of the slowest campervans conceived by man.

In memory

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