The people who own ‘Beetles’ or ‘Combi’s’’ are considered to be slightly odd; even buying one let alone thinking about buying one at some time over the years put you in a class apart; a class that appreciated the unusual backed with German precision and technological know-how to produce a range of vehicles that have turned rational, clear thinking people into obsessive fanatics when it came to their Vee Dub!
To this end David and Cee Eccles have collated a raft of stories about the much loved Vee Dub Camper; beloved of those who enjoy the great outdoors, don’t mind and odd shaped vehicle, well it was when they were first released, which had a reputation for being able to go almost anywhere within reason. Adventure was always just around the corner with one of these, and when you did eventually manage to buy one, found it was love at first sight.
The Campervan is in a class of its own as a front runner to what we have today with some very, very fortunate people still owning or have managed to find one and do a restoration job on it, thereby, being able to once again carry them off on yet another endless adventure in life.
Arriving on the automotive scene in 1954 as the humble VW Transporter they were cost effective, reasonably reliable, adaptable and effective for transporting a wide range of goods. It was only a blink in time before they were being used as campers by people who enjoyed the camping lifestyle, notably those of the surfing fraternity, then the Hippie movement becoming a notable symbol of peace, free love and fun.
The reality was they were used in all manner of ways by a vast cross-section of the community who all had one thing in common, a warm, almost obsessive love of their vehicle.
Over the past 60 years or so they have seen several incarnations, going from cut down models to shift goods to appearing in movies and cooking shows. Jamie Oliver owned at reconditioned, rebuilt 1959 Samba which made a regular appearance on his many cooking shows, becoming almost the star attraction in his 2005 series ‘Jamie’s Italy’ where it would appear with magnificent backdrops as Jamie created incredible eats from the matching kitchen trailer.
Mustard Seed Ministries well known ‘Combi’, the ‘Little India Bus’, carts loads and loads of goods for sale at markets the length and breadth of England as it carries out the work of fundraising for the street children and orphans of India. It has been part and parcel of the Ministry since its inception in 1993.
People for all walks of life are known to simply up-stakes, buy a Camper and hit the road, travelling to places as diverse as Peru, Columbia, Belize and Mexico to name just a few.
Although they once used to be a very affordable ‘lady of the road’, as the years have gone by and they are no longer manufactured in any of their designs, they have now almost become collectors’ items, to be lovingly restored, nurtured and above all else, used as they always were meant to be, to carry goods and people all over the place.
If you are a Vee Dub Lover, or simply a lover of travel, this wonderful tribute to VW Campers and the occasional Beetle will take you places you never thought you would or could go and keep you totally entertained along the roadside of life.
|Author||David and Cee Eccles|
|Distributor||Simon And Schuster|