Here at Air Monkeys magazine we have been trying to feature this bus for about 2 years now but we were finding it hard to get hold of the owner. That was until he took the bus into Absolute VW, in Castle Donnington, and with a bit of help from Stuart White we managed to make contact with the owner.
The bus is owned by Nick Deakin who lives in Markfield, Leicestershire and works as a landscape gardener. This bus is far from a workmans van though. With a passion for classic cars and a garage at home with this bus in and a 1971 Escort Mexico in it he sure is an exciting bloke to meet. We met up with him and his son Jack in Markfield and made our way to the leafy country roads, to which Nick refered to as Millionaires Row, and got some photographs of this gorgeous vehicle.
The model you are looking at is a standard 1967 VW Campervan with the original Westfalia interior still in place. Nick got the bus from World Wild Wagens in April 2010 and has set about making it his own. The paint is Velvet green, as it left Wolfsburg with. Such a classic colour and it really suites the classic design of the bus.
Most of the tricky mechanics was undertaken by Absolute VW including the suspension set-up. Nick claims the bus is as low as the bus will go without having to be brutal and cut the chassis. With a narrowed beam and drop spindles up front and an IRS rear end with adjustable springplates the stance is just perfect. We followed it to the location for the photographs and the bus just hugged the road. This is thanks to the set-up by Absolute VW. Nick then bolted on a set of American Eagle Empi 5 Spokes with some 165/50/r15 front and 195/65/r15 rear tyres to finish the ride height off. It sits on the road just perfect.
The bus required a fair amount of work when Nick first got it though. JC Welding has fitted a complete new roof skin on it which is no easy task! The bus shows no sign of having had such a major job done on it though.
Inside the bus the old faithful interior by Westfalia makes another apperance. So simple but it really does the job so well. With the little pop-top fitted from new it makes the bus a great weekend get-away. Nick fitted curtains from VW Camper Curtains and also trimmed the interior throughout with Mad Matz carpets. He even has converted the Westfalia Coolbox to house a modern fridge. All that is left of the original cool-box is the old shell which now houses a modern more useful fridge. This runs either off the leisure battery or the 240v hook-up, which is also installed. For driving comfort and the cab has the stock seats but the longer journeys are made easier by the installation of a Retro Sounds CD/ MP3 player with Pioneer speakers. A Mooneyes rev-counter and oil temp gauge gives Nick piece of mind when he’s travelling from show to show throughout the year.
Another great thing about this bus is that it isn’t running a big burley engine. Just a 1600 with Empi 34mm carbs and Empi inlet manifolds. Absolute VW installed the engine and fiited it with a Petronix ignition set-up and a Bosch 009 dizzy. With a Rancho gearbox this bus really is as low as the bus will go without having to be brutal and cut the chassis. With a narrowed beam and drop spindles up front and an IRS rear end with adjustable springplates the stance is just perfect.