Car: Volkswagen Late Baywindow Westfalia / Owner: Dunk Aston / Photos: Neil Godwin / Air Monkeys Magazine: Joe Eynon
Most people only dream about owning an awesome bus like this late bay. Most people only dream about driving a bus across the United States. If you’ve done both of these what do you do next?
Import the bus across the pond and start enjoying it here in Blighty!
We’re all aware of that moment at a show when you spot that car. The one that just makes you stop and stare for half the afternoon. You keep going back to it again and again hoping to see one more amazing detail on the vehicle. It’s the car the you would take home with you. At this years Viva Skeg Vegas (read the show report in issue 12), this bus was the one for me and everyone who was with me. We couldn’t take our eyes off it. I just knew it had to grace our pages as soon as possible. I spent the afternoon at the show trying to find the owner but in the end we left a note in the sink (this was the only place where it wouldn’t blow away in the gusty wind!)The week following the show I was just waiting for the email of the owner. I just kept thinking that the note we left was more than likely decorating a hedgerow in Lincolnshire thanks to the wind. I placed a picture of the bus on Instagram and Matt Balls of Balls’d let me know the owner details and got in touch with him for me. He’d recently done some work on the car. Thankfully the owner let himself known to me and was really keen to have a feature in Air Monkeys. Once again we were honoured by another super keen owner of an amazing Volkswagen.
The proud owner of this Late Baywindow is Dunk Aston from St Neots. The bus is a Westfalia Weekender model and Dunk purchased the vehicle from San Diego. He didn’t see it online and get somebody to ship the bus over- He actually bought it in person from San Diego. The story he told us confirmed just why we needed this bus in the magazine. Dunk was planning on traveling across the USA and looked into hiring a van for the 4 months he was planning on being there. The prices were crazy so Dunk looked into buying a bus instead. He got in touch with a VW company in California who knew of a collector in Mexico. With a brief of what Dunk wanted they drove from California to Mexico to buy a suitable campervan. This is what they found. After a good service it was ready for the trip of its and Dunks lifetime! During the roadtrip Dunk went to L.A., Sequoia National Park, Grand Tetan National Park, Yosemite National Park, Reno, Yellowstone, Salt Lake City, Mount Rushmore, Minneapolis, Toronto, Niagara Falls, New York, Washington, South Carolina, Georgia, Orlando, Tampa Bay, Miami, Key West plus loads of other place. As you can see this covers nearly every corner of the US and around 10,000 miles were completed during the trip.
Dunk purchased the bus in 2008 and following the roadtrip he set about making the bus the one you see here. The bus got a 5 inch drop courtesy of some dropped spindles and slam shocks. The body is notched to allow more room and Porsche brakes up front give better stopping power. Cosmic wheels finish the stance off perfectly and the retro wheel also suits the awesome original graphics on the side of the bus. The Marino yellow paint is a popular choice but looks great on this van with is subtle patina and slight knocks and dents which just add to the character of the camper. The interior was renewed with new Formica units and looks as fresh as they day it was made. The original 2 litre fuel inhected engine was rebuilt to stock with the standard exhaust simply doing its job.
Thats what this bus does- it’s job. And doesn’t it do it well! This is a true “middle of the ballpark” model. A perfect example where practicality meets cool. The camper is still 100% practical and functional with the coolness and style of a slammed ride. The bus wasn’t purchased in the normal manner but Dunk has had way more fun because of that!
Massive thanks to Dunk Aston for letting us feature his car and to Neil Godwin for the brilliant photos.