FUN RUN TO HUN IN THE SUN
David takes his Bug to the beach, and is joined by hundreds of other Volkswagens enthusiasts
OWNED SINCE April 2016 MILEAGE SINCE LAST REPORT 231 TOTAL MILEAGE 88,664 LATEST COSTS £0 ’What a great sight as a long line of VWs snaked round to join the gathering’
Having enjoyed a couple of Volkswagen T2 camper outings to the Norfolk coast in 2016, it was the Beetle’s turn to take part in this year’s Run to the Hun charity outing at the end of January.
The camper took part in last year’s VW procession to Hunstanton, and what a cold and wet Sunday morning it was! The Beetle’s heat exchangers are much more efficient at keeping the cabin warm than the camper’s will ever be, so my son, Miles, and I were positively toasty in HAY 583L on this occasion.
I drove the Beetle from storage to my home on the Saturday before the run to go through some pre-trip checks. Tyres and oil levels were fine, so I left ‘Harry’ out in the cold overnight ready for an early start the next morning. He didn’t like it.
Run to the Hun is organised by Darren and Claire Walton of Cambs Transporters, and groups of VW owners from all over the eastern counties, east Midlands and further afield meet up at pre-arranged locations before heading to a grand meet-up in a supermarket car park in King’s Lynn and then driving on to Hunstanton.
Our local meeting point was at Eye Services, just east of Peterborough, by the A47. The organising group is mainly for owners of contemporary VW T4s and T5s, but we were pleased to see a T3 and another Beetle among our group.
We headed east at the prescribed start time and, as expected, the more modern vans left the couple of Beetles behind as soon as we hit the Thorney bypass. Our 1200L cruises nicely at around 50-55mph, but is capable of more than 60mph if I wind it up and there’s an open road in front of it. When we got to the big roundabout at South Lynn, we recognised some of the T4s and T5s ahead of us, so we hadn’t done badly. There was a lengthy queue to Sainsbury’s as a result of traffic lights at the junction, but the long line of VWs snaked round to join the gathering in the car park was a great sight. ‘ What on earth’s going on?’ asked one surprised Sunday morning shopper.
A stroll around the car park revealed a great selection of T1, T2 and T3 campers, pick-ups and vans plus lots more Beetles and other VW saloons displaying various hues, personalised styles and ride heights. One of our all-time favourite VWs – Chris Hansen’s immaculate 1958 T1 two-tone pick-up – glistened in the morning sun. I last saw Chris’ beautiful pick-up at the Practical Classics Restoration Show at the NEC a couple of years ago and it looks even better out in the sunshine. Chris had only driven it a few miles from Swaffham, but like its owner the ‘Splitty’ originally hails from California. The truck once belonged to his Uncle Steve and Aunt Maria from southern California and Chris brought it over here in 2014 and began a major restoration of what was little more than a rusty hulk. It looks truly great now.
Soon it was time for the cavalcade to join the A149 and head north to the coastal splendour that is Hunstanton. Road works between Heacham and Hunstanton slowed progress but it wasn’t too long before everyone was lined up in the car park near the sea front. The council had obligingly raised the height barriers and let us enter via what is usually the exit, but they didn’t waive the parking fees of course!
At the event’s peak there were 363 VWs parked up at Hunstanton and the sunshine meant that we could enjoy looking at all the variations, chat with owners and take some brighter photos than in 2016.
After a stroll around the town and fish and chips for lunch, it was time to go home. The weather had broken and the windscreen wipers earned their keep on the return journey. It had been a great day out and we’re looking forward to further VW trips to the Norfolk coast later in the year.
It’s not quite California, but Chris Hansen’s superb 1958 split-screen pick-up truck looked great in the Norfolk sun. Three generations of Volkswagen vans rest in the rays in ‘sunny Hunny’. David’s Beetle ‘Harry’ (inset) looks right at home. Beetles about – it’s time to go home and a 1968 1500 heads out of the Hunstanton car park passing a 1965 1200.