David takes his Bug to the beach, and is joined by hun­dreds of other Volk­swa­gens en­thu­si­asts

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Out & About - DAVID BROWN AS­SO­CIATE EDI­TOR

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.

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