VWS DOW­NUN­DER

New Zealand Classic Car - - Automobilia -

Steve Reid Pub­lished 2018 by Plus One, which sup­plied the re­view copy ISBN 978-0-99510-326-9 Re­view by Mark Hol­man

Steve Reid, who has pro­duced a num­ber of en­joy­able books about ve­hi­cles and their own­ers, now gives us this new one that fo­cuses on Volk­swa­gens from both sides of the Tas­man.

Some own­ers trea­sure just the one VW while oth­ers have a col­lec­tion, such as the lovely se­lec­tion of Kom­bis owned by Joc Richard­son — think Bill Richard­son Trans­port World in In­ver­cargill. The Rear­don fam­ily is an­other ex­am­ple, with a to­tal of nine VWS, in­clud­ing a Bee­tle con­vert­ible and Mey­ers Manx buggy.

VWS Dow­nun­der con­tains many tales of epic restora­tions and re­builds from barn finds or ne­glected ve­hi­cles. There are a cou­ple of Golfs, Type 3s, and Kar­mann Ghias but most of the ve­hi­cles fea­tured are Bee­tles and Kom­bis, in all their forms — from as orig­i­nal as pos­si­ble to rat rods and Subaru en­gine swaps. There are also ‘Split­ties’, Square­backs, Trans­porters, and many other mod­els. The ear­li­est VW in the book is Matt’s 1954 ‘Barn­door’ Kombi.

Although VWS were as­sem­bled in Aus­tralia and New Zealand at var­i­ous times, quite a few of the fea­tured cars, es­pe­cially the Kom­bis, were brought in by im­mi­grat­ing own­ers. There are some nice ex­am­ples of con­ver­sions by com­pa­nies such as Can­ter­bury Pitt, Dor­mo­bile, and West­falia.

Each of the 53 own­ers has a tale to tell about their VW pas­sion — what led them to their car, what they have done to it, and how it gets used.

This 216-page book con­tains hun­dreds of pho­tos, from Pete H’s 1963 Kombi Deluxe as a wed­ding car to Jus­tine’s bright yel­low, Mex­i­can-as­sem­bled ’ 77 Bee­tle with its flam­boy­ant eye­brows.

When I went to the VW Na­tion­als in Lower Hutt last year, I was im­pressed with the en­thu­si­asm of the own­ers for their ma­chines. This book looks like a real treat for the many fans of the Wolfs­burg mar­que!

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