Van and Combi
Having a van opens doors – excuse the pun – in both business and pleasure, to a host of options regarding travel and comfort. In truth, you can order exactly what your needs require: more seats, more room, what to carry; making it a superb option to the family car. I have a van for work, a crew cab; also called a Kombi, where we can seat five people, or remove some seats and carry one or three motorcycles securely; I can also get two pallets of magazines in when work gets in the way! Have you, the car owner, ever considered the option of a van? Well, we know a man with a van, in fact, more than one who can organise a vehicle to suit your everyday needs, including finance, purchase or rental options. It was a nice drive of just over an hour to Sheffield to meet the guys and gals at Van and Kombi Ltd where I was introduced to Oliver Twigg and his team.
In my life, the business connections I have made through the motorcycle trials world have often amazed me, and that’s where the Van and Kombi connection goes back to. I have known Peter Stewart, the Team Hamilton Yamaha Trials man who also supported many individual riders, for many years and, as it turned out, Oliver’s dad, Joe, was good friends with him.
Joe rode in trials in the ’70s and became good friends with Tony Peat at Hillsborough MCC. He also had a car recovery business, which probably planted the seed for Oliver at a very young age as to where his career might take him in life.
Like many others before him, Oliver’s motorcycle time began on the Yamaha TY 80 under his father’s close supervision. As they say, ‘Dad and Lad’ times are something cherished by so many young riders.
Having ventured into the enduro world, Oliver describes himself as the occasional trials rider these days, with the majority of his time juggled between a house renovation, a young family and, of course, building his business. The addition of a new OSET for the elder of his two young children could soon change that though as the ‘Dad and Lad’ times move to another family generation. An automotive passion As with many things in life, the direction of education and employment does not always follow the expected path or plan. A very keen academic, Oliver graduated with a degree in Law before completing a Master’s in Business Administration, but an automotive passion would come between him and his first chosen
profession as we will find out.
In 2009, and looking for a summer job, he found himself at the Rainbow BMW motorcycle dealership, now owned by the well-known Yorkshire motorcycling family, the Jefferies. He loved the time spent there learning all the time. He progressed through the promotional ladder to become the Sales Manager. Dealing with motorcycles all day, he found it was a profession he enjoyed. The experience gained would lead him in 2014 to a well-known Jaguar dealership for a brief period. He was working all days and all hours, which made him realise that he would like to be doing the same job but for himself.
Very much a person to make a move on instinct, Oliver took the bold move onto his own two feet in 2015 and opened the Westbourne Professional dealership to buy and sell cars, vans and motorcycles, etc. It was hard work but turned out to be a very wise move indeed.
The goal was to welcome customers by offering what can only be described as the very best buying experience. Out with the old image of the used car dealer and in with the new one; a new model to make the customer feel more confident and relaxed in what they were purchasing. Oliver was someone with a keen eye to providing an experience to a customer who would come back time after time; such was the commitment to the highest level of service.
Van and Kombi
Many motorcycle related people had vans, and Oliver was no different. He had owned various makes but was looking for a VW and came into contact with Richard Cotton, who would eventually become his business partner at Van and Kombi. A passionate Speedway fan, Richard owns Rentruck, based at Rochdale, which is a sponsor of the world-famous Belle Vue Aces speedway team.
Soon a VW van was in Oliver’s possession. After various meetings between the two, Van and Kombi was founded in 2016. As is the norm with friends and associates, Oliver’s friend and fellow trials rider Josh Atkinson started at Westbourne Professional in 2017, giving Oliver the time to develop Van and Kombi into the business model of what it is today.
Using his entrepreneurship skills, Oliver wanted to offer more affordable options for people to drive vans and kombis. In an ever-changing world, his affordable options on the vans offers people the chance to negotiate the period of the time they want to have the van, because who knows where many businesses will be in two, three or five years?
Shortening the agreement period gives peace of mind and the opportunity for businesses to run a van or a small fleet of up-to-date models, which comes with its own rewards. First impressions of a business always mean so much to the potential clients it deals with, and the image it portrays can be no better represented by a new van proudly carrying the company’s logo and name.
The next step was to get the name Van and Kombi into the motorcycling arena to give maximum exposure for the brand. Bring on the 23-time Isle of Man TT winner John McGuinness, 12-time FIM World Trials Champion Dougie Lampkin and the three-time World Speedway Champion Tai Woffinden – you may ask what they have in common? They are all supported by Van and Kombi, driving VW transporter vans supplied by the dealership to attend a multitude of motorcycle events. Van and Kombi are also providing vehicles to Gas Gas UK, Llewelyn Pavey for his 2020 Dakar training, Quattro Kawasaki during for the BSB machines plus the GB Speedway Team, and annually supply over 50 vehicles to UK Speedway riders and teams for their season. Ideal for their chosen profession, you will find the vans in some of the most famous motorcycle paddocks.
It’s your choice
The Van and Kombi brand name gives you an idea of what you can purchase. The Volkswagen van range which they specialise in is huge, but the strong point of the business is the fact they can offer the potential customer exactly what they require. You can actually ‘spec’ any van up or down to your requirements, which can also help with the purchase price; this includes new and pre-owned vans. To the man on the street who does not want the initial outlay for a new vehicle the ownership options on pre-owned ones are just as good, making the van a very affordable alternative to suit the pockets of potential purchasers.
Give Oliver Twigg and his team a call, and we can assure you it will be a dealt with in a very professional honest manner; after all, he is a motorcycle enthusiast and, most importantly, a trials rider.
Discuss your business in the comfort of the modern offices.
Richard Cotton on the left, with John McGuinness and Oliver Twigg.
Welcoming Dougie Lampkin on board was a pleasure.
Van and Kombi can offer many variants of the Volkswagen vans, with specifications to suit the pocket.
If it’s a car you want, the Westbourne Professional dealership can offer many options on all terms of purchase, lease or rent.
World Speedway Champion Tai Woffinden loves his VW.
Motorcycling legends Dougie Lampkin and John McGuinness. There’s always a good story here!
It’s all in the name; just ask Dougie Lampkin.