VANS

Van and Combi

Trial Magazine - - CONTENTS - AR­TI­CLE: TRIALS MEDIA • PIC­TURES: DUNCAN HAGUE – LLEWELYN PAVEY

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.

West­bourne Pro­fes­sional

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.

Af­ford­able op­tions

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.

Fa­mous names

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.

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