Name : Mike Plester
Vehicle model: T4 Transporter
Engine cc : 1.9 TD
Year : 2001
Why this vehicle and how long have you owned it? I had taken a break from camping at shows while my kids were little. Then got back into it in 2008 when I went to the British Volkswagen Festival. Wasn’t keen on having to sleep in a tent. It took a few years, but eventually in February 2017 I bought this T4 so we could have something proper to sleep in, as we were now going to shows regularly. This particular T4 caught my eye on eBay. It was reasonably priced. It used to be work van. The previous owner was part way through changing it to a camper. I particularly liked the bamboo ceiling with built in lights and the hessian re trimming.
What work have you done on it? (mods, repair, painted etc..) When I got it, the front was grey, the middle was black and the tailgate was blue. I wanted it all matt black, so I painted it myself in the garage with rattle cans. It had tatty looking alloys which had to go. For a while it had red painted steels with whitewall tyres. They’ve now been upgraded to custom made 16” smoothies painted with red centres and white rims. I’ve painted the cab dash, inner doors and front Recaro seats in brown, and had lots of pieces of trim hydro dipped in a wood grain effect. Interior has been decorated with U.S. license plates, various Hawaiian Tiki themed items including a hand carved Tiki head gear stick knob. The bonnet is on it’s 3rd incarnation. Have had a bonnet bra, then 2 different designs of beach scenes. The sides have a scallop style decor which I painted on. It gives it a 50’s hot rod look. The van is sitting on 5” Faulkner springs and shocks. I’ve just fitted a new flooring in the back. Still plenty more mods to do. Mechanically it’s been fine. I’ve had the cam belt changed and routine maintenance.
Anything you have learned by owning a VW or tips/advice? Because there’s such a big following for VW’s it makes them more expensive than owning some other old brand vehicles (scene tax). But that also means there’s loads of companies supplying parts and mods. Being in a VW club is a great way to share stories, find solutions to problems, get advice and meet like minded folk who have now become friends. Club camping at shows is great. About 30 of us sitting round a camp fire drinking and laughing. And all because of our love for VW’s.
What’s your favourite show? That’s a difficult one. I don’t like to do the same shows every year. There’s so many now, I like to change it up a bit. I’ve enjoyed Bug Jam, Busfest, Dubtoberfest, Big Bang, Retro Dubs, VW Action, Run to the Sun. Looking forward to trying some new ones.
If you could have another VW, what would it be? For a van, I’d love a coach built of some sort. Maybe an LT, T25 or T4. I’d also love a Fridolin or a Baja Bug.