Vanfest & Syncronauts 2004

Part of Vanfest 2004 was set to be a special display of Volkswagen Transporter Syncros to mark the 20th Anniversary of the vehicles launch in 1985. The announcement of a syncro theme early in the year by Simon Holloway, vanfest organiser, got many of the Clu80-90 Syncronauts’ imaginations working as to the possibilities for a good syncro show.

Flush with the success of the first official syncro club meeting in Wales in July the club was of course chomping at the bit to really turn something on for VW Transporter syncro fans, and for the unenlightened! Our immediate thoughts were for a live action display of syncros working the ground, but our initial enthusiasm was quickly quelled by Vanfest organisers who insisted that because of limitations in the show grounds and in their public liability, displays would have to be strictly static.

Then members ideas quickly turned toward a Syncro kind of Karma Sutra; of vans in poses and positions that would have spectators turning on their heads; of course we would need log piles and dirt piles and piles of all kinds of stuff we could not get our hands on or organise in the time available. A call to the Malvern barracks of the SAS for assistance in our time of need went unanswered, possibly they were not at home and we had to settle for the distinctly un-syncro approach of a van line up.

Syncropendence 2004

Syncropendence 2004

A typical Syncro position

A typical Syncro position

Undeterred, six club members offered up their vans for display over the weekend with a good representation of all types of Syncro’s from Terrys pristine EMC camper to Thomas’s ‘farm’ functional DOKA (double cabin). A highlight of the display was Mike Tanns ex-swedish railways DOKA Syncro16, a rare sight to behold in the UK and beautifully presented and maintained.

The club vans were joined by other Syncros from the VW Type 2 owners club, plus a few individuals vans, and the ‘gang of three’ from Rowan Medicals ambulance fleet.Thomas made sure that each club van wore a profile of its owner and each vans characteristics for the benefit of visitors. This was a nice touch that set the club apart from other displays. There were also multimedia presentations provided by members on display boards and TV and plasma screens giving all sorts of insights into the VW Syncro Transporter, Club80-90 and its activities.

Simon Holloway had even put together a series of rare films of promotional and launch material for the VW syncro including one of only two known VW VHS tapes in English; this rare original tape went missing at the end of the show so if anybody knows of its whereabouts please let it be known.

Mick's amazing Syncro 16

Mick's amazing Syncro 16

Rowan ambulance

Rowan ambulance

Thomas' Syncronauts display

Thomas' Syncronauts display

By Saturday night The Club 80-90 Transporter club pitch was brimming with over 100 members vans and all credit goes to those club members who worked so hard before and during the event in arranging the assembled multitude so efficiently. Regrettably those skills did not extend to controlling the weather, which was severely influenced by the hurricane season raging on across the Atlantic. I have no idea whether it was the spawn of hurricane Charlie or Betty that raged through the camp on Saturday evening but it reduced some members’ awnings to hapless kites and gave rise to the unforgettable spectacle of forty or fifty members raised arms hanging on to the Spragmans Arms (the big club tent) to prevent it from lifting off throughout the clubs annual awards ceremony held that evening. One very deserved award went to Steve (Mocki) for his tireless and friendly input into the club both online and at meetings throughout the year; well done Steve. No sooner were the awards over than Steve was seen busily packing up the club tent lest it too should submit to the elements and be reduced to a heap of twisted metal. You just cant keep that man down.

Club 80-90 campsite

Club 80-90 campsite

McGill at work

McGill at work

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