Let me introduce Austin, he's a 1972 70's themed photo-booth with a 1300 engine, twin carbs and the roar of a lion when I start him up. There is nothing like the sound of a meaty air-cooled engine. I've always had a love of dubs since I was young, my dad had an old Beetle and I would watch him fix and tinker with it every spare moment he had along with the many other cars he owned and loved, cars were his passion. At weekends, we would often go to High Beach, there were always bike and car enthusiast there for group meets, I remember two Split Screen that would park up, a red and white and a green and white one with stunning inferiors and I wished that one day I'd own one.
My first Volkswagen I brought in 2011, for practical work purposes I brought a 2010 yellow rag top TDi and to this day there has never been a problem with her. In 2016, I met a new boyfriend, a dub enthusiast who changed my life, although our love ended my love of dubs only grew. He also has a VW photo-booth - a pink Bay Window camper which I loved. As soon as I saw his camper I wanted one and I wanted to be part of the dub life, a new exciting dub life style, new adventures and new friends. A couple of months later I heard of a photo-booth Beetle for sale just down the road from me in Essex, I immediately made an offer which was rejected but after a couple of days of negotiating we came to an agreement and Austin the photo-booth Beetle was mine and I was ecstatic.
Austin was originally a little yellow Bug that lived in Manchester, he was in quite a sorry state before a new loving owner gave restored him with a cal look. He received a new 1300 engine with twin carbs and was de-seamed and given a new bonnet and boot among other works. This innocent little yellow Bug was brought down to Essex in 2013 where he was to be transformed into Austin the photo-booth Beetle party animal. He was kitted out with the latest sound system, full photo-booth equipment and printer and his amazing paint job was done by a graffiti artist named Gnasher, Austin was born.
Not being very good with tech stuff it did take me a while to learn how to set him up and learn all his little characteristics of an old Beetle that need adjusting from time to time but now we have a relationship that makes me smile every time I open my garage door and I see him. Over the next few months Austin and I had loads of adventures, his first show was Elemental 2017 in Essex where he was a star being snapped by admires all weekend.
Austin certainly stands out at a party, everywhere he goes he's admired and has been a party animal for sure being booked at festivals, 70's and 80's themed parties, weddings and birthdays. This little dude is so much fun, guests at parties just love to dress in his crazy props and get snapped inside him, keeping a photo memory of that moment for ever. I'm always so proud when I arrive at an event and I see people dying to come and see him especially when he's been a surprise present for someone.
During 2016 I went to look at Split Screens with my ex, finding a lovely blue 1964 Brazilian 15-Window in Kent online we went to view her, the following week we went back and brought her. She was towed home as she hadn't run for a few years but she was a solid bus and well worth the money, she was named Bop It, after my favourite game. The next two months we spent working on her to get her ready for the Freddy Files show in Belgium. Every weekend we worked on her and she was transformed into a stunning dropped bus with hand painted bumpers by myself.
Unfortunately, she never made it to Belgium, not having time to get her a proper test run she only made it 20 miles down the M25 before her carb over filled with petrol and she was sadly towed home. On the bright side his sister was kind enough to let us jump in her late Bay Window and we made it to Belgium, and what a show. It was the most amazing weekend, the town of Ninove was lined with air cooled Beetles and dubs of every colour, each with its own style and character from ratted campers with original patina showing their age to stunning restored vans polished to show and shine in the bright sun on the streets of Ninove.
Already having two Bugs I couldn't help but keep thinking about getting a camper. When I split with my ex I had no Bus to play in anymore so one Sunday morning bored I had a quick look on line at some campers. Sure, enough there was plenty for sale but one stood out so with my daughter I drove to Heathrow to meet my Bus who I would later call Echo, as soon as I saw her I knew she had to be mine.
Check out Austin on FaceBook