Charles Utting Volkswagen T5
When Charles got this 2012 short wheelbase van it had just been converted so was in good condition, but has been a delivery van in the past it had numerous small dents and the paintwork was not a true match on all panels.
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An engineer and managing director from Norwich and this T5 was something he always strived to get, “the opportunity was there and to everyone’s surprise, I took it. It was a quality conversion, but the colour sealed the deal” Charles told me. Charles always kept an eye on the internet, who doesn’t? And local converter, Dubmotion, (@dubmotioncampersltd) had a van that got the attention of Charles. He viewed it twice and that was it, he was sold. Charles said, “I remember negotiating the deal whilst eating an ice-cream on Cromer beach.” Charles also said that being handed the keys was the best experience.
When Charles got this 2012 short wheelbase van it had just been converted so was in good condition, but has been a delivery van in the past it had numerous small dents and the paintwork was not a true match on all panels. Charles’s first impression was “it was everything I wanted and more, with the potential to add my own style.”
Since Charles has owned the van he changed the suspension to KW variant 3 coilovers with adjustable height, supplied by @courtenaysport with the van currently lowered 50mm and now on Axe EX18 wheels which are a new addition. The Sidebars have also been fitted under Charles’s ownership.
The van has also had a visit to @cliveatthowe and came home with 160bhp and 231 max torque, the van was originally 102bhp. Charles said his worst experience with the van was hitting a deer, “it was low impact and the deer survived but the front of the bus was damaged. I turned it into a positive, after a year of saving, it gave me the opportunity to restyle the front, get rid of the dents and have a complete respray”. From this Charles fitted the new front end and tinted lights all round and the respray was done in ‘pure grey’ and was done by S Hewitt and from my personal experience of seeing the van, it looks amazing.
As far as the interior goes the camper conversion was done by Dub Motion which is based in East Anglia and are extremely good and a satnav has also been fitting.
I asked Charles what he likes most about owning his van and this is what he said; “I guess what I like the most is a realisation of a dream, it’s all mine, and I’ve turned it into what I want. It’s taken years of hard graft to get it. I park it outside my kitchen window, the perfect view whilst washing up. And when driving it I love the handling, stance, extra power from the mapping, the way it turns heads. Yep, some don’t like what I’ve done; it divides opinion, which is great. Best thing I’ve done, well I love it all, and there are still things to do. That’s the joy, there are always new ideas, it will never be finished or perfect. I guess if pushed it’s the overall aesthetics, I had an image in my head and this is close to it.
I also asked Charles what he thought the stand out feature is and where he loves to take his van this is what he had to say, I asked friends this and was told the vintage driver, rude, also the colour and stance. For me, if pushed maybe the massive real wheels, just love that look. I love going to the Suffolk coast, it’s only a couple of hours away from home which is great as I can’t get away from work as often as I’d like so can just pop down when the opportunity arises. It’s a great bit of coastline and I’m always able to find the solitude I need. Lockdown has made me realise I’ve worked too hard so I’m now reorganising the business to give me the opportunity to travel more and explore.”
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