Mark Boswell - VW Camper
The van started life about 6 doors down from me, one of Kelly's work colleagues had brought it a year or so ago.
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My name is Mark Boswell,
I'm a manager and mot tester in newtown. Been in the motor trade over 13 years. Family man, if I'm not working, I'm working on the van with my boys. To be honest they are one of the biggest reasons my partner Kelly and I picked it. ( cheap family holidays.) Well...... that was until i started modifying it, now i dont think it was the cheapest option.
The van started life about 6 doors down from me, one of Kelly's work colleagues had brought it a year or so ago. Think he planned to convert it with his partner. After about 6 months I noticed it just sat, not being used and well just unloved.
I asked Kelly to see if she could find out what they were doing with it, as myself and Kelly have been big transporter lovers for many years but never really looked into getting one. So..... later that week found out the battery light had come on one day and didn’t start again, being the 2.5 5 cylinder i knew it was a complete pain to replace the alternator on these as you have to remove the whole front end,
i was also told needed new brakes front and back and new wheel bearings and rear shocks had gone. The chap just didn’t want to spend the money on it as he had now, split with his mrs and just wasn't that interested in it anymore.
After what felt like weeks of messages and phone calls we made a deal, she was moving 6 doors up to mine. The next day took it in to work and made a start, replaced the alternator, front and rear brakes and wheel bearings, and gave it a service. This is when the modifications started.
Right, the rear shocks needed replacing, while i was looking for those i came across a set of coil overs, and to be fair not far off the price of the shocks (being that the rear had gone i planed to change the front as well) so within a few days the new coil overs arrived and were fitted.
So now we had a rough dented,scratched lowered van with nothing but a wooden floor in the back. It then wasn’t long before I decided I was going to get the van painted. At the time I had a Renault 5 gt turbo sat on the drive, that was soon sold to free up some funds and the van was booked in for paint. Between getting it on the road and the two months waiting for it to go to paint, I bought a badgeless grill, new rear bumper, new headlights with daytime running lights, and had it remapped.
Paint day was here, dropped it off and picked it up 8 weeks later..... wow.... now she looks the part. Drove it home smiling from ear to ear. Later that day he decided that the 18” alloys that had come with the van, were just not up to scratch. The hunt began, i knew the style i was after just didn’t want to spend £1000 on them lol. Whilst on holiday in Tenby i noticed on fb marketplace the same wheels in Cardiff for sale half the price, i shouted over to kelly... slight detour on the way home darling and the very next day i now owned the 20” alloys i was after. Once fitted I knew the van needed to be lower.
So after reading a few things online I decided on an air ride..... that was until I saw the price for it, so plan b it was, hub mod and T6 top mounts that gave me another 45 ish mm. It was about 1000 miles after and the rear tyres had worn out already.
Ok, I'll put some good tyres on and see what happens with that, again 1000miles. Ok this is silly i did over 3000 miles in the 18’s and they still had plenty of life left in them, so I decided to go back to 18’s. After looking around at so many different options I decided on the 18” smoothies.
Once fitted I knew what the van had to be... new skool old skool retro, that's when I had the idea of combining my childhood favourite film (Herbie) and my van together. After lots of emails with many different sticker company’s, it turns out no one does a sticker kit for a van. In the end I found a local company that could do the lengths I needed.... Lockdown happened... Everyone is closed,this puts a stop to what I had planned so I turned my thoughts to what I could do on the inside.
Started with carpet lining the van, laying a floor down and making a new roof and coving that in suede. Once that was done I fitted a full length rock and roll bed, leisure battery and split charge system.
Then it was on to the cab, took the roof liner down and dyed that black and found some old vw camper style cotton, so decided to wrap the plastics up the A pillar with it.
Few days later, at work, my sticker guy had printed them all off for me and sent them out. Once i knew the direction i was heading i painted the edge of the wheels red.
Everyone disagreed with this choice of colour, but I knew in my head the look I was going for. Not long after that I found a company in Turkey that could sort me some white wall inserts, white walls on, stickers on and bang... the van is almost complete.
I've still got two single wing back bucket seats to go in the front, I'm having a custom bonnet being made up that is going to be 25mm longer and cover the lights slightly. Then once the bank balance has recovered im going with the air ride install.
- Vw t5 transporter 2006
- Was 130bhp standard now...??? (Never been tested)
- 18” smoothies
- Stance + coilovers
- T6 top mounts
- Hub mod
- Full custom respray
- White wall inserts
- And full day van conversion in the rear
I've loved doing as much much as i can on this van but do need to mention a few who have helped on the way
My partner Kelly, she's been so supportive
@challscustomsanddesigns, a good friend who sorted the paint job
Tommy cat design for the stickers
My work mates
Mikey and Josh have helped along the way.
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