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The VW Camper Van A Biography by Mike Harding

The VW Camper Van A Biography

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The VW Camper Van A Biography by Mike Harding

It was invented immediately after the war, in the factory a far-sighted English military man had set up to turn the German economy from making machines of warfare to more pacific products. By the seventies that dream had been amply fulfilled, as the VW Campervan became the conveyance of choice for West Coast hippies, Australian surf bums and Europeans taking the overland route to find enlightenment and good karma in India. It had also become - indeed, still is - the first choice for any couple, or family, seeking a cheap camping holiday with wheels attached. So never mind the oddly off-centre driving wheel, the vagaries of the aircooled rear engine - the VW Campervan had become more than a vehicle - it had truly become a way of life. Mike Harding's first ride in a Volkswagen Camper Van was back in 1961, when it was the carrying around the gear and bandmembers of his rock band the Manchester Rainmakers. Finally, in 2009, he could wait no longer, and bought his own, a 2001 Type 2 bay window Brazilian import Danbury conversion in hot orange and off white. Add in the endless curiosity of the author of eight monographs on church architecture, and the hilarious sense of humour of one of Britain's best stand-up comics, and you have a wonderful social history of the postwar years through the prism of a single transport icon.


'Harding writes as a fan.'

'Love letter to a vehicle forever associated with peace signs, surfer dudes and Aussies making the overland trip to London's 'Kangaroo Valley. Lonely Planet Traveller 'Well written and really engaging.'
Auto Express

'This paen to the 'Bulli'
is part tribute, part novel, part history book, and a fun route into the model for the non


& Sports Car 'It's as much a cultural history as one of the vehicule itself, Harding recalling his first dalliance as an owne, falling in love with 'Molly
on first sight in the romantic environs of Preston

... A fun read.

'Mike Harding's engaging account of his love affair with that icon of laid-back hippy chic, the VW Camper, tootles along as niftily as a well-preserved Splitty.'
Eastern Daily Press

';Harding has some great anecdotes. strangely enthralling.'
Classic Car Weekly

'This is a very personal and highly readable book, and will appeal equally to hardcore bus freaks as well as those who know little about the VW bus. I was sad to reach the final page and wanted more!'
VW Camper

& Commercial

About the Author

MIKE HARDING is the author of A Guide to Tying North Country Flies and eight Little Books for Aurum, including the perennially successful books on the Green Man and Gargoyles. For many years he has presented the weekly folk music show on BBC Radio 2, and hosteds the annual BBC Folk Awards. He lives in West Yorkshire. He is also in perennial demand for his one-man show of stand-up comedy and music.

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Book Info

Publication date

25th May 2011


Mike Harding

More books by Mike Harding
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Aurum Press Ltd


256 pages


Motor cars: general interest



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