Living the Dream

When Jo Olivey received compensation after a road traffic accident she realised this was the chance to realise her dream and that something good could come out of something bad

Jo Olivey has always been into camping since her days as a Girl Guide and though had hankered after a VW Camper since her teenage years had never thought she could ever afford one, but now that dream was about to become reality. She enlisted the help of Matt Smith of Smiths VW Restoration, Cornwall, but even with his extensive contacts nothing suitable could be found. Then she spotted this SO 42 on E-bay, and when it was re-listed she contacted the owner who said that he was actually coming down in the bus from Brighton to near where she lives Cornwall and they agreed to meet up. 

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The rest, as they say, is history! The owner had imported the Westy from California. and since owning it had kept it in near original condition. only making some minor adaptations and changes rather than converting or altering things. It had been built in February 1966 with the A42 Westfalia camping conversion (standard fittings, no pop top) and had the usual US option package including bumpers with over-riders, sealed beam headlights, mph speedo, 12v electrics and laminated windscreen along with an Eberspacher heater.
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Interestingly the M plate carries the UT destination code, meaning it was delivered via the Tourist Export scheme and picked up at the factory. 

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Interestingly the M plate carries the UT destination code. meaning it was delivered via the Tourist Export scheme and picked up at the factory. Although the cab seats and interior upholstery were worn and in need of attention, the original SO 42 interior was intact and in sound condition with the original wall lights, pull out bed, child's cab bunk, flyscreens, louvered tilt and turn side windows, spice rack and fridge /pump tap unit etc. Plus all the original cabinet work and birch play headlining and side panels were basically unmarked and in good condition. The previous owner had added a basic potty system (wood seat with hole and a bucket) which was concealed in a slide out section under the single seat (something Jo says can be extremely useful on cold, wet camping nights!). It had been repainted in Pearl White over Ruby Red (it had originally been Beige Grey over Titian Red), the wheels had been changed for solid Beetle versions and fitted with narrow whiteband tyres and an ally mesh Australian sunvisor (with red edging to match the new paint) fitted, all of which added to the look and charm. It even still had the original engine.
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"She looked amazing, and from first impressions there didn't seem to be anything too seriously wrong with her — it was love at first sight!"

Jo recalls, "She looked amazing, and from first impressions there didn't scent to be anything too seriously wrong with her - it was love at first sight!" The original Autumn Gold vinyl had been recovered in grey marl fabric, but as both were now worn and frayed and the vinyl on the cab seats in poor condition, she treated herself (and the bus) to a set of covers finished in red and cream vinyl to complement the exterior colours. Some red and white spotted disco heads bunting and new curtains and scatter cushions in True Leer red arid white added a homely finishing touch.
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In order to prattle attire worktop space, she made up a flip table, mounted on the side of the coolbox cabinet to fit across the gangway also had the Eberspacher removed and a leisure battery installed in its place.

Jo and the camper made it all the way to Pula and home, covering a total of 3285 miles in ten days with only a puncture.

Finding the tin top restricting, as well as not helping with the lower back injury sustained in the aforementioned accident, she thought long and hard about having an elevating roof fitted. Purist advised "keep it origami", others said "it's your camper, make it how you want." and eventually, after three years of deliberation and realising she never intended to sell Sandy (as the bus was now known) she made the decision to have a Spaceroofs conversion. This she has never regretted, as it means she can also take her daughters camping with her as well as being able to stand up! Sharp eyed readers will also notice the double optic in the rear area - more of that later! Jo says having Sandy the camper has opened up a whole new world for her - and enabled her to fully enjoy the outdoors once more. She is a member of many clubs, Cornwall VWOC., First n Last Club. VW Transporters SW and Camper Chicks, and really enjoys going to shows and events and meeting up and socialising with new friends, saying, "It's like being part of a huge family." It has also opened up a whole new set of experiences - in 2014 she joined a Charity Banger Run from St. Austell in Cornwall to Pula in Croatia. After a hit of a last-minute panic getting a new gearbox and exhaust fitted in time, 130 vehicles left on the rally to raise money for 7 local charities. Accompanied by three friends, Sandy and Jo made it all the any to Pula and home, covering a total of 3285 miles in ten days with only a puncture and beating younger vehicles that didn't make it to the finish in Pula, let alone home!
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They raised nearly £6000, and the whole event itself raised over £130,000! Impressive stuff! Apparently, the Double Optic played a vital role over the ten days of the run. Even a very scary run in with a lunatic Golf driver in Germany on the journey home has not dampened her desire to do more travelling in Europe and she is already planning what to do and where to go next, and living the dream.

Jo and the camper made it all the way to Pula and home, covering a total of 3285 miles in ten days with only a puncture.

Finding the tin top restricting, as well as not helping with the lower back injury sustained in the aforementioned accident, she thought long and hard about having an elevating roof fitted. Purist advised "keep it origami", others said "it's your camper, make it how you want." and eventually, after three years of deliberation and realising she never intended to sell Sandy (as the bus was now known) she made the decision to have a Spaceroofs conversion. This she has never regretted, as it means she can also take her daughters camping with her as well as being able to stand up! Sharp eyed readers will also notice the double optic in the rear area - more of that later! Jo says having Sandy the camper has opened up a whole new world for her - and enabled her to fully enjoy the outdoors once more. She is a member of many clubs, Cornwall VWOC., First n Last Club. VW Transporters SW and Camper Chicks, and really enjoys going to shows and events and meeting up and socialising with new friends, saying, "It's like being part of a huge family." It has also opened up a whole new set of experiences - in 2014 she joined a Charity Banger Run from St. Austell in Cornwall to Pula in Croatia. After a hit of a last-minute panic getting a new gearbox and exhaust fitted in time, 130 vehicles left on the rally to raise money for 7 local charities. Accompanied by three friends, Sandy and Jo made it all the any to Pula and home, covering a total of 3285 miles in ten days with only a puncture and beating younger vehicles that didn't make it to the finish in Pula, let alone home! They raised nearly £6000, and the whole event itself raised over £130,000! Impressive stuff! Apparently, the Double Optic played a vital role over the ten days of the run. Even a very scary run in with a lunatic Golf driver in Germany on the journey home has not dampened her desire to do more travelling in Europe and she is already planning what to do and where to go next, and living the dream.

Contact


Just VW Tours Pols Piece
Dobbin Lane
Trevone
Padstow
Cornwall

Just VW Tours

Jo Olivey
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+ 44 (0) 1841 521 062‬
+ 44 (0) 7530 110 916‬