Getting Some of our Classics Ready for the VolksWorld Show
‘Better to be safe than sorry’, is the mantra Mark uses now that he’s gotten older and wiser. These days Mark spends his spare time away from JK in his workshop at home tending to his classic VWs, making sure they’re all safe and secure!
Mark founded Just Kampers back in 1989, and has steered JK from being a small garage (which couldn’t quite fit a whole T2 Bay in it!) to a designer, producer and supplier of parts and accessories for a whole range of VWs and other campers.
“I know you don’t have to get an MOT for a car or camper over 40 years old, but it’s a good habit to keep up”, Mark told us. “I had started to slip into the oh must get that done camp, but never quite got around to it in the past.
“So, one of my New Year’s resolutions was to have my classics ‘ready and waiting’ for dry days and any opportunity to get out and drive them. I wanted to get my Oval, Ghia and Bay MOT’d so I knew they were good to go as soon as the weather changed and the roads around JK HQ stopped being more mud than tarmac,” Mark said.
Chandler's Garage in Elstead. Can you spot our Beetle?
Mark's Oval, 'Jack the Giant Slayer' heads in for his MOT first
Mark's Ghia, with it's Denzel engine, heads in next
Each of the three vehicles got a full service, including gearbox oil change, touching up any bits starting to show rust, full grease up etc.
Following on from the full service, Mark used a copy of an MOT check list to go through each vehicle. He made sure each of the areas from the list was in great shape on each vehicle, and fixed any issues he found along the way.
“I then made a set of spare parts and tools so I’d not be stuck on the side of the road in the event of a breakdown. I very much think that the best way to stop a vehicle from breaking down is to make sure it knows you’ve got all the tools and spares you’ll need to fix it - if you have them, you won’t need them!
“I’d had a small panic driving to a Bicester Heritage Scramble, when I realised I did not even have a spare tyre with me! Fortunately I didn’t need one, but I immediately added it to my To Do list,” Mark added.
Before Mark set out on this service and MOT adventure, he’d said that the classic VWs wouldn’t need much work, if any. He was surprised how much stuff needed attention after only a relatively short period of inattention!
- Fixed a frayed seatbelt, which had been damaged by the seat,
- Repaired the washers on his beloved Beetle Cabriolet,
- Gave the brakes on ‘Jack’ the Oval a major ‘clean out’ and readjust, (“Perhaps it gets driven a bit too vigorously!” Mark added),
- The brakes on the yellow Bay were fine, but as part of a full service, when we took the drums off, we saw the wheel cylinders were weeping and would have failed at some point soon, so they got replaced,
- Mark found earthing problems on most of the vehicle’s rear lights,
- He also discovered play in the link pins on the Ghia, which needed adjusting, but would have caused damage if left,
- Replaced a pair of shock absorbers and a tyre, after the tyre was damaged by a knackered shock.
Luckily Mark had the skills, experience and tools needed to solve all of these problems (not to mention easy access to a warehouse full of parts and accessories at JK HQ!) and he was able to rattle these jobs off pretty quickly.
Here are his top tips for getting your vehicles ready for an MOT – even if they don’t officially need one due to their age:
- Build a relationship with a friendly local MOT tester, who likes classic cars,
- Present the vehicle in a clean and tidy state,
- Give the underside a good jet washing– mud falling on the MOT testers not a way to make friends,
- Make sure all the obvious bits like lights, washers, wipers, horn etc. work – You can always refer to Mark’s cheat sheet above,
- Check the tyres are in good shape and correctly inflated,
- Check the seat belts and pre-plug them in to make it easier,
- Bring the DVLA logbook along to save them hunting for the Vin / Chassis number.
Who are these cars?
We’ve scattered some photos of Mark’s cars undergoing their MOTs throughout this post, but who actually are these cars?
If you want to see them ‘in the metal’, they’ll all be on display atthe VolksWorld Show in March 2022! Come say hi, take a look at some cool cars who’ve done some cool races, and see what’s new with JK.
It’s been too long since we’ve been able to chat face to face with the rest of the VW community, and we’re really looking forward to seeing you at Sandown Park.