3. 1966 Volkswagen Splitscreen Campervan Roadster

Unique 1966 VW Splitscreen Camper Roadster Convertible. Registration 1 OVV – The Lovedub

The Lovedub is one of a kind. This 1966 VW Splitscreen Campervan was converted in South Africa six years ago. After finding her there, I imported her into the UK and spent two years restoring her to the current high standard.

My designs were according to my needs: this a show-standard vehicle that’s also easy to drive around on an everyday basis. And, as the Lovedub is one of the most dynamic vintage vehicles on the road in the United Kingdom today, she has excellent potential for promotional use. I have not taken advantage of that potential.

After transferring the prestigious registration mark ‘1 OVV’ to it, we named her the Lovedub, and I established the website www.Lovedubs.com to advertise her services.

This auction includes the Lovedub itself and the valuable cherished registration mark ‘1 OVV.’

I’m not sure what I’ll then do with the website domain http://www.Lovedubs.com, but you could discuss this with me if interested. If the successful bidder does not already have their own website, they could obviously use this to run their own business using the Lovedub.

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Here’s some blurb from the website:

This is The Lovedub – our 1966 VW Splitscreen Kombi with the roof removed. We spent all last year restoring, customizing and preparing her. Now she’s available to hire for weddings, civil partnerships, school proms, films, promotional work and special occasions.

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We prefer to hire her out locally. We charge £480 for a wedding or civil partnership in the Brighton area.

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We may also arrange a hire within a 100 mile radius of Brighton, but we have to charge a minimum extra 50% for transportation costs.

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Why are we selling the Lovedub?

Lots of reasons. After all the blood, sweat, tears and cash that went into building it, selling is a painful experience.

But I have lots of vintage vehicles. Now we have a young baby, it’s less practical to use the roadster; whereas our other Splitscreen gets more use. I’ve not put as much time as I should into the vehicle hire side of things, which seems a waste. And I must admit I’ve moved on from VW’s: I’m now more involved with my work as a vintage vehicle historian, and my collection now comprises much older vehicles (mostly two-wheelers) which I display at a lot of shows.

It seems ridiculous to leave the Roadster in the garage after so much energy has been invested in her. A new owner will get so much pleasure from her.

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The most unusual commission we’ve had for the Lovedub so far has to be the annual Pride Parade in Brighton.

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Our dear old Lovedub enjoys the attention, and she performed admirably – towing a float at 5mph, and stopping and starting constantly, is as bad as being in London rush-hour traffic. Of course, at 41 years old she is in her prime, and she didn’t falter.

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The Lovedub is ideal for promotional work…

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…and has attended various shows.

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Here’s a picture of the Lovedub reviewed in a Japanese magazine

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Technical details

The engine is a 1600 twin port. She’s quite pokey.

She has a straight-axle conversion with rebuilt gearbox, all purchased from Type 2 Detectives in January 2007.

She’s as low as its possible to go without being inconvenient, about 3″ from ground to front bumper. To add to the lowering effect, the front bumper has been lowered and the front tyres are low profile; I preferred this set-up to lowering her any further.

The rear number plate ‘1 OVV’ looks like ‘Love”

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While the front number plate looks like ‘LOW’ – in fact, this plate is about as close as you can get to spelling the word ‘low.’

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The front cab area has a massive roll-cage hidden inside, below the waistline. It is totally braced in the front and strengthened behind too.

There are no seatbelts.

The dash is painted black, with one of Richard Oakley’s original VW radios in the centre.

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There is no roof or hood. I spent many months designing various options for a removable top. All of them compromised the wonderful looks of the Lovedub as a roadster. My best design looked too much like VW’s original roof! Compare the Lovedub parked behind my 1963 Camper in the photo below and you can see what I mean about its low profile.

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So, in the end, I had separate tonneau covers made for the front and the rear. The front tonneau is similar to that of an MG Midget sportscar, with a zip in the middle. The rear one covers it entirely, and is easy to put on in a few minutes. I also carry some large see-through umbrellas in case rear passengers are threatened by rain. As the driver, if it rains, I just get wet 🙂

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I had the rear fender-skirts fabricated from metal at great expense. The wheel-discs come from America.

The Safari opening front windows come from Creative Engineering.

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There are various subtle custom touches. The sidelights have been removed at the front.

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We fitted sidelights from a 1950s Austin A35; you can see them below – they are the front indicators.

The quarterlight windows have been built up with metal to give a smoother finish.

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I completely rebuilt the interior; it is trimmed in cream and black inside, while the exterior is lilac and black.

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I fitted a VW Campervan towbar and electrics.

The rear light units are combined stop and tail lights from earlier American Splitscreen VW vans. I’ve since fitted some small rear indicators to the rear bumper.

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I’ve run a vintage car on a daily basis for over 30 years. They’ve always got ‘the looks’ from other road users and passers-by. So I’m quite used to getting attention. But nothing prepared me for the response we get whenever we’re out in the Lovedub. It is incredible. People in other cars honk their horns. Pedestrians grab their mobile phone cameras. Everyone laughs and smiles.
It is truly wonderful driving down the road and making everyone so happy. That’s why she’s called the Lovedub.

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