Le Bug Show 2016
Posted on December 09 2016
"It’s about getting back out there, on the road. It’s getting back to the roots of the Camper”.
In 1947, Dutch businessmen Ben Pon penned a concept for a bus, and on the 8th March 1950, Volkswagen began production of the Type 2. It would become the icon of a counter-culture movement, a symbol representing freedom, independence and individualism. Years later, production lines are collecting dust, but the buses and their spirit live on through the people who embody this lifestyle, and dedicate themselves to their passion for all things associated.
In the Cool Flo Cave in London, the bothers - Scott, Darren, and Jamie - bounce between cars with meticulous care, grins on their faces, and pep in their step. “This is one of the best shows in Europe”, Scott tells me, as he shuts the door of a newly restored ’54 Swedish Barndoor. It stands proudly poised for the long journey ahead.
In the morning, we do just that. We hit the road before sunrise - with 320 miles ahead of us - and in true Cool Flo fashion. The community comes first, so how else would we travel but in a cruise of 8 classic vw's; in a convoy of friends and family. And their wheels beat on, in rhythm with the values of a culture born in the past, and a lifestyle that is still very much alive today.
It’s this ideology, combined with a road trip around California, that inspired Cool Flo’s cargo on this trip. Their new collection: Treading Waves, is introduced for the first time ever at Le Bug 2016, alongside the new cap store and Ltd Edition Spa Collector’s cap. “Treading Waves is an iconic hallmark we can all relate to,” describes Scott. “The 4 lines: symbolise the tyre tread on your wheel & the current of a wave when horizontal. It’s freedom. It’s a club for every one of us”.
From the Cool Flo Cave to the Coolbox
With the E40 highway behind us, Francorchamps dips into view beyond a breathtaking valley, and our cars hum to a halt at their destination. They say ‘home is where you park it’, and never has a saying seemed so fitting. The cars aline as if by instinct, as an international community converges: old friends and new intertwine, as they become one and the same. Music bounces between buses, BBQ’s flicker to life, and the Cool Flo team spring effortlessly into action.
Here, in collaboration with AirMighty Megascene, T3HQ & Spike’s Vintage Restorations the Coolbox is created. Residing in the central 3 pits of the Formula 1 track, the Coolbox forms the hub of Le Bug. I sit on a Mongoose BMX and admire my setting. The vibe here is an extension of the Cool Flo Cave: laughter can be heard over the speaker’s bouncing beats, and there’s a showcase of excellent cars. A total of 7 of the cars displayed in the Coolbox went on to win awards in the infamous Le Bug ‘Top 20 Eye-Catcher’ competition. An astounding result.
The new Treading Waves collection alongside an array of new caps decorates the Cool Flo stand within the Coolbox. 2016 Collector’s Spa caps - to reflect their exclusivity - are fittingly presented and sold from the quite possibly the coolest VW based ice cream van ever, rolling on a 52 beetle floor pan… super ice cool. The caps can be seen covering crowds of heads throughout the show and soon sell out to avid collectors and supporters of the Cool Flo movement.
Back on the track
As it is inside the box, the view outside is a VW lover’s paradise. Glistening in the weekend long sunshine, and dominating the tarmac below, lies a parade of all types of ultra cool VW rides. And beyond this classic eye candy of an horizon, onlookers can make out the infamous Eau Rouge the most famous part of the F1 circuit, just disappearing amongst the pine tree backdrop.
Excitement explodes about the event, as drivers rev their engines alive. Masses of people rush to the course, and the 20 winners of the Eye-Catcher Award - including the 7 featured in the Coolbox - take to the stage on the victory straight. After some marvelling moments, the track is flooded with cars, many embroidered with Cool Flo stickers: bays, split buses, beetles, newly restored or proud with rust patina - all enthusiasts driving together with loud engines and louder cheers. A spectacular sight, and the perfect finale to a most memorable weekend.
It was an excellent turnout this year at Spa 2016: one of the best shows in Europe once again. A must do on the VW show calendar. To all those involved and attending this year: from the Cool Flo team, we salute you & thanks for having us!
Author: Jack Chalk
See more photos of Le Bug Show 2016 here.