History of volksrod
1991 saw an increasing problem of sourcing the 5” (Fiat 500) headlamps. This caused Jeff to implement the removal of the faired in nacelles and use pod lights, hence the Mk V (Mk IV was LWB) came into being. Mid-year Stuart Hopewell joined the team.
During the ‘90’s Jeff Copson had a successful drag racing career in a Mk V named ‘Midnight Star’ and won many trophies including several in the VWDRC modified class.
A small number of Mk V’s had been made, when an order for 10 SWB buggies was placed by an owner of many Portuguese rental villas, along with the stipulation that the lamps be replaced in the wings. A misunderstanding with a local motor factor (Yes mate, 5” or 7”) meant the re-fitting of the 5” lights and all the associated problems. But a stepped rear shelf to create a rear seating area, unseen in a SWB buggy, was a great improvement and identifies the Mk VI. The Portuguese deal never came to fruition and the two cars produced (one LHD) were sold off.
A general down turn in business throughout the company saw Stuart leave in ’95 and laminating being carried out by Premier Mouldings. John and Jeff kept production alive but in the late ‘90’s Jeff departed and John moved to smaller premises to become John Whitworth Motor Services.
In 2002, Stuart returned on a part-time basis and commissioned what was to be the last Mk VI. Premier Mouldings folded and a mad dash by John, Stuart and some good friends ensued to get the moulds from the premises before the receivers moved in.With no laminator in place, production slowed with only a few panels being made and a spare LWB body being sold.
2005 saw Stuart start up his own VW service and restoration company (STUVW) but still working closely with John Whitworth. The cleaning, servicing and modifying of the moulds was undertaken, with Mick Reynolds (of past R&W Mouldings) giving greatly needed help and advice! It was a long project and not until 2009 did the new Mk VII SWB make its debut. The Mk VIII was soon to follow and made its appearance at the Volksworld Show in March 2010. Both new models sport 5 ¾” headlamps.
With two new models ready and new promotions ahead this is far from the end of the Volksrod story...