VW Trip to the UK

In October 2010 my wife Gina and I went on a trip to Europe.  Gina is an instructor for Goodrich Corporation  and was teaching a week long class near London, England.  While she was at work I would travel around and see the sights.  I have had my shop on Facebook and have many friends from many different countries.  Quite a few friends are from the UK.  One such friend is Karmann Konnection located East of London in Southend on the sea.

Karmann Konnection
Karmann Konnection in the UK

My hotel was a little over 80 miles from their shop.  I set off around 9 am thinking the traffic would have died down, but nothing doing.  I had to catch the East bound M25, which circles London.  It was 3 lanes wide and bumper to bumper.  It never really stopped but moved very slowly.  After about 2 hours I was there.  Luckily my GPS led me right to the shop.

Once there I introduced myself and met all the guys.  They gave me a great tour of their facility and showed me some of the beautiful work they do.  Some of their Porsches were a real treat to see.  I haven’t seen that many 356’s in one place in a long time.  They even had a 914-6.  I’ve never been close to one of those.

Porsche 356
Porsche 356
Porsche 356
Porsche 356
Porsche 914-6
Porsche 914-6
Porsche 914-6 Engine
Porsche 914-6 Engine
Porsche 356
Porsche 356

It was interesting to see buses imported from California way over there – they were nicely done.

Bus done by Karmann Konnection
Bus done by Karmann Konnection
Karmann Konnection restored buses
Karmann Konnection restored buses
Karmann Konnection restored buses
Karmann Konnection restored buses
Karmann Konnection Museum
Karmann Konnection Museum

Another interesting thing was, they get most of their restoration parts from the same place I do; West Coast Metric and Wolfsburg West.   Thanks again to Karmann Konnection for their great hospitality.  The people in the UK are lucky to have such a fine shop producing some great looking Volkswagen’s.

After Gina’s class was finished we went into London and caught a few sights there.  Once you figure out how the Underground works, you can get around pretty easy.  The British Museum and the Imperial War museum were something else. The British Museum houses some great pieces of history.  One interesting piece is the Rosetta stone.

Rosetta Stone
Rosetta Stone

That is the tablet that translated Egyptian hieroglyphics into modern languages.

Rosetta Stone close up
Close up of the Rosetta Stone showing two of the languages

Their Greek collection was something to see.  I didn’t realize they had a large part of the Parthenon in England.  You could spend a long time there looking at every little thing.  The Imperial War Museum was great too.

Imperial War Museum
Imperial War Museum in the UK

They had an early tank from World War One, lots of German aircraft, even a German V2 rocket.  There was a whole floor dedicated to the Holocaust during World War Two.  That was pretty sobering.  It was done very well.  The displays were real graphic but it gave you a real sense of what those people went through during those years.  Beg Ben and Westminster Abby was fun to see also.  It’s amazing to see the architecture and the craftsmanship of those buildings.  Just the amount of people that are in London is amazing.  We don’t normally see that in Colorado.

Our next stop was Berlin, Germany.  More on that and going to Wolfsburg and the Volkswagen factory next time.

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