Published : 2017-07-17 10:30:00
Categories : Latest Products
At NLA VW, we love classic VWs. We love Campers, we love Beetles and after seeing only 4 early barn door pick ups gathered at BenPon in 2014, we started to feel great passion for pick ups too.
However, the biggest issue most pick ups were facing was lack of good quality hoops and proper waterproof canvas at affordable prices…. Why? Over the past many decades the steel hoops rusted down and the cotton canvas deteriorated away… This caused a big reality issue to the loading bed being exposed to the rain and gradually rusted away.
We tried searching on internet for a nice set of steel hoops, but they were either sky high prices with month long lead times for delivery or was produced with rough metal edges cutting through the canvas… With our new found passion and deep love of these pick ups, we spread the word and started to search for an original set of pick up hoops and canvas.
With the help and many Big Thanks to our friends and colleagues from Serial Kombi in France, we eventually found a full set of very good quality original hoops.
Luck would also have it that Volkswagen kept their pick up hoop design the same from 1950 to 1979. So, we invested in a full set of tooling and followed the same specs as the original hoops and guess what? We had reproduced these!!
The only thing different from the original hoops was, in order to make these hoops easy to post, we have cut the 4 legs off their shoulder height just below the roof bar bent, and welded inner U shaped plates with 2 bolt holes to reconnect to the legs.
We have made the rubber stopper at the rear legs the same as the original too.
At the same time, the search for a good quality original canvas continued… In May 2015, we paid a high price at Mai-Käfer-Treffen, Hannover for an “Original canvas” for a single cab splits which was used to transport chickens! To allow for air flow, there were a lot of air-vents (Round holes) cut into it. Unfortunately, this canvas was later proved to be a non- original. I.E. a home-made canvas version for shipping live chickens. This was a very expensive lesson I learned.
Once again though, with the continued help and a Big Thank You to our friends and colleagues from Serial Kombi in France, we eventually found a nice quality cotton canvas for single cab splits with complete fittings and features!
The first step was to reproduce the same weight and quality materials as the original canvas. Could you believe this? It took me 12 months to get the canvas right with the same colour and same weight as the original canvas, especially with the same if not a better waterproof level, even with our own material woven factory….
So we had our very nice canvas material ready but we needed to invest on tooling to make those nice rectangular eyelets in either brass (for early pick ups) or aluminum (for late pick ups) and also the steel lock loops…
With all done we can then be ready to rock and roll and make our 1st ever pick up canvas!! This first one was for a single cab splits. Look at my swollen hand after punching the canvas and hammering the eyelets on the canvas…Hard work isn’t it?
After making the first canvas, we needed to find a single cab to trial fit it. A big Thank You to our friends Matt S and Dave H, real gentlemen. They kindly offered us the chance to test fit this canvas on their nice 1961 single cab in complete original condition.
Here you go, our first ever pick up canvas is a success!
So, after the first one done, everything else seemed to go so easy. Without too many problems we then had the pick up canvas done for all VW pick up models from 1950 to 1979, including Single Cab Bay window, Crew Cab Splits and Crew Cab Bay window.