Kev from SGS Aircooled is an enthusiast. There’s no hiding it. He’s excited about what he does and loves being able to help others with their hobby too. Andy and Martin went to find out more.
Dream come true
Having spent years slaving on the spanners for someone else, Kev jumped at the opportunity to get his name above the door when the ex-proprietor decided to hang up his overalls and emigrate to Australia. By his own admission, he’s working harder than ever, but Kev is in his element and truly loves what he does.
Kev has been into aircooled VWs since he could drive and the Back to ’89 Style of his youth is something he holds dear. When we visited he was mid-project on a B289 car he’d rescued a month or two prior. Kev doesn’t confess to being a painter (in fact he typically subs this out) but he’s done this Bug all himself as a showcase for what he can do with all aspects of maintenance and restoration.
Got the blue Bug
Walking us around to another unit where he stores his own cars, Kev tells us how this one came about. “I saw it for sale, and I showed it to my misses; the next thing I knew she’d bought it for me”… Sounds like it isn’t just Kev who’s got a soft spot for these old VWs! It’s been on the receiving end of some smoothing over the years with the roof gutters and rear vents now missing. We correctly spot the Vauxhall Carlton alloys but can’t quite place the origins of the beige leather seats. Kev is keen to keep this Kafer true to its ‘original style’ as much as possible and since we visited he’s even picked up another B289 car!
Get your motor running…
Whilst SGS offer all kinds of support for aircooled owners, from mechanical servicing through to welding and restoration works it is the flat 4 power plant that, given the choice, Kev would spend his days and nights building. Further to that, forced induction is a particular favourite topic for discussion and an area of expertise by all accounts.
Upstairs Kev has a couple of engines on the go, and he talks us through the builds. The one with orange tinware is set for his B289 Bug and features a Joe Blow through supercharger with a single 40 IDF bolted on the end. The yellow engine is a little more conventional, albeit with bright engine tinware; and being a man brought up on a diet of Bermuda shorts and fluorescent soft drinks, why the heck not!
Waiting in the wings
We venture out into the yard and Kev talks us through some of the projects he’s taken in to tackle next. A few are too far gone and will live on only as donor vehicles, but there’s a number of Beetles and Buses, not to mention a Ghia that will have all be on the receiving end of Kev’s spanner or welding torch come the summer.
A big thanks to Kev for taking the time to show us around, and chat all things old, cool and Volkswagen.