How many of us have dreams for what we will do once we retire but somehow never get around to carrying them out?

Not our customer Steve Rowe, of Colchester, who is planning well ahead and has called on us to help!

Since his teens Steve, who is nowhere near retirement age, had always dreamt of owning and restoring a VW camper van and is now well on the way to achieving his dream: “I’ve always liked the surfer scene,” he says.

After six months of searching he found the perfect van – in Brazil.

It was in better condition with less rust than any he would have found in the UK because of Brazil’s better climate, so he bought it.

The first step was to arrange for it to be brought to Suffolk – from Brazil via Florida and Southampton.

Buying a left-hand drive camper van the same age as himself on the strength of a few pictures was, he admitted, “a bit of a gamble” but it was worth it.

When it arrived it looked to be in pretty good condition.  The previous owner had had the paintwork re-sprayed.

However, we could not see what imperfections were really there until a Midlands company specialising in chemical dipping stripped off the old paint and rust.

Fortunately, the stripping revealed nothing drastic and once we were able to get to work with a bit of welding, dent removal and a rust-proof coating things were looking pretty good.

A new engine is now being installed by another company and then the bus will come back to us to finish the bodywork and add the final coats of paint.

By October we’ll be done and then it will be back to Steve for the interior fittings to be added and he will be ready to hit the road.

He plans to use the camper van and when he is finally ready to retire he will use it to tour around Europe, particularly Spain and Portugal.