Vanana SplitsBy: Richard Kemp Leeds
We are seeking funding to allow us to set up a fibreglass campervan manufacturing business from scratch.
What we need......everything!
We have a unit in mind and are in negotiations with the letting agent.
We need a one year only production model Fleetline van (mother) from South Africa for which I have sourced numerous contacts both in the UK and South Africa.Mother will be the basis for the fibreglass mould, once we've made some modifications.
A new chassis would be nice! check! I already have the basic measurements to set one out, once we get mother we can finalise the chassis design on my 3d structural steel modelling software, I'm an engineer by trade. We build the chassis jig and table around the chassis in the model and then get all the bits laser cut to ensure accuracy.
Bolt on independant front and rear units with disc brakes on all corners by Red 9 Design, tie the back wheels to a purpose built Cog Box gearbox and an Arnie Levics 1776cc engine ........bits that make you go wow!
Fibreglass bodyshells, the bit that makes you go oooh, Matt at Dub Box (fibreglass god) is the man dealing with this, his dub box caravan is gorgeous and he was the ideal choice for our project.
So we've got all the sexy bits to start and stop us, a gorgeous bodyshell to keep us looking cool ......interior!
Lets be safe first, Custom Cages are pencilled in for our roll cage design they've got years of experience in the motor sport industry.
Front seats by Corbeau and the camping interior by VanWurks all matching fabrics.....are you getting excited yet?
Fittings and fixtures by Alan H Schofield and VW Heritage, they'll be supplying the wheels too fooks alloys 5.5 x 15........ more oohing!
With regard to tools etc...keep your jokes to yourselves, we've designed everything to fit together with a standard toolset, 4 axle stands and a couple of trolley jacks.
Keep it nice and simple.
The final thing we need is customers please.
Phasing the project: A brief breakdown of costs
Phase 1 - funding target = £40000.......I know it's a lot!
To get us started, we need "Mother", our template vehicle. We already have a van sourced, it's not ours yet but we do have first refusal. She's unique and is currently on the high seas making her way over to us from South Africa.
These vans change hands from £15000 up depending on their condition - we've budgeted £25000 because we want a straight one.
Once we have her in the UK some changes need to be made to make her even more individual.
The van will have body panels cut and replaced to get the Vanana Splits unique look, we may need to do other repairs too, please bear in mind when "Mother" is ready to have the mould taken, the exterior will be to a show winning standard. There's no point having a dent in your mould that you have to fill everytime you create a new shell! - We've budgeted £10000 for panels and paint
Whilst the body is being restyled, the chassis will be measured and the information transferred to our 3D modelling package to finalise our chassis design.
We can purchase and fabricate the chassis table, jig and first chassis.
The chassis, table and jig need to be engineered, steel purchased, precision fabricated and galvanised this will account for the remaining £5000
Phase 2 - funding target = £18000........still a lot!
We'll buy the Red 9 Design suspension units, the wheels and tyres and attach them to the galvanised chassis. That will be a milestone!
Suspension and wheels will account for £6000
"Mother" will be sent to Dub-box to have the mould made and the very first bodyshell created from that mould. Another milestone!
The mould creation and bodyshell including transportation costs to Dub-Box will account for £12000
Phase 3 - funding target = £35000.......the final push!
Shopping time! We purchase all the parts we require to finish and the big build begins.
We continue to keep you informed on our progress.
The remaining items vary from the dished washers to hold the interior trim in place to the gearbox and engine. We also have transportation costs for the safe return of Mother, there is a cost for the Vosa test all the associated paperwork and getting VS1 to the test center in Beverley on the East coast and back.
JUST TO BE CLEAR.
Our project will be funded over three phases. We need all three phases to be a success to fulfill our commitments to the rewards we are offering in return for your pledges. When we have a successful phase 1 we will spend the fund as noted above, posting images of our progress online to create more interest and boost phase 2.
Phase 2 will follow phase 1 immediately. If phase 2 is unsuccesful ( it won't be i'm sure ) we will review, adapt and resubmit our pitch.
If it is still unsuccessful then we cannot proceed. Unfortunately this means that phase 1 contributors will not get their rewards as their money will be tied up in the van and steel. I don't want anyone feeling let down or cheated at any point during our project. You earned your money and have been kind enough to share it with us. So what we'll do is stop the project, sell the van and all the parts we've bought and reimburse those from phase 1 with a percentage of the receipts in relation to the amount they pledged.
The same applies to phase 3, should it be unsuccesful, only this time we'll be reimbursing the contributors from phases 1 and 2.
Hope this is acceptable to all.
October 2010 - When it all started
My daughter found some old photos of my splitty van and we started to look into buying one but they were very expensive for a restoration project and even more for a fully restored one. With all the panels available I wondered if it would be possible to put one together from these, we soon knocked that idea on the head.
Not to be outdone I investigated the idea of using a beetle chassis/floorpan arrangement, ( the wheelbase is almost identical) with a custom made radically charicaturised van.
I investigated the possibility of creating the shape from clay, like the big boys do, that was more expensive than the steel panels and the wife wasn't pleased about the idea of 6 ton plus of clay in the garage!
So we move on, what to use that doesn't react with resin and is lightweight and easy to shape?, why that would be Polyisocyanurate foam, trouble is it comes in 1m x 2m x 0.6m blocks It's expensive but not as bad as the previous options.
Thats when we find Dub Box, ideas started to fly and before long the design changed again from a charicature to an altered replica.its to do with copyrights!
How is this going to roll? I knew there were bolt on aftermarket independent front suspension units for American muscle cars and sought to adapt one of those, didn't need to really, as luck would have it Red 9 Design had just created exactly what I wanted for the front and the back !
From here we added engines and gearboxes, lookes into electric engines via TESSLA, they gave me some time but thought me mad as did Smith Electric Vehicles. So the electric engine was shelved for the time being but not forgotten.
So there you are 22 months in a nutshell its been interesting, infuriating and I've met some lovely people on the way, remember for every stockist on the list there are at least 2 other stockists that were considered!
Thank you for your support, now go fund us like crazy!
04-10-2012 05:19 PM
What can I say….Thanks doesn't go far enough , you are the magnificent 7 teen! ok some of you are related family and now youre all Vanana family. If youre not in contact with me on facebook or twitter keep in touch here at firstname.lastname@example.org I don't know how long this page will stay open.
So what now? don't know exactly! I'm going to have a bit of a break redo the website into a real site not a fund based one and come back with a new plan.
If you ever have anything that needs funding, get in touch with Ben and his team. Even if it doesn't work you'll have a heap of fun in the process and they're exceptionally nice and knowledgeable people.
Once again keep in touch and thank you for putting your money forward so I could realise my project.
14-09-2012 01:12 PM
You are one of the initial 12 who went out of your way to fund me, so your names are automatically in the running to win Vanana Splits 1 for 9 days. Thank you for your support, but don’t let that stop you funding more ! lol
03-09-2012 09:13 PM
Many thanks to Ben and James for their kind donations, please make yourselves known on facebook or twitter then I can keep you updated more regularly .
Thank you for your generosity. Don’t forget to tell your friends too
03-09-2012 08:40 AM
Thank you Sue, another huge push forward for us thank you. I’m booked in for the radio interview and hopefully there’s a spot in the Yorkshire post for us too. Then I’ve decided to go on the telly - the telly doesn’t know it yet but it’s going to have to happen. lol Thank you once again for your support
02-09-2012 05:33 PM
Thank you Caroline, welcome to the club,brush up on your puzzler skills, if we succeed then you’re on the puzzle.
Keep watching and let me know if you’re on facebook or twitter then we can keep you updated betterer
Thank you once again
31-08-2012 04:06 PM
Thanks Andy, you fund some interesting stuff , how’s the jaws project going? i’m a big fan of the great white. join us on face book. i’d love to chat. thank you once again
30-08-2012 04:47 PM
Thank you Mike….. you just bought your T-Shirt, and you launched us into 3 figures, can’t thank you and all the other pledgees enough. I think we are officially rolling now.
30-08-2012 01:00 PM
Thank you to Claire for finally dragging us over £80 mark lol. Your pledge is most gratefully received. if you’re on facebook or twitter let me know your address and i’ll befriend you.
Thanks once again.
27-08-2012 10:38 AM
Thank you Clarissa, our fund has left the mainland you’re our first international bidder !
26-08-2012 10:22 AM
Bel, are you on facebook? of course you are, could we be friends? lol
25-08-2012 10:05 AM
Thank you Bel
25-08-2012 09:55 AM
Morning to you all, i’ve checked and double checked our pledges so far and am pleased to inform you that even at this early stage we can purchase ...........the front indicators and a 3 wheels for the jig table, i’m not going to say which 3 wheels they are don’t want you guys fighting.
Keep telling your friends and anyone you think might be interested about us.
24-08-2012 10:42 PM
3 hours in and we’re £54 up. Just trying out this update function.