The beauty of ‘Belle’ our newest Sugared Rose team member

Posted on June 24th 2015

Meet the newest Sugared Rose team member Belle, isn't she just lovely? She's a little on the old side as she is of a 1967 vintage but as you can see from these recent Instagram pics of her, age (and a little TLC) have only been her friend. 

As you can guess there is a little bit of a story behind how she came to be ours.

About two years ago, and rather on a whim (and without telling Mr Sugared Rose - oopps) I brought Belle our 1967 Bedford CA Domobile with the idea that I would give her a complete makeover and turn her into a little traveling tea room (Yes, George Clarke and his amazing spaces has a lot to answer for). But then she was delievered and me and the Mr rather fell in love. Not only with her and all her old and a bit under the weather appearance but with the idea of pootling around the UK with the dog in a lovely little camper that we could call ours.

So pretty much instantly scrapping any ideas I had of coffee machines and stainless steel worktops we set about trying to find help turinng her back into the beauty she once was.

A great pic of Belle from the #Monklin Wedding taken by Julie.

This little advert is from around the same time as her creation and what we were aiming for, just with a few more modern touches.

We knew it wouldnt be easy, but what we didn't expect was just how hard it was to find anyone willing or with the know how to help. I am not going to bore you with details of tralls of autojumbles and classic car sites, some very rude VW specialists and sending cables back and forth through the post.  As despite all that, through it all we amassed a small list of really diamond helpers! 

Christine (Mum) and all round best Project Manager ever! At the time I rather impulsively brought Belle we actually had nowhere to put her (silly I know) Mum stepped in and it was her driveway she ended up parked. Staring at her everyday must have helped give mum the bug too as before we knew it she was doing deals with various classic car part dealers, researching the roof belllows and getting leather samples. In short 'project Belle' became more Mums than ours and we still don't know how to thank her as she has been in the driving seat (sorry I couldn't resist!) all the way through.

The family's favorite and most trusted Mechanic. Syd had actually owned one before and had been around all of our family's vehicles, classic, vintage or modern so of course we wouldn't ask anyone else.

John Grainger
Hereford based Bedford specialist (who goes under the online name ' CA Mad') and all round top bloke. This man took Belle on for a custom re-paint when we had all but lost hope of finding anyone, he even fitted the shiny new roof bellows for us, combatted the amazing amount of rust (as well as a few unknown mechanical issues) and supplied weekly photo updates.

Nick Kaye - Airteriors Kustom Lifespace
A-MA-ZING (Yes shouty capitals amazing) Wales based custom VW interior specialist. With us from quite early on we were so taken with his work we booked Nick before having sorted anything else. Nick's enthusiam for our project was brilliant and very catching. His attention to detail was stunning and level of craftmanship just superb (Yes I am a little bit 'fangirl' but so is my Mr so it's OK!). 

So a few photo's from us of how she arrived:

A few from John of the brilliant paint job:



And a few from Nick of her custom interior conversion - please, please check his pages out!





As these things go timescales ran away with us, problems were uncovered and the months kept ticking past.  Before we knew it, the big deadline, the wedding of two of our favourite people was around the corner and as we hadn't had chance to test her out yet. She was to have her first proper outing as a wedding car! What do you think? We are definitely in love and can't wait to try her out on a little weekend break.

But if you love her as much as we do then would like her at your event or wedding? We are really interested to hear from you if you would?

Even though our plans for her changed we are not sure we want to keep the love for her to ourselves. We do have a (albeit reduced, and still in the early stages) plan to share her. Would you like her to drive you to the church, pop up at your event to serve tea and cake or act as an awesome photo prop/booth? We have loads more research to do around this as she is primarily a family vehicle and not a commercial one so there is a few rules and insurance regulations we have to stick to possibly making her availability quite limited.

However over the next few months we will know what we are doing and you may be able to take a look at our lovely Belle pages on the website and see if any of our hire packages suit you. We will keep you posted!

But first.... we are going to take her for a spin.

Sarah x

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