Items filtered by date: August 2018 - Bernard Newbury Auto Interiors
Sunday, 14 April 2013 22:17

1956 Dark Lord Blue Oval Beetle

Paintwork by The Paintbox - Engine & Gearbox by Cogbox

The Dark Lord Blue Oval was a 'body off' rebuild of the Coral Pink Oval after the accident in the winter of 1996/97 and debuted at the Volksworld show 1997 where it won Best of Show. Bernie had great fun racing it with a best ET of 11.93. In 2000 he decided that to go quicker he had to strip the Oval (which he didn't really want to do) or build another car, so the oval was sold and the Gene Berg Replica 67 was built

Sunday, 14 April 2013 22:15

1956 Coral Pink Oval Beetle

The Coral Pink Oval was built in 1995 for my wife Carol, but after an accident it was rebuilt into the Blue Oval. The engine was eventually was fitted to the Ghia in 1998.


Sunday, 14 April 2013 21:30

1972 Jade Green Karmann Ghia

The Jade Green Ghia was built during 1992 and first apeared at the shows in 1993. Since its creation it has had a few modifications including 3 complete new interiors and has one more trophies than Bernard can remember including the highest accolade from the custom/hot rod scene – that of winning ‘Best in Britain’ at the Doncaster Custom Show. It was sold in August 2005 to make room for other projects. 
Sunday, 14 April 2013 16:48


Southend-on-Sea - 1961
When Bernard first left school back in the early ’60s, his first job was that of a ‘Detailer’ (valeting) from which he eventually worked his way up through the ranks to become a mechanic. Back then he was best described as a Mod and could often be found buzzing around Southend (on the Essex Coast) on a very Modified Vespa GS scooter. Soon after passing his driving test, on the 3rd attempt, Bernard bought a Ford Anglia, which he had started to customize within 2 weeks of purchasing! He lowered the suspension, removed the bumpers (race-style) and, before he knew it, Bernard had entered his first race. Bernard was so fixated with racing he would compete anywhere and in just about any kind of competition, whether it be autocross, circuit or drag. Incidentally, Bernard raced at Santa Pod the first year it opened! The only changes to the set-up back then would a few sets of tyres to suit various types of surface/track… Now that's what we call budget racing! Following the Anglia, Bernard bought an Austin Mini and soon realised he couldn't find anyone to undertake custom modifications to the standards he required. To this end, Bernard eventually started his own business specialising in custom interiors. It was also around this time that Bernard got married, which stopped any racing for a while! Well, that’s not completely true, there was also the fact that he rolled the Mini and completely destroyed it.

Volksworld - June '89
Several years later, Bernard had two significant customers cross the threshold, Richard King and Stewart Bishop. At that point, Richard was building a red Karmann Ghia Cabriolet, which some might say sparked the burgeoning UK Cal-Look scene and Stewart was building a ’53 Oval. Bernard eventually trimmed both vehicles, and Stewart’s Oval went on to win Best Interior at the very first Bug Jam back in 1987 as well as being featured in the very first edition of VolksWorld in the same year. In 1986, Bernard’s son, Louis, joined him straight from school and was keen to inject young ideas and to emulate what was going on in the scene. So, in 1988 a clapped out ’67 bug was bought for just £60 and work started on the new project, named ‘No Lemon’ – a lemon yellow Cal-Looker, which was featured in VolksWorld magazine back in the June ’89 issue. Although it was never a show winner, ‘No Lemon’ was an important car as it caused both Bernie and Louis to specialise in custom VW interiors. Also around this time, Bernard and Louis were powerboat water-ski racing at a semi-professional level, eventually becoming members of the British team and racing all over Europe most weekends. However, during a race in Rotterdam in ’90, Louis injured his back so badly he wouldn't be able to ski competitively again, so it was time for Bernard to go back to concentrate his efforts on his first love... modified cars!

Boom Box - Bug Jam 92
Anyone who knows Bernard will know his attention to detail, and this was ever present when building his powerboats. He even won the Concourse D'Elegance 3 years in a row for the best-prepared boat at the annual British Water ski Federation award ceremony. It's this award that lead Bernard to build one of the most ground breaking VWs to ever come out of this country and possibly the World. Over the winter of ’91/’92 Bernard helped finish Louis’ Type 3 squareback project, and at the last moment decided he would enter it in the first VolksWorld show at the Rex Centre in Birmingham! A wise decision indeed as the car walked away with a trophy for ‘Best Interior’. It was also at this show that Bernard first met Simon Emery of The Paintbox and formed a lasting and close friendship. Also around this time, Bernard had noticed at various cruises that the loudest vehicles often attracted the biggest crowds and thus ‘The Boom Box’ (Type 25 van) was born. This served as an interim show vehicle and as an attraction to his trade stand at various shows (including Louis DJing from it at Bug Jam ‘92).

Volksworld - August '92
Once finished and put to bed it was down to the serious business of building a proper show car – just as Bernard thought a show car should be. This was further fuelled by a persistent Louis claiming, “if you can build a concourse winning boat, just think what you could do with a car”,and so the green Ghia was born! The Ghia was originally swapped for a full interior, the deal being done without Bernard having even seen the car in question. The car was built outside under a tarpaulin over the winter of ’92/’93 and was debuted at Volksfest in May of ’93, where it won numerous trophies, including Best of Show. Over the next few years, both here in the UK and all across Europe the car won more trophies than Bernard can even remember including the highest accolade from the custom/hot rod scene – that of winning ‘Best in Britain’ at the Doncaster Custom Show. While the Ghia was doing the show circuit, waiting in the wings was a ’56 Oval to be built for his wife, Carol. This was built during ’94/’95 and debuted at the VolksWorld show in ’95, where it won Best Interior and Best Cal Look. However, in ’96 whilst on the way home from Bug Jam, a part on the brake pedal broke away and the Oval was damaged.

Santa Pod - Late '90s
Dismayed but never one to give up, Bernard decided to rebuild the car into a real street racer and like a Phoenix from the ashes; ‘The Blue Oval’ was created. Bernard decided the Oval would do one show only, the VolksWorld Show in ’97, as a promotion tool for the performance parts he was starting to sell. Although it was not entered in the Show’n’Shine, it went on to win the prestigious ‘Best of Show’ award!From ’97 the Oval was then raced at Santa Pod Raceway whenever Bernard had the chance, eventually leading to a best time of 11.93-seconds @112mph. Bernard being Bernard, he soon wanted to go quicker, which brings us up to 2001 when he first acquired a ’66 Bug with which to build a copy of the legendary black Berg race car. This car was awarded ‘Best Type 1’ at the VolksWorld Show in 2002, and was raced until the end of the 2004 season with a best time of 11.46-seconds. This was the point at which Bernard decided to make the car his and not a copy of someone else’s. As Bernard had a lifelong love of gasser-style race cars ‘Stitch Up’ debuted in 2005 with a completely new engine, new paint, new graphics, new trim and even new wheels and, to date, has run a best time of 9.88 seconds @ 134.15

Paul Knight
Editor of Ultra VW

Sunday, 14 April 2013 15:21


Based in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, we're open Monday to Friday 9AM - 5PM
Visiting is by appointment only, thank you.

1 Station Road, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, SS9 1ST
Tel: +44 (0)1702 710211
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sunday, 14 April 2013 14:59


"Thanks to Bernie and Louis for an amazing job" (Nigel Fleet, GTV Bug)

"To say we are delighted is an understatement, but we most certainly are delighted,
and will sing your praises to any who will listen"
(Maureen & Keith, Buerstner Motorhome)
"I’m at a loss for words, absolutely stunning! Superb job, thank you both so very much"  (Mr Sankey, '63 Bug)
"Thanks for making such a great job on my seats" (Chris White, Mk1 Golf Cabrio)
"Flawless Interior" (Greg Howell, Audi RS4 seats)
"I would not consider taking my cars elsewhere in the future for trimming work,
they have done a fantastic job"
(Rich Oakley, '57 Oval Cabrio)
"One word... Orgasmic! Many thanks" (Hamish Taite, split screen camper seats)
"I'm very pleased. Bernie does a fantastic job and is not as expensive as people think" (Rick, '53 Oval Bug)
"It is amazing! Honestly, absolutely stunning. There is nothing I would change." (Patrick Dighton, Ragtop Bug)
"Many thanks for the wonderful job you've done on my van, I'm super happy with it. Managed to have a good look around today and the attention to detail is really impressive" (John 00 Fleming, T5 Day Van)
"Love my interior, still looks and feels fabulous after all these years, with Bernie there is only one quality and that is the best!" (Jonathon Dixon)
"PUKKA !!!" (Jamie Oliver, Split Screen camper)
Thursday, 28 March 2013 06:44

Cover Cars

A collection of cover cars of ours or cars we've worked on
(Still plenty more to scan!)

Friday, 25 January 2013 00:00

Porsche 356

Porsche 356  speedster seats, rear seats, dash top door, quarter and bulk head panels trimmed in brown/oxblood leather with fat biscuit stitching and beige squareweave carpet through out. We also sound proofed the whole car with dynomat before a heavy dose of carpet underfelt.

Sunday, 09 September 2012 00:00

Porsche 993 RS Style

Porsche 993 with Recaro Pole Position seats trimmed in tan leather. The rear seats were deleted to make way for a full roll cage. The front and rear area were completely carpeted in black carpet. New front interior door panels were made to look like ones from an RS with simple door pulls and trimmed in black leather and tan stitching. Door cappings were trimmed in tan leather. The whole rear end was reworked round the roll cage and then trimmed in black leather with tan cappings. Finally the dash and center console were trimmed in a combination of black and tan leather to follow the theme of the rest of the interior.

Friday, 07 September 2012 00:00

Back To The Future

In this months Ultra VW,  Louis' first project car for many years gets a full 6 page feature.

It all started in the winter of 1988/89 at the age of 18 when Louis built built his first car, a 1967 lemon yellow Cal Looker which was a feature cover car in the June '89 edition of Volksworld Magazine. Although it was no show winner it did receive a fair bit of attention at the time due to the overall concept of following the colour scheme from the outside right through to the inside.

Fast forward 22 years and just after hitting the big 4 0 midlife crisis mark in 2011, and with New Beetle's being fairly cheap now, he thought it would be great to recreate the concept, but with a future retro twist.

Photos by Gwynn Clark courtesy of Ultra VW

Paint & body by iKustoms

Debadged, shaved front indicators, side repeaters, door handles, roof aerial, and 3rd
brake light. Votex side sills and US spec bumper for smaller licence plate with clear
fog light to match reverse light. Black wing mirrors with LHD passenger mirror used
as the drivers mirror so both match.

Interior by Bernard Newbury Auto Interiors
Front and rear (modified) MK4 Golf seats with Audi RS4 head rests, custom dash
with 7" android powered tablet, retro eyeball air vents, smooth solenoid operated
glove box with hidden stereo system, custom interior door panels and Lupo 3L
steering wheel all trimmed in a mix of plain & perforated yellow leather with satin
silver detailing. Modified Bora centre console with added ipod dock, sunglasses
holder, leather handbrake and gear level gator. The Head lining and A/B/C pillars
are trimmed in black tweed with deleted rear view mirror and silver grey seat belts.
The Boot is trimmed in black tweed with JBL sub bass tube trimmed in perforated
leather. Other modifications include custom speaker grilles, sweeping door handle and
smoothed door caps on the front interior door panels and hidden speakers in the rear,
plus hidden power window and boot lock switches.

Wheels, suspension & brakes.
17" satin black Audi A3 sport alloys, fully detailed FK high sport coilovers and fully
detailed stock brakes.

Detailed stock engine with K&N 57i Induction


Best New Beetle @ Ultimate Dubs 2012
Best Beetle @ Early Edition 2012
Best Interior @ Early Edition 2012
Best Interior @ Bug Jam 2012
Best Of Show, Best Paint & Best Interior @ VW Action 2012
Featured in August 2012 Ultra VW
Best Beetle @ Deutsch Connection 2013

Wednesday, 05 September 2012 00:00

British Racing Green Mk2 Jaguar

Mk2 Jag fully trimmed in sage green leather & vinyl including seats, door panels and centre console, with dark green wilton carpet throughout.

Saturday, 28 July 2012 00:00

Ford RS 2000 Recaros

Early Ford RS 2000 Recaros are pretty hard to come by, so sometimes you just have to work with what you can get. These were in pretty bad shape as you can see below, but now they're as good as new with new webbing, repaird bolster foams and then trimmed in black vinyl PVC with dog tooth check inserts. A set of early Porsche headrests finish it off.

Sunday, 01 July 2012 00:00

Porsche Speedster Seats

Trimmed without any patterns to work with and just a pair of fibreglass shells in black vinyl with basket weave vinyl inserts, and black square weave carpet backs.

Monday, 18 June 2012 00:00

Stephan's Low Light Ghia

After doing work for Stephan Dendievel on his Dyno Pincher race car, he brought to us his Low Light Ghia to work our magic. The seats & door panels were trimmed in a brick red vinyl with matching cloth instert and cream piping, while the carpets were beige square weave with heringbone cloth binding.

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