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1979 ex RTE VW van

  • 11-02-2013 2:36am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 15 ✭✭✭ rezvw


    About 2 years ago I purchased an ex RTE VW bay window van. I'm trying to find out any information or history about it. I would love to hear of anyone who may either remember these in service or know someone who used to work in RTE. I have contacted RTE directly along with following other leads but so far I haven't found much. I've been told recently that this van may have been used as a camera van at race meetings driving alongside the horses but I'm currently following up this lead. The van has a hatch in the roof for filming from and was in the possession of RTE from 1979 to 1992 as documented on the original brown Irish log book.
    The pics below are of a sister van (different reg) to mine from RTE and mine has most of the same features including brackets for the large TV mast, however mine had the added camera hatch in the roof. If anyone can assist me in my search I would greatly appreciate it. Perhaps someone who worked for RTE may even recognise the technicians in the pics? I'm an active member in the Irish VW aircooled community and it seems that this van has stayed under their radar for most of it's life. It must be a unique van at this stage however, and I'm desperate to uncover it's history.
    Thanks.
    006_f8122d3d4cd58ea9ec87326c39233e90499800d01.jpg

    AnRTTelevisionReceptionInvestigationvaninBaltinglassCountyWicklowinMay1980Twotechniciansareatworkoneofwhomisstandingbyalargeaerialattachedto.jpg

    2.jpg


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,358 ✭✭✭ kev1.3s


    Very cool project! Best if luck with you're search.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,027 ✭✭✭ Silvera


    Interesting project. It's always great to hear about original Irish vehicles being restored.

    BTW, The second picture above is Baltinglass, Co. Wicklow, and the third is on the N81 (Baltinglass to Blessington direction) just north of Tuckmill Crossroads. I used to drive that road everyday many moons ago:D


  • Registered Users Posts: 33 411 guy


    There is a man working in RTE offices in limerick who has some classics and is very nice to talk with, there was a picture in their canteen on the notice board of a '60s model RTE split when i was there 2 years ago.


  • Registered Users Posts: 959 ✭✭✭ manta mad


    Silvera wrote: »
    Interesting project. It's always great to hear about original Irish vehicles being restored.

    BTW, The second picture above is Baltinglass, Co. Wicklow, and the third is on the N81 (Baltinglass to Blessington direction) just north of Tuckmill Crossroads. I used to drive that road everyday many moons ago:D


    correct !!!! top of the class that man :D

    what other motors are in the pic ??

    fiat 131
    fiat x19 ?
    chrysler or talbot alpine
    ford granada ...

    anyone make out what the white car is pulling the trailer at the front side of the granada ?


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 2,941 Mod ✭✭✭✭ macplaxton


    manta mad wrote: »
    anyone make out what the white car is pulling the trailer at the front side of the granada ?

    Very hard to tell, but I'd put my money (10 eurocent) on it being a Renault 16.

    R16_RearView.jpg


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  • Registered Users Posts: 11 Dithane


    manta mad wrote: »
    correct !!!! top of the class that man :D

    what other motors are in the pic ??

    fiat 131
    fiat x19 ?
    chrysler or talbot alpine
    ford granada ...

    anyone make out what the white car is pulling the trailer at the front side of the granada ?

    [Edit] - Snap - yeah - The car pulling the (Jordan) trailer looks very like a Renault 16.

    Also, the first picture is taken a few hundreds yards on the Baltinglass side of Eldon Bridge - about a mile outside Baltinglass on the Dublin road. On that bend - you wouldn't be stoppin there now! Indeed, THEY shouldn't have been either - on a continuous white line !!!!


    --- also - possibility that the "Granada" is actually it's lower-specced sister - the Consul ? (noting the hub-caps and the body-coloured rear boot panel ??? Can't quite tell if the waist-line embellishment is a go-faster stripe (Consul) or an alloy-with-rubber strip (Granny) [Like this one - http://www.flickr.com/photos/triggerscarstuff/4703701135/in/[email protected]|triggerscarstuff ] And to confuse the issue - there was a low-spec Granny after they killed the Consul in 1975 ?! So it could be a Granada :-/ )


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,499 ✭✭✭ Capri




  • Registered Users Posts: 1,830 ✭✭✭ shawnee


    Was watching a film on the Late Eamon de Buitlear recently and he was driving a vw van filming for RTE.;)


  • Registered Users Posts: 15 ✭✭✭ rezvw


    Thanks for the replies folks.
    Shawnee, where did you see that film? Was it a documentary or an actual film? Do you have a name or a link?
    Thanks


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,059 ✭✭✭ Kenny Logins


    Might find it here - http://www.rte.ie/archives/


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  • Registered Users Posts: 15 ✭✭✭ rezvw


    Might find it here - http://www.rte.ie/archives/

    Thanks J.
    Just been researching there already. Looks as though it was a white Splitscreen he drove. Not my van unfortunately.

    A VW van was used in the RTE show "Amuigh Faoin Speir" which was done by both Eamon De Buitlear and an artist called Gerrit Van Gelderen.
    I have previously been in contact with Gerrit Van Gelderen's son who has been extremely helpful but unfortunately told me that even though his Dad drove VW vans they were always his own and never owned by RTE.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,037 ✭✭✭ shagman


    That'd be Oisin van geldern a bit of a star in his own right, rad skater turned pro windsurfer + very nice bloke.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15 ✭✭✭ rezvw


    Capri wrote: »

    Thanks. Yea, none are mine unfortunately. I came across these pics a few months ago which prompted me to contact Finn Van Gelderan.

    I know there must be some sort of record of my van somewhere and I'm still hoping that by making this public on boards someone who may have even driven these vans might just see it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,499 ✭✭✭ Capri


    Wonder would Volkswagen ( Motor distributors ) on the Naas Rd have any old archive publicity photos of the van being handed over , or maybe RTE archives might have film of it in some of their shows ??


  • Registered Users Posts: 15 ✭✭✭ rezvw


    Capri wrote: »
    Wonder would Volkswagen ( Motor distributors ) on the Naas Rd have any old archive publicity photos of the van being handed over , or maybe RTE archives might have film of it in some of their shows ??

    I've had my original email forwarded to many people in RTE at this stage as well as contacting the archive dept. I got the 3 pics I posted from that archive.

    The company who converted the van inside and out (it was originally a panel van) back in 79 still exist and I've contacted them too. They initially could't find anything and asked me to give them a few weeks but I contacted them again recently in the hope that they might have something now.
    As far as I know the VW dealer on the naas rd wasn't there in 79 (I'm open to correction) but I don't know where the van was originally purchased.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,027 ✭✭✭ Silvera


    rezvw wrote: »
    As far as I know the VW dealer on the naas rd wasn't there in 79 (I'm open to correction) but I don't know where the van was originally purchased.

    VW Distributors have been in Ireland since the c.1950's. It was all started by Stephen Flanagan, and was run by his family until recent times when VW Germany bought out the Irish distribution rights.

    I have a booklet produced by VW Distributors in the 1990's celebrating their 40th anniversary. I will have a look at it when I'm back home at the weekend to see if there are any pics or info which migt be useful to you.

    I would suggest that you contact VW Distributors as I would be confident that they maintain an archive section (e.g. Mercedes Distributors in Dublin even have a small museum collection of MB vehicles).


  • Registered Users Posts: 56 ✭✭✭ boscoroxx


    Hi there, I showed this thread to my father in law who has just retired from RTE, he drove the newer satellite vans and was responsible for the news feeds for the live reports.
    He dubts that the van would have been used for the races as the suspension would have been too bouncy and the shot would have been awful. It would have needed air suspension.
    However, the pictures you posted with the ariels could have been testing reception around the counrty or for transmission of signals.
    Cameramen tended to have VW Caravelles. However, vans like this were used to cart around lighting and camera equipment up and down the country. He said most of the guys who wuold have driven these vans have retired in recent years, but that people who are still there may recognise the people in photos. The transport department was disolved several years ago unfortuantley.

    Hope this is of some help.
    Best of luck ith your project.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15 ✭✭✭ rezvw


    boscoroxx wrote: »
    Hi there, I showed this thread to my father in law who has just retired from RTE, he drove the newer satellite vans and was responsible for the news feeds for the live reports.
    He dubts that the van would have been used for the races as the suspension would have been too bouncy and the shot would have been awful. It would have needed air suspension.
    However, the pictures you posted with the ariels could have been testing reception around the counrty or for transmission of signals.
    Cameramen tended to have VW Caravelles. However, vans like this were used to cart around lighting and camera equipment up and down the country. He said most of the guys who wuold have driven these vans have retired in recent years, but that people who are still there may recognise the people in photos. The transport department was disolved several years ago unfortuantley.

    Hope this is of some help.
    Best of luck ith your project.
    That's excellent.
    Thank you! :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 199 ✭✭ 911s


    Silvera wrote: »
    VW Distributors have been in Ireland since the c.1950's. It was all started by Stephen Flanagan, and was run by his family until recent times when VW Germany bought out the Irish distribution rights.

    I have a booklet produced by VW Distributors in the 1990's celebrating their 40th anniversary. I will have a look at it when I'm back home at the weekend to see if there are any pics or info which migt be useful to you.

    I would suggest that you contact VW Distributors as I would be confident that they maintain an archive section (e.g. Mercedes Distributors in Dublin even have a small museum collection of MB vehicles).


    Stephen Flaherty, maybe?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 11 Dithane


    Hi -- some info from a couple of retired RTE techs...

    One reckoned that RTE did most of its VW business with Park Motors (used be on North Circular, now on Navan Road).
    Also - doubted that the hatch you mention had anything to do with cameras. Camera-vans had a complete platform mounted on the roof.
    If the hatch was there originally, in its RTE time, it was probably a ventilation hatch - for use if there was several crew working, or being transported, in the van.

    Another former RTE tech remembered that one van was used by RTE Radio as a "radio car" and was fitted out with an Audio Developments Mixer and an R&S, Band 2, 50 watt Transmitter / Exciter. Also had the same pump up mast and same mounting brackets as in the photos.
    It had low-mileage and after it was sold on by RTE, it was turned into a camper van. The Honda generator that had been in that van is still in RTE OB stores. The compressor for the pump-up antenna mast is also still in existence.

    Will let you know if I any more info comes from this source - a few other techs have been emailed and awaiting responses.

    Ciao.


  • Registered Users Posts: 22 desmo58


    Interesting to read about your project op. When I was growing up, a neighbour down the road at the time was a cameraman with RTE. Around 1978 he got one of those VW Caravelle as his company transport, I think it had ... DZD in the reg. It was white and the side and rear windows had a dark tint so the expensive camera and tripod etc could not be seen from outside. In those days everything was shot on film and there was more stuff to carry around compared to today. I'm certain it had “Park Motors” sticker on back window. It was replaced in 82/83 by a T3 with same spec, white with tinted windows.

    sample photo

    dscf43062.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,156 ✭✭✭ w124man


    I've been watching this thread to see where it goes to. I was particularly interested when some one mentioned the horse racing ..... The pic below is a pic of the last OB VW van that RTE used as the company Observe now contracts that work. This van is quite unique in that it is one of very very few 4x4 T3 Transporters in Ireland and was used almost exclusively used in Leopardstown! The roof on this van is well shagged with holes and dents from the roof rack system that was fitted to it. I almost bought this van a year ago but it was mechanically fooked needing a gearbox, VC and front diff.

    Image046a.jpg


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Regional East Moderators Posts: 58,892 CMod ✭✭✭✭ unkel


    shagman wrote: »
    That'd be Oisin van geldern a bit of a star in his own right, rad skater turned pro windsurfer + very nice bloke.

    Very few people can pronounce his name correctly :)

    Here's a clip of him doing the guts of 90km/h. On a windsurfing board...

    "Wind is Ireland's oil" - An Taoiseach, 25/05/2022



  • Registered Users Posts: 29 ✭✭✭ stan99


    911s wrote: »
    Stephen Flaherty, maybe?

    The late Stephen O Flaherty even.....


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 18,161 ✭✭✭✭ Karsini


    boscoroxx wrote: »
    However, the pictures you posted with the ariels could have been testing reception around the counrty

    That's what I'm thinking. The aerial looks like a standard VHF Band III aerial - I don't know if it would be used for transmission.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,322 ✭✭✭ ian_m


    That is a bit of a gem of a vehicle you have on your hands there if you ask me. I spoke to a friend of mine and he provided me with some information.

    There were 3 versions of the VW Microbus/Combi/Camper/Van from 1970s onwards in RTE all of them internally modified by a local coach-builder no longer alive. But RTE OB guys installed all the gear.

    Type 1: This was the simplest model for cameramen only as it was little modified by the coachbuilder especially if it has the usual passenger seats and side benches for sitting and storage. It had the roof hatch for filming from, and on the roof. The rear door was locked up for the same use. The bulging out type of bay window was a third place to film from, 45 degrees facing forwards or back. It was very popular as there was no danger to head or waist of the camera operator. It had the fittings to take a transmission mast as they all had, but it was really only as a spare item to use one in a hurry. In practice this was never, due to the amount and complexity of the Tx/Rx gear which would have to be installed. Transmission would have been done from another van for this purpose.

    Type 2: The next one was the one used both for transmitting back to base. It was also used for checking coverage to see if a local tx mast was needed in a particular area of poor reception. It had the tx/rx mast and was packed with an amazing amount of equipment inside. The gear was left permanently fitted in the van, no filming use.

    Type 3: The third type was for Production use, live or locally recorded. It too was permanently packed with gear. A bank of TV monitors, a VCR machine, a wide production desk for Director and his vision mixing unit, a PA, the Sound guy and his mixing desk etc. There was also an OB engineer with his controls for the 3 plugged-in cameras to the rear of the van. It too had the mast bracket but was never used. Live shows would be transmitted back to base from the special separate van which was usually some distance from the Production van.

    The cars the film cameraman used were VW Variants and 611 type as stated above. The Combi they sometimes used had a roof hinged porthole to do tracking shots but there was always a danger of abdominal injuries.

    How does the inside look? Does it look like it housed much shelving? Or racks for monitors? Are there windows on each side?


  • Registered Users Posts: 15 ✭✭✭ rezvw


    Thanks for that Ian_m. Have a look here. This is my ongoing thread. http://www.eircooled.com/deforum/showthread.php?9119-My-79-Irish-bay&highlight=broadcast
    It's FAR from original at the moment but I'm using it regularly and I'll keep doing research to see how it would've looked like originally. Unfortunately it lost any RTE parts long before I got it. It's a LONG term project and I'm sure I'll eventually put it back (externally) to the way it was (don't hold me to this). I use it as a campervan so despite what the purists would like, it will be staying as a camper. That green paint was painted by the previous owner but it was red/white at another stage.

    The response on here has been fantastic so far so thank you all.



    EDIT: Just realised you'd have to sign up to view that thread. Instead, here are 2 pics from the day I brought it home. One of the fibreglass lined interior and the other is the badge of the company who converted the van back in 79. They're still around today but haven't found any more info

    P1090675.jpg

    DSCF2092.jpg


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  • Registered Users Posts: 4,269 ✭✭✭ MercMad


    Par-Fit are still around and in the same place, right next door to Coachman's Inn at the Airport. A friend of mine knows the owner well.

    I also recall a family friend who worked for RTE OB from the 70's till he retired about 10 years ago. He drove the Bay window VW's and later the Type 3. I could prob get his contact details if you like.


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