We bought 'Wilma' in 2003, following my wife Kerrie's insistance that we should not follow the 'sheep' but have a Commer campervan instead. Thus began my search for a Commer... Over the coming months we searched far and wide throughtout the Westcountry but to no avail. Then, as if like some kind of divine intervention, during one of my first ever 'sortes' onto Ebay, a 1970 Commer PB autosleeper! Although the engine had seized, she looked in unbelievably good original condition, with only one previous owner, having not been driven since 1980!? (Her tax disc showing '31:10:80' still displayed clearly on her windscreen - I was still at my junior school!) 'This was the one', a voice told me. Unfortunately, I was outbid! Then, as if to confirm our destiny, a 'second chance' offer came and a deal was done. We drove up to Reading to get her, and trailed her home. She came with all her history neatly filed, even her original bill of sale from 'Wilsons' of Bradford - £1,437 and 5 shillings.
During the winter we took her engine out and had it re-built and converted it to unleaded fuel. We gave her a jolly good clean and returned her to the roads around Cornwall, passing her first MOT in 23 years with ease. We continued to enjoy camping in her for 3 years by which time she was one of the family (She even appeared in a 4 page feature in Practical Classics magazine in September 2006.) and it was then decided to getting her looking as original as possible. Over last winter we tackled the very few rust spots she had and purchased some lower front door skins off 'Woolfy' (see photo - not bad eh?) one of his first orders i think. She was then restored to her orignal two-tone cream and powder blue. The upholstery was all renewed in a period blue and cream, with all the woodwork lighted sanded and re-varnished satin. Add to that the electronic ignition conversion and she will happily sit at 60mph all day. (Well worth it.)
We now go camping in her whenever possible throughout the spring and summer months, along with our baby boy 'Edward' who first camped in her aged 6 weeks! Like all Commer owners, we are immensely proud of her, with people always coming up to ask about her.