Way back in the summer of 1999 a group if avid bus enthusiasts were trucking across Europe in their buses, heading home from the Bad Camberg vintage VW show held in Germany. The group which included Rikki James, Ben Lawrence, Alan Scott, Richard Morana, Adrian Farquharson and Julian Hunt broke the journey up by stopping over at a camp site for the night at a place called Sevenum in the Netherlands.
While chatting around an open fire that evening, the topic of fast buses came up and with it the idea of creating a special racing bus club, lots of names for this new club were discussed and thrown around and eventually a name for the club was agreed, BWA, Buses With Attitude.
Back then bus racing was not taken too seriously as there weren't to many particularly quick buses on the scene, let alone buses that raced, it was the Beetles that were in the lime light on the track and always had been, but things were about to change! The idea of racing heavy buses was ridicules and had never been done; this was part of the reason why the club had to be formed!
The six founder member of the club initially decided that in order to qualify for BWA it was required you run a sub 20 second quarter mile in your bus, however this proved to be a bit too easy and would have made the club too big to soon, consequently the qualifying time was lowered to 18 seconds, where it stands to this day. Other rules made on that evening in the Netherlands were that the bus has to be a Volkswagen Split Screen, it has to have a flat four air cooled engine of VW origin, as all founder members were active members of the Split Screen Van Club, it was decided that being a member of the Split Screen Van Club was obligatory and finally, all new members qualifying sub 18 second runs have to be witnessed by one of the founder members.
Over the next few years a few buses could be seen racing at various drag strips across the country, however none of this was official BWA racing and it was few and far between. In fact it was a rare thing indeed to see two split screen buses racing together like we are so accustomed to now.
Eventually in July 2002 the Buses With Attitude club was launched at Bug Jam, now for the first time in the VW show scene here in the UK (or the world for that matter), you could see pairs of Split Screen buses tearing up the strip one after another. This was something new that struck the hearts of the VW drag racing spectators across the nation.
Slowly but surly more buses began to turn up to the VW shows that were based around a drag strip although not all were running the required sub 18 second quarter mile to join the club, never the less they were getting a taster for bus racing and the spectators were loving it.
Since the official launch of the club back in 2002, at Bug Jam, BWA has grown at a steady pace. Inevitably the average race times are gradually coming down, as engine technology improves and the mass production of performance engine parts means they are more readily available; this has had a knock on effect reducing cost.
The club intends to be present and participate at as many of the VW race meetings throughout the show season as possible, including mainland Europe, and also incorporating demo's at some non VW events.