Based in Ballymena (Northern Ireland), Bespoke NI has changed a lot over the years however, at our heart we are still the same small business that was established in 2001. Back then we started out integrating bespoke vehicle electronics, technology and high-end car audio for private customers and hundreds of franchise vehicle dealerships nationwide. This work saw us win many awards and some of the demo vehicles we produced for major manufacturers went on to receive recognition worldwide.
In 2005 we were approached to build sleeper coaches for the music industry and this seen us move our business into luxury coachbuilding with some of the completed coaches having a price tag of over £1m. Between 2005 and 2015 we manufactured a fleet of these vehicles which enabled us to learn and develop the skills and expertise we now apply to building our bespoke VW campervans, giving them the same unique high end finish and attention to detail.
Our Bespoke Design:
When looking for new avenues to explore we realised that there was a desire for a leisure vehicle that could be used everyday and not just a few times during the camping season, so in 2011 we set about building our first VW transporter-based campervan. When we researched the market we quickly realised the poor quality of the campervans available, the questionable safety they offered and the outdated design were factors that we were determined to overcome and produce a van that would meet current market aspirations.
The experience we gained form our previous work served us well and we set about producing campervans with a new modern design and the highest level of safety possible so we could appeal to users of all ages, budgets and backgrounds. We sought out suppliers with the same ethos as ourselves and developed relationships to source the high quality parts and materials required to build our vans to the highest levels of safety and reliability possible. These new designs were tested and refined over the next 5 years, until we reached the point where we were happy with our design and ready to take our vans to the next level – VW Approval.
To achieve type approval, final hurdle we had to overcome was the seatbelt anchorage pull test (vehicle crash testing) this daunting challenge was eventually overcome with several pull test’s of our RIB seats and bespoke mounting system carried out at Millbrook proving ground and witnessed by the VCA. This task in itself made us stand back and look at how we build our vans and how small things like the positioning of holes in the body of the vehicle can influence the outcome of the test.
This is something that is worth remembering when someone tells you the seat is crash tested! Just because the seat may have a very high level of safety, unless it can be proven how this seat will react in the van (with all the modifications carried out on the van) then you have no way of knowing what may happen in an accident, if fact during this process we found that we had to improve on VW,s own factory front seat mounting point so it would pass the levels required for an M1 motor caravan (different to a N1 commercial vehicle)
Finally, during 2019 we achieved sign off on our Type Approval by the VCA! Though it doesn’t end there, in order to maintain our approval the VCA carried out initial and moving forward ongoing COP audits to confirm and maintain confidence in the consistency of the vehicles we build, therefore ensuring our customers can have confidence in the quality and safety of their Bespoke Campervan!
But that doesn’t mean that we’re going to stop there. We are constantly striving to improve our range and keep up to date with the latest safety standards as well as the very latest technology and equipment, we believe there is always room for us to improve and expand upon our range of bespoke campervans.