Rustbucket to roadworthy in 10 days: VW van restored by teen – and all for a bet

Billy Walden doesn’t do half measures. The 18-year-old from Yorkshire challenged himself to revive an old 1995 Volkswagen LT container van from write-off to roadworthy within only 10 days. It was a lone mission driven by his love for motors, mending things and, in part, to prove to his friend, Gordon, wrong.

“I love a challenge and I love mending things,” says Walden, who paid just £500 for the Mk1 LT van, which had clocked up 135,000 miles and was destined to be crushed by the council. “We’d been to Carlisle, and coming back over the Moors we saw the van parked up, and a man had been living in it,” says Walden. “The council were trying to evict him — so I told him I’d rather buy it than the council taking it and crushing it.”

Walden says he developed a love for old LT vans since his mum owned one when he was a small child and “couldn’t cope with scrapping one”. 

When the van was delivered to his home, Walden reviewed the vehicle’s three-pages-long failed MoT papers, dated 2016, and drafted a long list of parts he’d need to revive it. “My friend Gordon said it couldn’t be done, because the MoT fail list was so long and the van was a rusty heap of junk.” 

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