The first of a new series of interviews, we get to know the people who bring power to the people; Revo Authorised Dealers. We find out what projects they’re working on and discover what it takes to run a full time tuning shop. This month we go #behindtheshutters with Transporter HQ and speak to one of the owners Will Roberts. Based in the heart of the UK, these guys are responsible for some pretty epic van transformations.
Introduce yourself and Transporter HQ, where did it all start?
I’m Will Roberts, general van nut here at Transporter HQ based near Bruntingthorpe Aerodrome in Leicestershire, UK. I’ve been in the van industry for over 11 years and initially I was just modifying vans for my mates, it snowballed from there really. Fast forward a few years and THQ has become the home of everything Transporter – hence the name. As we’ve grown over the years we’ve also increased the products on offer. We stock a vast range of VW Transporter parts, styling & accessories for both T5 & T6 models, vehicle maintenance, suspension installations and even full camper conversions. We offer Revo’s full range of hardware and ECU Software, as well as a variety of products from other top tuning brands including Milltek Sport.
Introduce us to your team.
The team is currently made up of 11 staff in total; Andy Stretton and I are based in the office, Jack is the media guy, Blake does the camper conversions, pop tops and windows, Mikey does all the air, coil-overs and mechanicals, Elliott is the order dispatch manager, helped by Brad and Joe, while Anna, Laura and Tammi look after the accounts. We’re a tight unit (I’m talking ‘Africa’ by Toto over coffee each morning tight) and a passionate bunch too, especially when it comes to vans, that’s what sets us apart from the rest, we treat our customers’ vans like our own.
Have cars and vans always been your passion?
I’ve loved cars as far back as I can remember, aged four playing Scalextric it wasn’t until my first car – a Peugeot 205 GTi that my passion stepped up a level. I also had an old T4 which I should have never sold. I took it from 102BHP to 210BHP which for an old thing; it rocked and was once described as sounding like the flatulence of God. I’m not alone either, my whole family is into cars; when we get together the drive typically has a Golf R, Audi RS4, an RS3 and two or three T5’s or T6’s on it.
Track-day racer or weekend cruiser?
I’m definitely more of a weekend cruiser these days, especially in my current mode of transport; a VW T6 2.0TDI, 150BHP which I converted from a panel van into a full camper. It’s had a few engine tweaks and of course Revo ECU Software, it’s the perfect choice for long drives, especially along the north coast of Spain which is one of my favourites. There are some amazing views over Basque country.
Tell us about your favourite projects to date.
We always have projects on the go. We currently have two vehicles in at the paint shop; a Nato green T5 that’s been lowered so much we need to do an engine raise on it. It’s a pretty classical looking thing with commercial grey bumpers. The other is being painted Nardo grey. It’s also having some VW Amarok banded steels, being carpet lined, insulated and sound deadened.
One of the most memorable projects was a T6 project for Alpine. That was a cool van and we worked with quite a few of our suppliers to help out with parts. We took care of making it look awesome while the Revo ECU Software made sure it kept up on the performance side of things. We can’t forget our yellow T6 flatbed either. A van that was destined for the scrap yard when we started – it was that bad. In the end that was part of the challenge, and we turned it into something pretty special; it’s a THQ favourite.
What’s your advice to someone thinking of tuning their van?
I’ve noticed more and more people are getting into it, particularly in the van industry. Gone are the days of ‘chipping’, removing the ECU to unsolder chips to write new files to the ECU is now an archaic process. Revo have a very secure and simple installation process, all done through the OBDII port using their Revo Flash application. Their global development programme, after sales support and the fact they’ve work with VWAG on some pretty special projects really speaks for itself too. My advice for anyone thinking of tuning their van is to do the research, choose a reputable specialist and avoid car park mappers – the ECU is the brain of your van, is that something you really want to take a chance on?
Thanks to Will and the team at Transporter HQ. To keep up to date on their latest projects and builds, or to find out more about Revo products, head over to their Instagram or visit their website.
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Revo products are available in over 40 countries through a global network of over 400 authorised dealers. Far from your average garage, these guys know their stuff when it comes to performance products and fitting them – we have strict standards for those who wish to fly the Revo banner. Backed by a dedicated support team here at Revo HQ, and with decades of experience working on Volkswagen Audi Group (VAG) and Ford vehicles, our dealer network offers advice and support to help you on your path to more power and greater enjoyment of your vehicle.