BBT was founded by Arlette van Dijck and Bob van Heyst during the autumn of 1986. The first shop measured only 20m² and the initial stock consisted of three pallets of mainly restoration and performance parts from California, these were delivered by truck and deposited on the lawn of Bob’s parents house. Pure hobby. When customers came a few weeks later, speaking another language than Bob’s native tongue, he realised this was serious business. After a year a warehouse of 40 square metres from the neighbour has been added even after the attic of this parents’ house and the garage of his father’s car were already taken by Bob!
Two years later Arlette and Bob moved to an old pig farm where they transformed the stables into a shop, work premises and warehouse with a large parking lot, near the E19 highway Antwerp-Breda.
The story continued, BBT kept on growing. Some years even more than 100%. Growing pains made that the warehouse became again too small and after 4 years in the old farm new premises were built in Sint-Job-in-‘t-Goor. After several renovations this building remained the soul of BBT till the spring of 2011. The administration as well as purchase and sale department were located in this building and almost all parts, orders were handled from here.
After expansion and reject of different activities concerning the old Volkswagens a new building was erected in 2003 on the adjacent building lot. One of world’s most famous Volkswagen collection was housed in this building. Partly Bob’s private collection, partly a commercial collection of vehicles for sale.
The present business takes up 4140m² of space, 2530m² is a warehouse dedicated to air cooled Volkswagens, the workshop and showroom for our collection of vehicles occupies a further 1310m², with a 260m² shop for the display of our range of products and an additional 310m² of hyper-modern office space filled with the necessary equipment to provide an excellent service.
If you’re looking for a classic car with Volkswagen roots, you will definitely find a car to your taste here at BBT. Apart from the ‘usual’ beetles and rear engined buses, our speciality is originality, cars in first paint and/or other Volkswagen curiosities. The Volkswagens which used to inspire Bob’s imagination are now in his own collection and he has even been lucky enough to sell them. There are among other things a couple of schwimmwagens, kubelwagens, KDF cars, cherrypickers, laddertrucks and coachbuilds such as Rometsch, Denzel, Dannenhauer… etc. which entered and left BBT.
BBT is a company with limited liability, still managed by Bob and Arlette, ably assisted by a team of more than 20 enthusiasts each with their own speciality. With an extensive range of products dedicated to all air cooled Volkswagens and rear wheel drive Transporters, we are now one of the biggest suppliers in the world. Offering an almost perfect ratio of price/quality over the whole range of products is the backbone on which BBT is built. This aim for the perfect price/quality has led to the development and production of our own brand parts, easily recognisable by the packaging which has been specially developed by our marketing department. With more than 300 suppliers and many more customers from Tokyo to Los Angeles, this expanding network delivers BBT products around the world. Through visits to customers and suppliers and by attending meetings around the world, the company’s philosophy and passion becomes immediately apparent: to help Volkswagen fans and/or users to find the parts they are after quickly and at the best price.
Even today Bob is still as enthusiastic about Volkswagen as he has ever been. But now his passion goes further, he’s the proud owner of an eccentric collection of “split” radios among other things, a few Telefunken, Blaupunkten, Beckers etc... and if Bob is not listening to the radio, you will probably find him in one of his cars. His private collection includes: a ’43 Schwimmwagen, ‘44 Kubelwagen, ’56 Denzel, 2 Bugs from 1949, a ’56 Porsche Speedster, ’49 Hebmuller (no. 56), ’50 and ’52 Karmann Convertible, ’52 Rometsch 4 door Taxi, ’53 Zwitter Ragtop, a real Limousine Bus, ’50 DKW Schnelllaster Deluxe, '58 Double Door Samba, 59 Karmann Ghia Lowlight Convertible, '62 Type 34 and a ’65 Laddertruck.” Furthermore, the collection contains rare steering wheels, rare small parts, many NOS (New Old Stock) parts, a considerable number and variety of original blue Volkswagen enamel sign boards and, of course, a lot of curiosities and gadgets for accessorising. From the collection, you will see that Bob is really passionate about the heritage of the 50’s and 60’s