How Bambi Understood
Autohomes Bambi When van Rascal started plunging and producing more or less in 1986, Iain Macpherson as chairman of Autohomes, was invited to see the production process. Together with other Motorcaravan manufacturers, he went to visit. According to him as a panel van, this is something that is too small to convert. But after he saw and observed in the pick-up version, he was genuinely impressed to see the potential for this chassis to build a micro-coachbuilt.
Then came the challenge of finding a name. Iain’s daughter suggested Bambino, the Italian for baby. Iain thought “Bambi” would sound even better. To his surprise, Disney allowed the use of the copyrighted name. So Bambi was born and was soon so popular that there were waiting lists for it for the first 3 years. In 1992, it was deplorable that Autohomes went bankrupt so there was no process of making Bambis. But as many as 1500 of the manufacturing process is still completed to the end, and most of them are indeed still active.
How Bambi Club Started
In August 1988 some of our members also had other ideas, one of which Veronica Hardy volunteered to arrange an inaugural meeting at Sparsholt College. In the formation of the club and the committee around 64 people and 35 Bambis gathered. Autohomes then promised us to make a club logo and give a check to start the club that had been formed. Thanks to Veronica, this club developed. Within a couple of years, it had four regions, each with its own Secretary, and since then, it has expanded by at least ten percent every year, even though no Bambis have been made for eight years.
Maybe one day, a Bambi Mark II will appear on our roads. Even if it does not, the present Bambis, some now 15 years old, seem fit and well, and ready to carry on for many years to come.
There are six Regional Secretaries, who organise week-end rallies at attractive sites all over the country. Anyone is very welcome at all other Regions rallies, and many travel long distances to meet old friends, and make new ones. Every year, we organise a total of about forty rallies. All rallies are very informal. There may be morning or evening events organised, but no-one minds if you want to do your “own thing”.
In addition to the week-end rallies, we have arranged a number of very popular and successful Holiday Rallies, lasting a week or ten days. Over the last few years, we have been to the Isle-of-Wight twice, the Lakes, Snowdonia, York and the Cotswolds. We have had five Overseas Expeditions three to Ireland, one to Germany spread across 4 weeks and 5 destinations and one to Brittany with 27 Bambis!. It was quite a sight to see all those Bambis driving onto the ferry in convoy. At the Rallies, you find yourself noticing what improvements and modifications others have made to their Bambis, and no-one minds you cribbing their ideas
Bambi Tales We have an excellent little bi-monthly magazine for members. Besides news of coming events and reports of past ones, it has lots of tips on how to improve the quality of life in your Bambi. Many members think it well worth the annual subscription to receive the six issues of the Bambi Tales.