eBay has announced Paul White and his AmBEERlance as the overall winner of its inaugural Van Conversion of the Year Award.
Paul White pours a beer in the AmBEERlance, watched by George Clarke
Paul White, a bar owner from Liverpool, battled it out against hundreds of other van converters and has won a £10,000 cash prize. As well as taking home the top prize for his creation, Paul was also judged to be the best business entry.
Paul’s wife, Clare, applied to the awards on Paul’s behalf as she felt he deserved recognition for his work during Covid. When their business, The Dog House bar, had to close during restrictions, the pair were left questioning their future. Paul decided to diversify. If regulars couldn’t come to the bar, the bar would come to them.
The Peugeot Boxer had previously been used as an ambulance, but is now a fully functioning and licensed bar. Thanks to its former role, there was plenty of space available to convert it into the mobile pub Paul was after.
“One thing you couldn’t get in lockdown was freshly-pulled pints, so the van allowed us to visit our regulars while spreading a bit of joy,” said Paul.
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“It also allowed us to pay our staff in full while the bar was closed and they were furloughed. It was so lovely to see neighbours buying each other pints to say ‘thank you’ as they were high risk so unable to go out.”
It took Paul just four days to complete the conversion during lockdown. “We were able to source most of the parts from eBay, such as the solar panels, the lithium batteries, and the electrics. It made a massive difference because we needed everything fast so we could get out and see our regulars and other locals.”
The judging panel included architect and host of Channel 4’s Amazing Spaces, George Clarke. He said: “The story of Paul’s conversion really stood out for me. It’s quite amazing how a simple, humble van can actually save a business and the staff’s livelihood.
“He hasn’t gone over the top. He kept it functional, getting what he needed from eBay and having it up and running and serving the community in just four days, which is amazing!”