1964 VW Split Screen Sundial Camper


・1600cc engine
・2 Owners
・Imported from California
・Original Sundial patterned floor vinyl

The Background

The VW Split Screen is probably one of the most iconic and recognisable van, bus, or pickup ever made. Development for the project started in 1948, and in 1950 the T1 was released for general sale by Volkswagen. What was then known as the “Transporter”, now known as the Camper, were used as Ambulances, transport and panel vans for various commercial businesses. It wasn't until the swinging 60’s when the VW T1 became hugely popular and it is strongly associated with the influential cultural movement. The T1 was perfect with it’s low running and maintenance costs whilst providing a place to live. 

The Type 2 came along in 1954 and was available in a range of models to choose from, whichever was best suited to your needs. Panel van, Double door panel van, Kombi, Bus, Samba, Flatbed, Crew-cab plus more, one of which is this particular model, the Sundial, converted by an American company who specialised in transforming the buses into camper vans. It is quite similar to the more common Westfalia, but often thought of by many as inferior compared to the Westfalia. Despite this, being an American company, this gave it great popularity over the Westfalia model in the USA.

The History

The seller of this 1964 VW Split Screen Sundial has owned the camper since 2008. The Splitty was purchased from Brookside Aircooled VW Specialists in Birmingham, who sourced the VW in California and imported it to the UK in late 2008. It was a one owner vehicle in the USA in need of some cosmetic restoration. The main thing being from a warm dry climate, there was no tin worm that had worked its way in. 

The team at Brookside Aircooled began by stripping the camper back and prepared to repaint the original colour of cream over yellow. As it was in such good condition, it was important to retain as many of the original features as possible and only replace any items that were worn, such as the door seals. The large majority of the van, such as the interior, is all original. 

Once the van was ready it was then sold to the seller in 2008, where it has been regularly serviced by Brookside, and any work needed has been carried out solely by them. Having only covered just over 5,500 miles since taking ownership of the split screen, the seller has made the extremely difficult decision to part with the camper, just down to lack of use and storage.   

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The Paperwork

The V5 is present and shows the Sundial has 1 previous UK keeper. This keeper was the actual garage who imported it. They registered the vehicle even though they only owned it for a few months until it was sold to the current owner. 

There is an MOT certificate present which expires on 4th May 2022. Even though it technically doesn't need doing, the seller preferred to keep everything up to date and make sure there was nothing needed from a safety point of view.

There are a few receipts for work carried out on services. Some receipts are missing for small items as the seller never envisaged parting with the bus, so didn't keep them. The seller did have the paperwork from the USA that shows 1 previous keeper, but this may have been lost in a house move, so it may or may not appear. Fingers crossed it does, as it’s a nice addition to the history.

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The Interior

Inside the Split Screen, the interior furniture is all the original. Some bits around the edges are a little chipped as you would expect from 1964. The front vinyl seats are in a nice condition with no rear signs of wear or any splits in the vinyl. Sitting in the driver’s seat the odometer shows a reading of 85,498, and to the left is the VDO fuel gauge. Across to the middle of the dash is the original radio and just below is an 8 track player. The seller has never used these and so is unsure if they work, they have just been left in for originality. The door cards are lined with varnished ply and the rubber matting covers the floor. Up above is the headlining which is believed to be original, as it matched the furniture in the rear of the camper. There is also the original fresh air distributor in place.  

As you open the side doors on the Sundial, inside is just as it came in 1964. The cooler box is on your right, which has a pop up table attached. There is a single seat just behind that which again, is the matching vinyl to the front seats and then a larger pop up table in the middle. To the left of the doors there is a storage cupboard with a mirror attached. Just inside this there are some trip switches for the electric sockets, these are powered by a 240 volt inverter. The VW also has a split charging system which is connected to a leisure battery. To the side of this is the rear bench which doubles up as you probably know as a rock ‘n’ roll bed, and this flips up and down with ease just as it should.

Into the rear and the base has a vinyl mat, which doubles up as part of the bed. Looking from the rear there is a side panel with more storage to the right and the spare wheel is under a cover on the left. Throughout the camper are some VW Camper matching curtains to offer privacy when sleeping. Also included is the original gas cooker. The seller does not use this and so it would need checking out before use.

Also featured is the original sundial patterned vinyl floor.

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The Exterior

The outside of this 1964 Campervan, as already mentioned, has been repainted in the original colour scheme cream over yellow. This was done in 2008 and there is the odd chip here and there as you would expect, but the main thing is there’s no sign of any rust. 

Starting at the front, and probably the most famous front end of any van ever, is in a nice straight condition with no signs of any noticeable chips. The headlights are in good condition with no cracks. Just above are the indicators which do have just a small amount of age related cracks (probably caused by sun damage over the years). The windows are nice and scratch free. Also worth pointing out the seller has just fitted new wiper arms and blades ready for the new owner. The bumper still retains the Californian plate to the driver’s side. There are some dents to the overriders and the bumper, but it's kind of expected and doesnt look out of place. 

As we move around to the sides, the front doors do just stick out a tad along the bottom edge, (maybe some slight adjustment would rectify this), but other than that, the panel gap is matching around the doors. The door handles have some slight pitting but nothing major and the mirror casings are bright and clean. The window rubbers have been replaced and are therefore in good condition. Fitted to both sides, three on the driver’s side and one on each of the side doors, are the jalousie /louvered windows which open and close as they should. There is one slat that has a crack in it, but out of fifteen, this isn't too bad. The side doors align straight and true and once open they fully retract on themselves allowing full access to the interior. Just by the left hand door is the original Sundial plaque with number S1196. On the roof, to keep the air moving whilst inside, is a fresh air vent. 

The rear of the van has the tailgate and engine door which again, like the rest, align nice and even. To open the engine door still requires the church key which is located just by the front door. The lights are in a crack free condition and the bumper is again like the front, it does have some dents. The steel wheels have been painted in the same cream as the top of the van and finished off with some chrome VW hubcaps. All the tyres have a good amount of tread remaining.

Also included with the sale to keep it protected is a ‘Just Kampers Luxury Van Cover’ .

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The Mechanics

It is fitted with a 1600 cc air-cooled engine and mated to a 4-speed gearbox. The seller has made sure this has been regularly serviced, even though not many miles have been covered. The camper fires up to reveal the classic VW air-cooled sounding engine, which sounds just as it should and revs up nicely, with no noises that shouldn't be there. The seller confirms that  there are no issues with the driving and running of the VW. The engine pulls well through the gears and the gear change is as it should be. In the middle of 2019 the vehicle had the rear brakes overhauled which included new cylinders and shoes.

Looking on the underside of the Splitty, it’s obvious that it came from a dry, warm climate, as there are no real signs of any problem areas to worry about. Maybe a steam clean off and a fresh coat of protection would be beneficial for the future of the Sundial. 

The Appeal

Sitting at 57 years old, this is a really nice well kept, rare Sundial model Split Screen Camper that has retained its original interior. Originally imported from California, so nice and solid on the underside. It has covered just over 5,500 miles since 2008 and has been serviced every year without fail. 

It's ready to jump straight into and enjoy! You may want to put your own stamp on it, but as far as a 1964 campervan goes, this is right up there as a time warp classic ready for you and the family to take straight off on a weekend break, or maybe a classic car show. Either way, you will have fun whatever you decide.

Notice to bidders

Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the sellers discretion.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1964
  • Make Volkswagen
  • Model Split screen Sundial
  • Colour Yellow
  • Odometer 85,498 Miles
  • Engine size 1600
  • Location West Midlands
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
22 bids
  • ma•••• £19,000 14/06/21
  • CS•••• £17,500 14/06/21
  • pe•••• £14,000 14/06/21
  • ma•••• £13,500 14/06/21
  • pe•••• £13,000 13/06/21
  • ma•••• £12,500 13/06/21
  • jo•••• £11,750 12/06/21
  • ma•••• £11,500 12/06/21
  • bh•••• £9,500 12/06/21
  • Ri•••• £9,100 12/06/21

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