Following the first VW Transporter design, which appeared in 1949, the Split Screen Type 2 (T1) bus proved a big hit during the 1950’s, particularly in the USA. Utilising the engine and gearbox from the Beetle, early versions were often referred to as the ‘Barndoor’ (made between 1949-1955).
Their versatile design was ideal for a multitude of uses, being deployed as ambulances, fire engines and pick ups, for example. As demand grew, Volkswagen moved production to Hanover and over the years continually improved and updated the specifications and options.
The affectionately known ‘Splitty’ became hugely popular during the 1960’s with the ‘hippie’ culture because of it’s relatively low running costs and went on to become the Iconic ‘fun bus’ for family leisure pursuits throughout the world. The T1 was eventually replaced by the bay window in 1967.
This genuine LHD camper was supplied new to the US in 1965, was imported from Colorado in 2015, and purchased by the current owners as a restoration project in July of that year. They set to work on a strip down and meticulous preparation of the bodywork in readiness for a full bare-metal respray inside and out by Creative Colour Workshop in Parkstone, Dorset.
Many of the new parts for the refit were purchased from Just Kampers in Odiham, Hampshire and carefully installed by the owners back at home. The interior was then re-upholstered professionally in a complementary colour along with fitments such as new curtain rails.
As enthusiastic life long devotees of VW’s, owning Beetles and other campers, the current owners subsequently enjoyed showing off their beautifully restored camper at local classic car shows and VW events from 2018. These included the Beach Dubbin’ show at Southsea and annual VW gatherings at Wimborne and Wareham where this original specification camper was admired by the public and Volkswagen enthusiasts alike.
Due to recent restrictions this well loved camper has largely resided in the garage for the last couple of years, and with another camper sitting under the carport, the owners have reluctantly decided to sell.
This camper comes with a folder of history and includes the import shipping receipt, dated 19th January 2015, a Certificate of Title, NOVA document and Number Plate Authorisation Certificate.
The V5 is present along with a current MOT certificate which runs until 26th July 2022 and the exempt tax expires on the 1st July 2022. There are also numerous receipts for the restoration work and new parts and a photographic record of the restoration too.
The interior has been sympathetically restored, internally painted and is beautiful. As you sit high behind the huge refurbished steering wheel, the minimal dash, with it’s speedo, fuel gauge and handful of switches is light, airy and unspoilt. The air vents in the exterior peak over the windscreen reach the floor vents and roof mounted front and rear distribution outlets and the simple sliding door windows and quarter lights all add to this ‘open road’ feeling.
The colour co-ordinated vinyl upholstery, door cards and trim has been professionally restored to a high standard along with the roof lining which looks great. New cabinets run down the side beside the 3/4 rock and roll bed and sit on new unmarked flooring. Tasteful curtains complete the furnishings nicely. This simple interior lends itself to being enhanced with additional facilities if you wish.
The owners assure us that all the electrics operate and the doors and opening side windows open and close easily. The ‘smiling’ gear knob is a fun and welcoming addition and even the key for the engine compartment and fuel filler cap has a great little custom bracket on the dash storage shelf.
This one speaks for itself. One glance, and you can tell this VDub looks ‘right’. It is obvious that the owners have gone to extraordinary lengths to retain the originality and integrity of this desirable split screen camper.
The colour combination is stunning and so period correct. The original upper Blue White (L289) remains and, although originally a darker blue, the owners preferred this gorgeous original VW colour of Turkis, or Turquoise (L380), for the lower body.
The body restoration looks to be of a very high standard. Peering down the sides, there are no visible ripples, waves, dents or dings and panel gaps are good. New door trim, window rubbers, light fittings and chrome have been installed where required alongside some original fittings which are in good condition. Additional new items include the door hinge mounted mirrors and side step.
Structurally, the chassis rails, floor and jacking points appear very solid and there are no signs of corrosion around the wheel arches, front valance or rear lower corners. The period-correct dome hub caps sit on the original 15” steel wheels which have also been repainted in matching Blue White with van-specific tyres courtesy of Dunlop and with plenty of usable tread remaining.
Notably, at nearly two metres tall this camper should fit through the average height garage door.
This larger air-cooled 1776cc flat-four engine starts on the button and sounds sweet. The owners tell us that it is the original engine and has not been rebuilt during their ownership, but has been well cared for with regular servicing. Reassuringly, they also point out that there is no play in the bottom pulley and for reliability, they have installed a Pertronix ‘Flame-Thrower’ electronic ignition.
The engine compartment is tidy and contains a fire extinguisher. The engine and ancillaries would benefit from a weekend clean or the engine could be dropped out and fully detailed in due course if you wished. When imported, the engine mileage was indicating 67,577 and is now showing 68,018, so it has only covered 441 miles in the last six years.
The owners also inform us that the inherently ‘floppy’ 4-speed gearbox operates well without any obvious bearing whines or oil leaks and the suspension and drum brakes operate effectively. The owners reckon “This one will go, and go, and go!”.
As the enthusiastic owners of this camper also point out, this is no ordinary vehicle, it makes you “feel as though you are on holiday all the time” - it becomes part of the family. People wave at you and of course the iconic VDub scene is huge the world over.
The outstanding quality restoration and desirable 1776cc engine should make this stunning
‘Splitty’ is a great investment and long-term companion - after all, looking this good at 56 years old is a rare thing!.
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