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CURRENT BID: £18,500
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RESERVE LOWERED - 1965 Volkswagen Camper Westfalia

Guide Price: £28,000 - £35,000


• Completely restored lower half including all floors
• Engine upgrade, and engine bay restoration
• Rare Westfalia SO33 specification with subhatch
• Original interior still fitted 
• BBT replica sun canopy and ‘drive away’ awning

The Background

The Volkswagen Type 2, so named because it was the second vehicle to be produced by Volkswagen, was meant to be practical. That was pretty much the entire brief. Build something that had many uses. Little did the designers know, however, just how much the buying public and external companies would take that idea.

It was a van, of course. It was a minibus, it was a pick-up, it was a crew cab and it was also a camper. But it wasn’t just a camper. No, it was the camper. Think of a camper today and you think of a Volkswagen. It’s the go to, it’s the ultimate, it’s the one everyone wants. And rightly so, because after all, it’s the wheeled expression of freedom and adventure, and who doesn’t want a bit of that?

Of course, within the camper designation, there are all manner of special versions. This is where the name Westfalia comes in, which is what you’re looking at here. The 1965 Type 2 split-screen camper is the rarest of the rare. A Westfalia SO33 complete with seldom seen subhatch roof. In a market full of vehicles, this one does the impossible by being almost unique. If you want a camper with some serious kudos, this is it.

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The History

Imported from America three years ago by the current owner, this Volkswagen Camper is an exceptionally rare find. When ordered new, the buyer chose the Westfalia SO33 specification, meaning it was fitted out with a camper interior, storage, side bay doors and of course, that all important subhatch in the roof above aforementioned doors. It was built to North American specification, of course. 

Over the course of its long life, the Volkswagen has been through some changes, but still manages to remain largely original in all the right areas. The biggest change has been the colour, which is now white over green. However, the original hue was L345 Light Grey, as can be seen from the interior. While the paint isn’t perfect, it is presentable, though the current owner thinks it could be taken back to the original colour without too much stress. 

Inside, the camper is wonderfully original. All the fixtures and fittings are present, correct and functional. All the fabrics are original, as are the vinyl coverings on the front seats. It’s a proper time warp machine. 

As for the structure of the camper, the current owner has addressed this and then some. The lower six inches of it have been completely restored. New floors, new outriggers, new paint, new fixings and fittings. Look under this VW and it’s near show standard, it’s so clean. There are no structural concerns here at all. 

Then there is the engine, a fully overhauled 1.6 twinport unit that is in rude health and starts on the button. The gear linkages, clutch, brakes and steering have all been refreshed, too. As such, this old machine is more than able to take you on whatever adventure you decide.

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The Paperwork

There is, quite simply, an exhaustive amount of paperwork with the camper. Though of course, given the age of the vehicle, this is more a collection of invoices, letters and receipts rather than a fully stamped service book. It makes for fascinating reading. There are letters and adverts from when the VW was for sale, there are handwritten journals of fuel and mileage, there are myriad receipts for all manner of works such as service items, restoration parts and other sundries. 

The service history of the camper is all documented in a handwritten book, in which the past owners have noted the dates, mileages and the works carried out. It’s all very honest and very charming. 

For more recent years, there is documentation to support all the work the current owner has done. There are receipts for all the lighting and other fittings needed to make the car UK legal. There is a full complement of photos showing the extensive works that have been carried out to the lower half and there is evidence of works to the engine, the suspension and brakes. Thumbing through all this paperwork, which is fastidious in its detail, it becomes pleasingly apparent that this camper has been well cared for. 

Finally, there is a current MOT on the vehicle (it is exempt, but the owner wanted it for peace of mind) which runs until May 2021. And it is, of course, tax exempt.

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The Interior

Dry, clean and bright, the interior is a pleasingly charming place to be. As we touched on earlier, it’s all original in here. A rare find, as most have been stripped out and re-fitted. That's not the case here though. All the cabinets are present, correct and in good order having been revarnished and metal parts repainted. So too is the flooring, the tables and all the fittings of the door internals such as the fold out table and vanity mirror.

The orange fabrics are all original and in excellent condition. No staining, no rips and no tears can be seen. Though the springing in the rear seats has been replaced with modern, more comfortable foam. The curtains are new, but have been made out of a material as close to original as possible. Everything is functional, too. The seats fold into a bed, the table raises and clips up out of the way and of course, that rare subhatch roof opening functions well and seals tight to prevent any leaking. 

There is some slight work to be done, as the laminated roof panels at the rear have dropped slightly. But that’s not a big job. 
The cab area is basic but functional, and still in the original light grey colour. The steering wheel is in good order, as are all the dials. The dash is free of any damage, and even has a 1960s Blaupunkt radio fitted! The front wall of the cap is solid and, along with the headlight bowls, free of any signs of rust. The same can be said of the bulkhead between the cab and rear quarters.

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The Exterior 

Patinated would be the best way to describe this old bus. The paint is presentable, but not perfect. However, if there was ever a vehicle that can proudly wear a bit of patina, it’s this one. The white over green looks good, and looks period too. The panels are all straight, and while there is the odd scratch here and there, and the odd bit of surface rust, there is nothing to be concerned about on the main structure. The bumpers are all straight and true, the window seals while old are functional, the rain gutters are free of any serious rust and the chrome is decent, if a little pitted in places. 

In terms of areas to be aware of, the bay doors are starting to rust at the bottom. However, this isn’t structural and the current owner has the replacement panels to go with the camper. Furthermore, the doors function as they should. 

Then we have this camper’s party piece - the underside. Look under this handsome machine and you’re in for a treat. The front inner and outer panels have been replaced, the outer front arches, the inner front arches, both sides of the cab floor, the inner and outer sill by the bar doors, a rear quarter panel, the rear arches, the battery tray, the I beams and new cargo floor, the outriggers and jacking points and the heater tubing have all been replaced. But that’s not all. The chassis has been repaired, and the whole lot has been painted in the original light grey colour, as has the engine bay. 

The chassis of this Volkswagen has been repaired and refurbished to such an incredibly high standard it could make some modern cars blush. There is no corrosion, not even surface. It’s exceptional under there, as you can see from the pictures. And should you wish to return the top half to the original colour, the underside has been painted to match ahead of time. 

Finally, the Camper comes with a BBT replica sun canopy and also a driveaway retro awning, which comes all bagged and packaged. As you can see, when erected, it looks brilliant, and adds even more camping appeal. There is also an Autocraft towbar fitted, should you need a bit more space for bikes/BBQ kit/beer etc! It’s simply the perfect vehicle for camping adventures!

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The Mechanics

As you would expect for a vehicle that has been so extensively worked on, the mechanics are in rude health. The 1.6 twin port engine fires up without hesitation and revs freely. The engine has been rebuilt, and as such, has been fitted with new barrels, new pistons and new cylinder heads. It’s also been completely serviced with new fluids, seals, belts, plugs and leads. There is also a new clutch and a new throttle cable, which further serve to improve the drive. 

The transmission has been rebuilt, as have the reduction gears. There are new bushes throughout, so selecting gear is a joy with no stirring of the lever required, as is often the case. A new starter motor has been fitted, and the electrical system has been converted to a more modern and usable 12 volt setup. 

All the brakes have been fitted with new shoes, cylinders, hard lines and flexi pipes. The master and slave cylinders have also been renewed. Then there are the shocks, which are new at each corner. So too are all the wheel bearings, tie rods and handbrake cables. Quite simply, nothing has been missed and while this camper now has 158,000 miles under its wheels, it’s ready for 158,000 miles more.

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The Appeal

It’s a rare version of the iconic Volkswagen Camper that is in perfect mechanical condition, that has been extensively restored on the underside and that is dripping with original features. This is the kind of camper you could buy and simply enjoy as is, or you could treat it as a blank canvas on which you could create your dream incarnation of this wonderful classic. 

No expense has been spared in the upkeep of this Volkswagen, and as such, someone is going to get themselves a wonderful machine. The current owner is only parting with it as there are plans afoot to move abroad. Were it not for them, he would be keeping it! But, it’s a bit too big for hand luggage, so instead it’s now on offer to you. Solid, reliable and ready to go, all you need to do hit that bid button. You’ll be glad you did.

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.

As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sales 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.
Vehicle specification
  • Year 1965
  • Make Volkswagen
  • Model Type 2 Camper by Westfalia
  • Colour White and Green
  • Odometer 58,437 Miles
  • Engine size 1584CC
  • Location Cornwall
Bidding history
14 bids from 5 bidders
  • keith.h•••• £18,500 28/10/20
  • running•••• £18,250 28/10/20
  • keith.h•••• £18,000 28/10/20
  • running•••• £17,500 28/10/20
  • keith.h•••• £17,000 28/10/20
  • 156love•••• £16,000 27/10/20
  • keith.h•••• £14,500 27/10/20
  • Peterch•••• £14,250 27/10/20
  • 156love•••• £14,000 26/10/20
  • keith.h•••• £12,000 26/10/20

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