Volkswagen introduced their ‘Type 2’ In the early ‘50s, Volkswagen subcontracted the co(the manufacturer’s second model) in 1950 and production ran in Germany until 1979, when the Type 3 model was introduced. Instantly recognizable to this day, they have achieved something of a cult status, given their widespread use during the ’60s and later, often associated with the surf culture from that decade.
The earliest models are referred to as ‘split screen’, referencing the windscreen style and the revised version – introduced in 1967 – the ‘bay-window’, similarly referencing a now altered windscreen design. In addition to this change, the second-generation vehicle was a little larger and heavier than the first variant; had revised suspension; 12-volt electrics and larger, more powerful engine options. In 1972, the flat-four engine was available in an enlarged 1.7 litre size, with a claimed 66 bhp available, driving through a 4-speed, manual transmission. Various cosmetic changes were also introduced in the early 1970’s, such as squared-off bumpers to meet US crash safety standards.
In the early ‘50s, Volkswagen commissioned a camper van conversion of the Type 2 and subcontracted the build of the vehicle to the company Westfalia-Werke. These ‘Westfalia’ conversions were made available worldwide through the VW dealer network and production continued until 2003 (based on the later T3 model).
This 1973 model van was first registered in California in July 1973 and remained in the hands of a single US owner until 2007. As a well-maintained and largely rot-free import, it was re-registered in the UK in July 2008 and, in the hands of its new owners, underwent a substantial professional renovation at marque experts Autostyl, Truro, Cornwall. In 2011, the fully restored vehicle was featured in the September edition of VolksWorld Camper & Bus magazine. In May 2013 the van was purchased by a Jersey-based owner and has only been lightly used since.