The Full Monty
Classic Van & Pick Up|November 2017

Mike Neale encounters a VW Westfalia camper – a lovely example of one of the most desirable of the splitties.

AT the risk of being guilty of using a cliché, the VW Transporter Type 2 has become something of a 20th Century icon. The first generation of these, the split-screen model, was known as the T1 and built from 1949 until 1967, by which time, some 1.8 million had been produced (although the split-screen continued to be made until 1971 in Mexico and up to late-1975 in Brazil). The second generation bay window was the T2, built from 1967 to 1979, but also until 1995 in Mexico and  as recently as the end of 2013 in Brazil, albeit by then with water-cooled, fuel injected engines.

At launch, the split-screen Transporter had the 1,131cc, 25bhp, flat-four engine from the Beetle, which was uprated to 1,192cc with 30bhp in late-1953 in both vehicles. That improved the 0-60mph time of the Transporter to 75 seconds (no, that’s not a typo – 75 seconds was the time taken), which was actually 10mph above the maximum speed recommended by Volkswagen, so it was no ball of fire. In 1963, the 1,493cc, 42bhp engine from the VW Type 3 was offered as an option and such vans were rated at one-ton payload. This proved considerably more popular and the 1,200cc, 3/4-ton payload version was finally dropped in 1965. The 1500 models were fitted with a governor to restrict top speed to 65mph, although many owners removed these. Fortunately, better brakes were also fitted to the 1500.

So far so good, but before proceeding further, a brief explanation is in order to sort out exactly which model was which, as there is often some confusion. Volkswagen’s first vehicle, the Type 1, was, of course, the Beetle. The designation Type 2 was given to the forward-control commercial vehicles, the Transporter (or Bulli, as it was known in its native Germany), Kombi, Microbus and derivatives. The Type 2 came in two forms – the T1 split-screen and the T2 bay window. The Type 3 was the two-door notchback, hatchback and estate (also called the Volkswagen 1500 and 1600), which was made from 1961 to 1973.

From 1956 to 57, Volkswagen came up with a series of SO codes to designate different special model (Sonderausführungen – special construction, in English) vehicles, some of which were offered by Volkswagen, themselves, while others were available only from coachbuilders. So, for example, SO1 was a mobile shop model, SO2 was a high-roof mobile shop and so on.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM CLASSIC VAN & PICK UPView All

Gaydon 2017

The – yes, THE – big event of the year.

2 mins read
Classic Van & Pick Up
October 2017

A Most Amazing Minibus

Brian Culpan encounters a Sherpa with just 80 miles on the clock from new, a vehicle most definitely worth importing.

5 mins read
Classic Van & Pick Up
October 2017

My Story

Meet Simon Daly and his A60 Sun-Tor camper.

1 min read
Classic Van & Pick Up
October 2017

Fancy A Pre-War Classic

Plenty to choose from and plenty to think about. Ted Connolly gives a few pointers.

6 mins read
Classic Van & Pick Up
March 2017

Pre- War Post Van

Mike Neale reports on an intriguing 1938 Morris hybrid.

6 mins read
Classic Van & Pick Up
January 2018

My Story

Paul Williams, from Wrexham, owns a delightful Morris Z van, here is his tale.

1 min read
Classic Van & Pick Up
January 2018

An Enthusiast To Be Admired

Maintaining a Bedford HA in sound working order takes plenty of effort, so put your hands together and applaud Jon Myrtle – he keeps four of them on the road.

5 mins read
Classic Van & Pick Up
February 2018

HIGH Hoopes for the Gipsy

Austin believed they could take on the Land Rover with their new off-roader, but it never worked out that way. However, the Gipsy is now much-revered in classic circles.

6 mins read
Classic Van & Pick Up
February 2018

The Full Monty

Mike Neale encounters a VW Westfalia camper – a lovely example of one of the most desirable of the splitties.

6 mins read
Classic Van & Pick Up
November 2017

Meet Beddington Bedstead

That’s the name of this 1971 Bedford CF and he has been rebuilt as a tribute to a coal merchant from the past. The build was carried out to an astonishingly-high standard by owner Paul Bundy. We’ll let Paul tell the story.

10+ mins read
Classic Van & Pick Up
November 2017
RELATED STORIES

THE BUS IS BACK

A classic VW gets an electrifying return. [Don't call it a minivan, man.)

2 mins read
Men's Journal
June - July 2022

Make a Bespoke Bluetooth Speaker

WHEN IT COMES TO BLUETOOTH SPEAKERS, THERE are hundreds of options ranging in price from around $12 to more than $1,000.

5 mins read
Popular Mechanics US
July - August 2022

Food Fights

Arguing about each other's eating behavior and attitudes? Here's why, and ways to work through it.

2 mins read
Prevention US
July 2022

The Guru Burns Out

Mark Manson sold 12 million copies of his self-help hit. Then he started taking his own advice.

10+ mins read
New York magazine
June 20-July3, 2022

CLINTON'S EPSTEIN GO-BETWEEN IN SHOTGUN BLAST!

Cops see suicide but private eye insists murderer staged death scene

3 mins read
Globe US
June 13, 2022

NO HARMON-Y FOR 'NCIS' COLE

Bid to replace Mark & bond with cast sinks

1 min read
National Enquirer
May 30, 2022

HOW TO BUILD 'THE ONE'

Custom rifle platforms all start with your dreams … and the action.

9 mins read
Gun Digest The Magazine
June 2022

BOEING CAPSULE LANDS BACK ON EARTH AFTER SPACE SHAKEDOWN

Boeing’s crew taxi returned to Earth from the International Space Station on Wednesday, completing a repeat test flight before NASA astronauts climb aboard.

2 mins read
Techlife News
May 28, 2022

Argo Touts Driverless Operations in Miami and Austin, Texas

An autonomous vehicle technology company that partners with Ford and Volkswagen says it has started driverless operations in two of eight cities where it is developing its technology.

1 min read
Techlife News
May 21, 2022

MARK CUBAN'S PRESCRIPTION FOR BIG PHARMA

Drug companies face a whole other kind of trial, thanks to a dose of this entrepreneurial legend.

10+ mins read
Inc.
May - June 2022