Going Against The Grain
VW CAMPER & BUS|Spring 2019

Stock is the new slammed if this former Deluxe, turned Westy Camper is anything to go by

James Peene

Sentiment is a funny thing. There’s no rhyme nor reason to it and it can tear your wallet a new one if you don’t keep a lid on it. Then it’s not so funny…

Air-cooled VWs are a classic example. If you just wanted an affordable and reliable means of getting from A to B they’d be way down the pecking order, wouldn’t they? And, once you’ve bought one and it breaks down so much that every journey home is completed on the back of a low loader, well the smart thing to do would be to cut your losses and buy something a little more sensible. But you don’t do you? Because it’s an old Volkswagen and you love it too much to cast it aside, even when you know it would be cheaper and easier to sell up and buy something else, but you’re too far down the rabbit hole to give up on it now. That’s what VWs do, they get under your skin and make you act in ways you know you shouldn’t.

This Delta Green ’69 perfectly illustrates the point we’ve just raised. It’s owned by Leon and Georgina Taylor who love the nuts and bolts of it so much that when any other sane person would have sold it to buy something more in-tune with their needs, they didn’t, they turned it into the Bus you’re looking at right now.

Built in 1969, it rolled out of Hanover and was loaded on a boat for the US of A. But it didn’t start out as Westfalia Camper, oh no, it was Deluxe Microbus with all the trimmings. You know the sort, chrome trim and when Leon bought, it nicely patina’d bodywork and a tin top roof.

The ’69 was exactly what they wanted. Lowered and narrowed suspension, riding on a set of NSU RO80 alloys and arguably cool as heck. Many people’s perfect Bus, in fact.

All change

The thing is though, a rainy family camping trip to Scotland revealed one or two short comings with it as it then stood. Leon says: “The holiday to Scotland was great, but when we got home, Georgina said the trip had been a nightmare and asked if there was anything we could do to give us more room as we were always stooping around due to the tin-top roof. With three kids this was less than ideal, so I said yes, we could sell it and buy another Bus with a poptop, but she said there was no way we were going to sell our beloved Bay, so the only other solution was to convert it into a Camper with a lift-up roof. So that’s what I did.

“There’s just too much sentimental value with this Bus. It’s maiden voyage was for our honeymoon to Spain” So you can see, sentiment can indeed cost you dearly.

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