The low cost utility vehicle launched at the Geneva Motor Show in November 1949 soon became a great success for the Volkswagen automotive production plant. The automotive manufacturer based in Wolfsburg northern Germany soon realised they had created a ground-breaking adaptable utility vehicle. The original design and idea for the vehicle actually came from Ben Pon a dutch car dealer who visualised a delivery van that was based on the Volkswagen Beetle chassis to minimise production costs.
T1 VW Camper Van is based on the Volkswagen Beetle
With the beetle already very successful Heinrich Nordhoff the head of the Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg, Germany decided to put the innovative designed vehicle by Ben into production. The basic model van was very simple with no side windows and due to the vehicle engine being situated at the rear wheel axle this maximised space providing extra load carrying capacity.
Volkswagen Camper Van development with Kombi, Microbus & Deluxe Microbus models
However due to the success of the vehicle’s removable seating they also decided to fit windows to create the Kombi. The Microbus and Deluxe microbus (commonly known as Samba) where then launched with more premium high level trim fittings that included skylights and sliding canvas roofs. During further development a vehicle modifications a flat bed was introduced to provide sleeping accommodation once the rear end was removed. This revolutionary design invention of incorporating sleeping accommodation within the small van gave birth to many additional models being built by Volkswagen and VW conversion companies.
With modification by Westfalia the Volkswagen Camper Van became the ‘peoples wagon’
The VW Camper van that we know today was originally called the T2, however the name reverted to the T1 which was the initial name for the Volkswagen Beetle. The original T1 model was manufactured for 17 years from 1950 and became branded the ‘peoples wagon’ . When Westfalia a German based company in 1951 gained permission from Volkswagen to modify the vehicle. The camper version was born with removable fittings that converted the van into living accommodation allowing for weekend breaks or short holiday road trips. With it’s familiar front grille and large VW badge the Volkswagen Camper soon became an iconic favourite mode of transport for the free living travelling community and hippy movements of the 1960s. With its retro appeal the VW Camper van still remains a favourite among surfers, nostalgic holiday makers and the festival community around the World. Even though the Volkswagen Camper T1 model air-cooled engine only provides 25 break horsepower. Along with Westfalia the iconic Volkswagen VW camper was converted by other vehicle modification companies including: Danbury, Viking and Dormobile. In 1979 the last T1 VW Camper vehicle left the production line with over 3,292,272 buses being built since it’s humble launch in 1949.
The T25 model became the Volkswagen Camper Van T1 successor
During 1979 Volkswagen released a successor the T25 that incorporated a more powerful 50bhp water cooled engine taken from the Volkswagen Golf model in 1981. Production was relocated to South Africa in 1990 to reduce costs, the T25 didn’t achieve the iconic status of the earlier bay model. All models of the VW Camper are highly desirable amongst classic car collectors and enthusiasts looking for new classic car restoration projects. Fully renovated and restored Volkswagen campers are sought by many car auctioneers across the World. Since the inception of the T1 and T2 models, Volkswagen continue to manufacturer the unique vehicle that is arguably the forerunner and inspiration for motorhomes with the launch of the T6 in 2015.
VW Camper Van restoration and rust prevention
If you own a VW Camper Van or are looking to start a Volkswagen Camper Van restoration project. We can recommend our VW Camper Van DINITROL Rustproofing Kits for vehicle corrosion protection and rust prevention. The VW Camper Van Rustproofing kit contains a vehicle underbody chassis coating, cavity wax and DINITROL rC900 a unique rust convertor product that actively turns rust into a stable organic iron complex. With DINITROL corrosion protection and rust treatment products you can preserve this truly iconic vehicle for future generations of VW Camper Van enthusiasts.