CHASSIS NO: 2342072358
• “Barn find” Westfalia Camper Van
• Solid body and highly complete
• Prime restoration candidate
• Popular classic VW with loyal following
1,700 cc air-cooled OHV horizontally-opposed engine, 72 HP, four-speed manual transaxle, independent front suspension with transverse torsion bars and upper and lower radius arms, swing axle rear suspension with trailing arms and torsion bar, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 94.5”
Soon after the end of World War II in Europe, enthusiasm built among the Allied occupation authorities and local German people for the return of the former KdF-Wagen plant in Wolfsburg to production. Quickly, its only civilian product to date, the Dr. Ferdinand Porsche-designed “People’s Car,” was renamed the Volkswagen Type 1 as the launch product of the newly renamed Volkswagenwerk AG.
The basic design of the economical and sturdy Type 1, soon to gain its enduring “Beetle” moniker, was a natural starting point for supplementary models. As early as 1946, British Major Ivan Hirst had sketched a lift-truck Type 1 derivative, initially intended for use within the Wolfsburg factory. Ben Pon, the automotive distributor who introduced his native Holland to the curious little Volkswagen, made the first generally acknowledged rough sketches predicting the boxy Type 2 Transporter as early as 1947. Beginning with eight Transporters displayed publicly in 1949, the first-generation Volkswagen Type 2 Transporters soon entered production and were sold in ever-growing numbers, through the end of first-generation production in 1967 and followed by the comprehensively updated 1968-79 iteration and the water-cooled 1980-93 Vanagon.
In addition to the Kombi passenger/cargo van and dressy Samba passenger vans, alternatively marketed as the Station Wagon in America, the Transporter was also advertised as the Microbus. A dizzying array of commercial van and pickup models was also offered. A limited-production cornerstone of VW “Bus” production was the Westfalia camper van by Westfalia-Werke. Initially produced with a pop-up roof and later, a rear-hinged roof, the Westfalia camper van was a virtual home on wheels and as much a counterculture symbol as it was a family vacation machine, with folding seats that converted into beds, plus storage compartments, folding tables and even sinks and stoves inside them.
This 1972 Volkswagen Westfalia Camper Van is a rare “garage find” example and as such, includes such advancements as the more-powerful, 1700-series engine shared with VW’s 411 passenger models. Developing 72 horsepower, this engine cut acceleration times significantly from those of prior models and yielded an official top speed of 75 miles per hour. This highly complete example also retains the woodgrain furnishings, including a sink, storage bureau, folding table and combination rear seat/bed. The signature Westfalia roof remains in place, as does the faithful air-cooled four-cylinder engine at the rear. While the paint is faded, much of the finish remains intact, along with all glass, lights, and hubcaps.
Regardless of their specific generation and model year, all surviving examples of the VW Transporter are tremendously engaging and never fail to draw admirers. With appropriate cleaning, detailing, and mechanical attention, or complete restoration, this 1972 Volkswagen Westfalia camper could provide the basis for your next adventure with family and friends.