Thursday 25th October 2012


News of the VW bus's demise prompts an interesting excursion into the classifieds...

It's the Sao Paulo Motor Show at the moment and VW has taken a load of UK hacks out there. And are probably not entirely delighted that the story most are reporting is the end of productionfor the 60-odd year-old camper van!

So it's finally the end of the road for the old bus as time, and the inevitable safety legislation, catches up with it. Well, a vehicle where your knees are the crumple zone probably has had its time.

Cheap to buy at least...
Cheap to buy at least...
Doesn't mean you can't still buy them of course and among the modern VW campers there are plenty of the old buses available in the PH classifieds. So I went off hunting to see what I could find.

Now, the world of VW buses is an entire automotive sub-culture of its own and one with complicated norms that outsiders have little chance of understanding. I'm one of those outsiders and, hands held high, split screen and bay window is about the extent of my knowledge. But that's why we have a forum!

Anyway, to get the conversation started the cheapest I could find in our ads was this one from 1980 for a smidge under five grand. It's MOT'd until April so if you had hopes of using it for your summer holiday you might want to tread carefully, the pictures revealing a degree of 'frilliness' anyone with previous experience of old campers might get the jitters over.

Meanwhile, at the other end of the scale...
Meanwhile, at the other end of the scale...
Mine extends to a long period stationary on the hard shoulder of the M6 in a friend's old camper, a vehicle whose ability to conk out was matched only by its voracious appetite for money probably better spent elsewhere. Indeed, stationary VW camper vans are a feature of many a motorway hard shoulder, my experience indicating it's probably not because the owners have pulled over to make a brew.

At the other end of the scale is this one for ... wait, does that say £120K? Yes it does. Now, my limited understanding of the market for proper classic vans does at least mean I'm aware of the 'grand per window' rule of thumb but, jeez, this thing doesn't have THAT much glazing.

A PH-worthy camper-based set-up
A PH-worthy camper-based set-up
Little doubt, it is a lovely looking thing though. But I think my £120K might go on a more modern one, a trailer and something interesting to tow behind it. The rig I took to the Alps earlier in year would do me fine and cost about half that!




Author: Dan Trent
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