PH Blog: auf wiedersehen pet!

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!




Comments (68) Join the discussion on the forum

  • PhantomPH 25 Oct 2012

    Having followed the VW scene since the 80's, I would imagine the £120k HAS to be a mis-print. Unless it still contains some original master tapes from an early Beetles studio session in the back, it's worth £50k max.

    Edited by PhantomPH on Thursday 25th October 11:37

  • StuttgartJem 25 Oct 2012

    Love the VW Bus, but £120 k !!! It is lovely but you could have a much better & reliable fully kitted out Danbury for £40k
    Think PH Classifieds sums it up with the alternatives for similar money. Gallardo LP560-4, Conti GTC Mulliner & an Aston Volante.
    It's like the classifieds have become self aware !

  • PhantomPH 25 Oct 2012

    Prices are going nuts for the multi-windowed buses, but here is one that looks even better and for half the price :

  • mat777 25 Oct 2012

    I dont get why anyone would still buy an "original" when you can now have the modern , front engined, watercooled variants rebodied to look like the classics - giving the best of both worlds

  • V12 Migaloo 25 Oct 2012

    I kinda never understood why would any one want to drive 500 miles at 55 mph and sleep on top of the engine is a tad beyond me... Have to say though I do like the look of the split screen though, especially the foose modifed one.. L8rzzz

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