Volkswagen T1 narodził się w latach 40-tych na rysunku Bena Pona, holenderskiego dealera, który zgłaszał zapotrzebowanie na auto towarowe oparte o koncepcję Garbusa, z napędem zespolonym za tylna osią. Ideę wprowadzono w życie 1950 roku i już w pierwotnej, produkowanej do 1968 roku wersji, okazała się być ogromnym hitem, sprzedanym w niemal 2 milionach egzemplarzy. Oprócz wersji typowo towarowych, na rynku pojawiły się również microbus i camper, odmiany uwielbiane do dzisiaj. Ten egzemplarz przybył do Wielkiej Brytanii ze Stanów Zjednoczonych. Wyprodukowany jako 13-okienny bus, w ostatnich latach przeszedł renowację wraz z metamorfozą, czyniącą z niego współczesną, lifestyle’ową perełkę. Wśród modyfikacji można wymienić ok. 100-konną jednostkę o pojemności 2 l, wzmocnione hamulce, obniżone zawieszenie i kompletnie od nowa stworzone wnętrze, inspirowane zabudową Westfalii. Na urlopowym wyjeździe sprawdzić się może znakomicie, szczególnie jeżeli celem naszego wyjazdu będzie takie miejsce, jak festiwal w Goodwood, na którym zresztą licytowany będzie prezentowany egzemplarz.
1967 VOLKSWAGEN MPV T1 CAMPER/MICROBUS
Registration no. 297 DUB Chassis no. 247123019
£70,000 – 90,000
PLN 340,000 – 430,000
THE GOODWOOD FESTIVAL OF SPEED SALE
Collector’s Motor Cars and Automobilia
30 Jun 2017, 14:00 BST
1967 Volkswagen MPV T1 Camper/Microbus
Registration no. 297 DUB
Chassis no. 247123019
*Classic 1960s motor caravan
*Recent professional restoration
*Circa 1,800 miles since completion
As readily recognisable as the immortal 'Beetle' itself and a 'cult' vehicle in its own right, the Volkswagen Type 2 and its derivatives enjoyed an even longer period in production than their saloon progenitor. The original was conceived in the late 1940s by a Dutch Volkswagen agent, Ben Pon, who drew up plans for a van based on the Beetle floor pan and running gear. Known as the Volkswagen Type 2 (the Beetle saloon being Type 1) the result of Pon’s efforts arrived in 1950 and almost immediately proliferated into a bewildering variety of models catering for an enormous range of commercial and domestic activities. The T1 original retained the Beetle’s rear-mounted 1,200cc air-cooled engine and four-speed gearbox, the latter suitably re-ratioed to cope with the van’s greater weight. Engines grew in size and power while both handling and comfort improved as development progressed. By 1968, when the first major revision of this outstandingly successful design occurred, almost two million had been sold worldwide. The T2 replacement was an entirely new vehicle, larger and roomier than before but still rear-engined. The most obvious difference was the newcomer’s single-piece wraparound windscreen, giving this model its 'Bay' sobriquet, whereupon the original, with its two-piece split screen, became know to devotees as the 'Splittie'. Power units grew in size from 1,600cc to 2.0-litres before production ceased in 1978 with the introduction of the third generation.
This highly desirable 'T1′ (split screen) 13-window Microbus was purchased in the UK as a 'rust-free, ex-California' example, freshly imported and without an engine. Collected and delivered to Paul at The Bus & Beetle Depot in Carlton, Nottingham, the 'Splittie' turned out not to be as good as it had been described, extensive bodywork restoration being required. The paintwork was entrusted to Gary (owner of a 'Bay' model) at Alan Perry Garages, Nottingham, where the bus was refinished in its original colour scheme of Cumulus White over Sea Blue.
Paul rebuilt the mechanicals using new parts throughout including a Type 2 Detectives (T2D) adjustable front axle beam with dropped spindles, and a T2D IRS conversion. The opportunity was taken to upgrade the braking system, disc brakes being fitted at the front complete with a servo and dual-circuit master cylinder, while larger Type 3 drums were fitted at the rear. The bus now rolls on Radar 15″ alloy wheels.
Bears Motorsport of Dudley, West Midlands supplied a Freeway Flyer gearbox, set up specifically for this bus and its up-rated 2,030cc engine. Built by Laurie Pettit, the latter incorporates a counterweighted long-stroke crankshaft, and breathes via twin Dell’Orto 40DLRA carburettors. The estimated maximum power output is 100bhp.
Type 2 marque specialists Custom Classic & Retro of Loughborough made the curtains and cushions, and re-trimmed the interior to the owner’s personal specification, which included a shelf above the sun visors. Other noteworthy interior features include a special sound system with speakers mounted beneath the seats, head unit with internet connection, and a drop-down DVD player mounted on the fresh air box, while there are numerous sockets for charging mobile 'phones and other devices. Electrical power is supplied by two leisure batteries beneath the bed, and there is also a 240-volt mains connection and split charging system.
It took 4½ years to complete this painstaking restoration, which is a reflection of the amount of work involved and the care taken to achieve such a high standard. Back on the road towards the end of 2013, the bus has covered only some 1,800 miles since then and is presented in commensurately good condition. It has featured in an article published in Volks World Camper & Bus magazine (July 2014 edition) a copy of which is on file. There can be no better way in which to enjoy the Goodwood meetings and other historic motor sports events.