Perhaps the vehicle that least requires an introduction, the VW T2 is one of the most influential and recognisable vehicles of all time. Often referred to as the “hippie van”, they are widely regarded as the perfect vehicle to explore the roads with and have developed an enormous following across the globe.
Split-screen models are the first generation of the Volkswagen T2, thus making them rather desirable and difficult to obtain.
This example is without a doubt one of the most unique examples available today and shows off a one-of-a-kind original finish from its time in the USA. If you’re looking for a truly characterful VW panel van, with the ever-so-desirable double doors, this is the one for you.
The History and Paperwork
Just one former UK owner
Ex-commercial panel van
Plenty of original parts
V5C document present
Official VW certificate
Like many other examples found on the UK market, this VW hails from the United States. It was originally a commercial delivery van in New York but spent its life in California, as stated by the included VW certificate. As such, the van shows off a quirky finish from its time in the States, yet retains the specification-correct commercial finish inside. As one would expect given the sheer age of the van, not too much is known about the origins of the original sign-writing, although this only adds further mystery and character.
Here in the UK the van has just one former keeper, as noted on the V5C document, and now sits within a well-known VW enthusiast’s collection. Throughout their ownership they have retained as much of the originality as possible, needing only to treat the van to new floors and professionally fitted front wheel arches, courtesy of renowned specialist; Irv’s Restorations.
Now this unique VW is ready to be enjoyed by a lucky new keeper, who will hopefully write another interesting chapter in this characterful van’s story.
This split-screen shows off a rather rare double door configuration, as well as the small rear hatch. The van also retains plenty of original components within the interior including the original sun visors, cab divider, door cards and kick panels.
In keeping with the original specification of the vehicle, the interior even features the correct grey leatherette trim, as per the original specification. As the bench/seats are so new, buyers can expect a near-perfect finish.
Given the nature of the vehicle, all other interior trim and original components show plenty of patina and a nicely aged finish. In the rear, you’ll find a stripped interior, showing off a new floor and clean paintwork.
Mostly original Dove Blue paintwork
Restored front wheel arches
Firestone whitewall cross-ply tyres
As the photos reflect, this is a truly unique vehicle, that will forever stand out from the crowd thanks to its commercial signwriting and mostly original exterior. As mentioned earlier, not much is known about the original business displayed on the exterior, or the mysterious “Robery Monly” whose name adorns the side. If you’re looking for a vehicle packed with character and one-off charm, nothing will top this.
Given the mostly original finish of the vehicle, and intentional patina look, there are of course areas that would otherwise be considered as “defects” on other vehicles, but that’s what gives this vehicle its real character. Despite the aged exterior, this VW features restored front arches and new floors, so the new owner need not worry about issues with the underside or sub-structure.
The contrast of the white wheels against the aged Dove Blue paintwork is quite a welcome touch. All four wheels (sized at 6.7" x 15") are in great condition, with perhaps only the need for a quick tidy-up. Keen eyes will also spot a rare set of Firestone cross-ply white wall tyres. As a quick google search will reveal, these are indeed highly desirable and rather costly tyres to obtain in today's market, and certainly shouldn’t be overlooked.
It wouldn't be fair to compare this exterior to the likes of a pristine, freshly resprayed example, the entire purpose and aesthetic is quite different. Yes, you will find signs of age and defects but, in return, you are obtaining a truly unique vehicle that can’t be replicated without decades of history.
1,200cc flat-four engine
New steering and suspension components
Drives well, but may require attention moving forward
Although this VW panel van fires up right away and performs rather well, the keeper does feel the engine is slightly tired, and may require a refresh in the near future. Otherwise, there are no known mechanical or electrical faults to note.
The van also features 12V electrics, which many an enthusiast will recognise as a welcome upgrade over the standard system. The van has also been treated with new steering and suspension components, including new kingpins and new link pins.
Although the current owner feels the engine requires a refresh moving forward, this camper will very likely continue to be a dependable companion for any future road trip/ show excursion in the future.
Presented today is a very rare opportunity to own a completely unique VW panel van, complete with original sign-writing from the USA, as well as plenty of original components. Despite its characterful exterior, overall the van is in excellent mechanical condition and features a rather tidy underside, complete with new floors and new steering/suspension components.
If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind VW panel van, something guaranteed to turn heads and raise a smile wherever it ventures, this quirky vehicle is the perfect choice.
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1961 Volkswagen Splitscreen Double Door Panel Van (LHD)
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