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1979 Volkswagen T2 ‘Bay Window’ Camper


• A cult classic
• Road tax-exempt historic vehicle
• Engine only done 31,000 miles

The Background 

The Type 2 Volkswagen needs little in the way of an introduction. Named as such due to it being the second vehicle ever produced by Volkswagen, the Type 2 was designed to offer versatile, reliable mobility for the masses. It could be had as a van, as a minibus, as a crew cab, as a pickup and most popularly of all, a camper. 

Initially a split-screen design, the Type 2 would go on to evolve into what we have here, the ‘bay window’ version. It was a bit bigger, had better visibility, and it was slightly more spacious inside. The battery and electrical system were upgraded to 12 volts, making it far more modern and usable. 

The History 

This camper van has lived in South Yorkshire for a good deal of its life, and has been owned by someone with strong connections within the VW scene, and who knows these air-cooled vans (and their idiosyncrasies) well. It has been used for easy touring and local days out.

In 2015, the van benefited from an engine swap, the replacement 1600cc motor only having covered some 31,000 miles. In 2016, a new kitchen and fridge unit was also fitted.

The Paperwork 

There is a small sheaf of documents with the Volkswagen, including sundry MOT certificates, but, more importantly, including the receipt for the new engine…and the new fridge/kitchen.

The Exterior 

If you know the V-Dub scene, you’ll know that vans can present in every condition, from concours shine to virtual rat rod, and everything in between. 

This particular example maintains a slightly ‘weathered’ look, the overall appearance showing a much muted gloss, with some areas intentionally showing a faded finish, patches where the primer shows through and the odd patch of (very controlled) light corrosion. By contrast, the roof is actually quite a bright and glossy shade of white. 

There are no dents in any of the panels and all doors open or slide quite smoothly. Shut lines are narrow and edges of doors largely good (one hole on driver’s side). The van sits evenly on its lowered suspension.

Appendages and accessories are in good condition. The chrome light surrounds and mesh covers are bright, as are the larger, truck-style wing mirrors. (There is a slightly weathered patch on one of these). The rubber window/windscreen surrounds are mostly in very good condition, one or two showing some small cracks in corners.

The roof rack/boards are clean and solid and are securely mounted – with coordinated rusted nuts – onto (unrusty) rain gutters, which are themselves in very tidy condition. You’ll also notice a pair of transparent air deflectors on the rear air intakes, which help funnel more air to the engine when out on a run.

The Interior 

Although the records don’t say exactly when, the interior has had a refresh at some point fairly recently – maybe 2016 when the new fridge and kitchen unit was put in?

The seats come from a Porsche 944 (electrics disabled), and have been nicely embroidered with large VW badges in the headrests. The white piping added both here and on the bench cushions in the rear helps define their shape nicely and is in good condition. Neither set of seats looks to have seen a lot of use since being recovered.

The darker shade of red contrasts nicely with the blue bodywork and is extended to the door cars and a panel on the tailgate. The latter is a little wavy (if you look from underneath), but looks good. All are clean and their colour vivid. The nicely-fitting floor mats are similarly good. By the way; the radio may look fairly ‘period’ but is in fact a new unit which incorporated USB and Bluetooth connections.

The living area of the van is clean and airy with nicely trimmed cushions and curtains, while the headlining is clean (a little weathered) and does not sag. There is also USB-powered LED lighting in the back – quite charming on a country evening.

The Mechanics 

Looking underneath the Volkswagen, the chassis looks very sound. The main rails, cross members and outriggers all appear robust. The body floor also appears sound. Ut’s also good to know that the truck has been Waxoyled within the last year. Seams appear strong. There is the odd edge of surface corrosion, but nothing that looks like it should raise any concern.

The low-mileage 1600cc engine looks a bit oily and weathered, but all components and ancillaries appear very serviceable and accessible. H/T leads, belts and hoses look a healthy colour, showing no signs of cracking or perishing. The motor certainly runs well enough without skipping a beat (ignoring the usual air-cooled syncopations), and the general engine bay appears solid – and tidy enough.

The Appeal

Volkswagen's Bay Window camper, in all its forms, can be an indulgence, a hobby, a way of life or a religion. 

Driving one is an event in itself, a holiday in one is a lifestyle statement. Like so many, this one has its own unique look and looks ready to carry on the cult for plenty more miles and years. Grab your surfboard and hit the bid button.

Notice to bidders

Although every care is taken to ensure this listing is as factual and transparent as possible, all details within the listing are subject to the information provided to us by the seller. Car & Classic does not take responsibility for any information missing from the listing. Please ensure you are satisfied with the vehicle description and all information provided before placing a bid.

As is normal for most auctions, this vehicle is sold as seen, and therefore the Sale of Goods Act 1979 does not apply. All bids are legally binding once placed. Any winning bidder who withdraws from a sale, is subject to our bidders fee charge. Please see our FAQs and T&C's for further information. Viewings of vehicles are encouraged, but entirely at the seller's discretion.

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Vehicle specification
  • Year 1979
  • Make Volkswagen
  • Model T2 Bay Window
  • Colour Blue
  • Odometer 30,115 Miles
  • Engine size 1598
  • Town Doncaster
  • Location Yorkshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
7 bids from 3 bidders
  • Stevetu•••• £7,500 22/01/22
  • david-k•••• £7,000 22/01/22
  • Stevetu•••• £6,000 21/01/22
  • JimJam2•••• £5,750 21/01/22
  • Stevetu•••• £5,500 21/01/22
  • JimJam2•••• £5,200 21/01/22
  • Stevetu•••• £5,000 20/01/22

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