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1980 Volkswagen T25 Early Aircooled Campervan


• Fully kitted out as a 4 berth camper with cooking facilities
• Over 6K’s worth of work over the last 10 years
• An early example of a T25 camper
• Structurally sound base
• Porsche seats

The Background

For those who enjoy the motorhome experience of the air-cooled VW variety, the T25 is often considered a sensible alternative to the original yet somewhat antiquated VW camper vans. As 1980’s recreation of the original, they are far easy to deal with in almost every respect. 

It manages to combine the classic air-cooled VW camper chic, without the headaches that are often associated with the earlier models; easier to drive and to own, they retain a good parts availability as the originals without losing any of the charms.

This attractively finished 1980 1.6-litre air-cooled example comes with its near original camper furnishings and is an honest example of an early Holdsworth Camper van conversion. With a solid structure, a well-presented file of paperwork and evidence of regular maintenance, this T25 is all ready to start creating new chapters of adventures. 

The History

This striking bamboo yellow VW was first registered in Cardiff in 1980 and appears to have been converted into a Family Five Camper by Richard Holdsworth. The Holdsworth company are believed to be one of the first UK based camper converters, with a reputation for the quality of build and attention to detail. Taken on by its current owner in 2019, it really has been used to its full potential. 

Rather charmingly, it has served as a spare room, a social club as well a mode of transport for children and dogs. It has earned numerous nicknames along the road, including Daisy and Buttercup, and has genuinely found a place in the local community, where its welcome appearance never fails to bring a smile. 

Trips to Snowdonia and the UK coasts have been made during the current owners' two years of ownership, mainly due to the current owners' robust sporting pursuits. The owner is familiar with the upkeep and repair of older vehicles and has stayed on top of the problems, allowing the van to see regular use at first.  Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end, and its use has been gradually reducing in recent months, forcing the sale due to the owners' guilt over the van sitting in their driveway. 

The Paperwork

Not uncommonly, it has seen a fair number of owners over its 40 years, but given the given role of the camper van and the T25’s attributes, this should not necessarily be considered a drawback. It’s evident that the van has seen a succession of careful owners, given the largely original and well-kept interior, it also comes with a healthy amount of paperwork which adds up to over 6K over the last 10 years. 

It has seen plenty of renewed metalwork over the years, with online MOT records suggesting extensive chassis work in the mid-2000s. In the last 10 years, further sill and arch work have been carried out, along with undersealing to ensure it retains its solid structure. The van received a repaint in 2014, along with some mechanical work including a replacement ignition amplifier, ignition coil and a carburettor strip-down and refit. At the same time, a new starter motor and battery were followed by new front brake discs and track rods. 

The interior saw three-point belts fitted on the rear seats and a pair of new tailgate struts. Just before the most recent owner took it onboard, new roof struts, deformation panel, replacement engine oil seals, a new clutch, master cylinder/brake servo, steering coupling/gaiters and a repaired exhaust were installed. A recent bill of almost £1500 covers some extensive electrical work to improve its leisure use, including a new battery, relays, wiring and fuses all to ensure that the functional aspect of the van is safe and fit for purpose. 

Further work includes the improved running of the engine and a service. One of the actions to prepare the van for sale was for a local garage to give it a clean bill of health. It’s also worth mentioning that this T25 can now be classified as being Tax and MOT exempt. 

The Interior

The interior has largely retained its original spec, with a couple of notable and useful upgrades. The camper section is well presented and remains inviting with things upfront also having been kept in good order. The first thing to notice is the noticeable presence of a pair of Porsche 911 tombstone seats. 

They are in good condition, with no significant wear or damage and provide an element of style. The main footwell is covered by a heavy-duty rubber mat, which is in good condition with some signs of age but has worn well. 

The dashboard facia is in good order, with no distracting damage or cracks. The plastic trim has worn well with no issues in regards to the visual presentation of the switchgear or controls. The dials are all legible and all of the functions, including the heater, are working. The steering wheel and gear stick are decent with limited signs of wear. It has seen has also seen a Pioneer FM/USB/AUX player fitted. The door cards are good with its front headlining in good shape.

In the camper section, all of the original specifications are intact, with the original carpet floor replaced with an attractive tile finish. The core kit consists of an electric water pump mated to a stainless steel sink, two burners and grill cooker connected to a gas canister, a fridge, table, plenty of storage, Fiamma roof light and ability to sleep at least four people, 2 via the rock ’n roll bed and the pop-top accommodating two more. 

The seat fabrics are in good condition with two recently fitted rear seat belts. The wooden storage units are solid, with typical signs of age in places but have generally been well cared for. The bedding is complete, although the front strap for the awning will need replacement - assured to be an easy and cheap fix. 

The carpeted roof lining is in good condition, and along with the rest of the camping area, no signs of dampness was noted on the day and no suggestions of cigarette smoke. As a measure of generosity on behalf of the owner, the van also has some useful goodies, such as an electric hook up, kettle, teapot (+ handmade tea cosy!) as well as some maintenance items just in case. 

The Exterior 

The van is in good shape in terms of its structure. Key elements such as the engine bay, sills, suspension mounts, floor pan and inner wings look solid, with age-related wear observed in places. The exterior panel fit is generally good, with even gaps and a snug-fitting roof.  The doors open and close with no issues, but need a generous amount of force to close. All of the respective door hinges, sliders and struts are up to their task. 

The door wells are good, with both footplates and the top of the rear hatch looking a little tatty but do not appear to be detrimental to the strength of the van. The front cabin footwells are somewhat damp, possibly as a result of condensation rather than water ingress but which might warrant investigation. 

Externally the lower skins of some of the doors, the external lower area around the front bumper mount and the base of the windscreen may need some attention in the future. Corrosion is also noted on the guttering but has been treated by the current owner. The areas around the rear bumper and arches look good though. The nearside has seen a couple of scars, with a couple of low-impact dents and scoring noted the sliding side door and rear wing but overall the metalwork is in good condition. 

The van saw a respray in 2014 and the finish is generally even with good coverage and no overspray. The attractive two-tone Bamboo yellow over white with a black accent is eye-catching and suits the personality of the van well. Evidence of under paint bubbling is noted on the body particularly is around the body seams, but none of which have developed into serious blemishes yet. The overall consensus is that the van would certainly benefit from cosmetic spruce up in the future.

All of the glass panels are good, with no serious impediments and compliment the decent rubbers sealing, with no reports of water ingress. The bumpers show a few minor battle scars and minor scrapes are noted on the end caps but are presentable. There are no issues with the lights and lens functions, although the offside front indicators have faded with age, otherwise, all are in good condition.

The door mirrors are fairly recent additions but it is missing its rear badging. The wheels and tyres are in a good state, the steel wheels showing a little wear with a couple of chrome hubcaps showing some pitting. The tyres are all legal with the offside front item being a fairly recent fitting.

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The Mechanics 

The van runs well, starting up with no issues, the air-cooled engine bursting into life with no hesitancy and no evidence of excessive smoke from the exhaust. The engine idles well, with no undulations or splutters. The performance from the 1.6-litre block is admittedly leisurely, but the engine pulls well through the gears. 

The owner has pointed out that the gear change requires a knack, but engages as expected with some resistance into reverse when the engine is cold. The steering performed without issues during the short drive, with no reported trouble with the performance or function of the brakes. The ride did not present any unwanted noises, no clonking or untoward noises were noted from the suspension during a low-speed run. 

The performance of the electrics are vital for any camper van, so it should be mentioned that both batteries are in good order and able to deal with the workload. 

The Appeal

The current owner views the van as part of the family and hopes that a prospective buyer will see it in the same frame, as the vans inherent charm and character seems to be fuelled by adventures and human interaction.

This is one of the reasons why these vans continue to resonate with the camper van community, and the T25 stays high on the desirability scale for individuals wishing to explore the wilderness, thanks to Volkswagen's perceived image of durability and famous past portfolio.

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 1980
  • Make Volkswagen
  • Model T25
  • Colour Yellow
  • Odometer 16,894 Miles
  • Engine size 1584
  • Town Oxford
  • Location Oxfordshire
  • Country United Kingdom
Bidding history
6 bids from 4 bidders
  • stucar6 £2,300 22/01/22
  • Samuel•••• £2,200 21/01/22
  • stucar6 £2,100 21/01/22
  • Steve19•••• £1,900 21/01/22
  • peter-k•••• £1,500 20/01/22
  • stucar6 £1,000 20/01/22

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