1972 Volkswagen Dormobile D4/6
LUW899K is a genuine one owner from new car with “none” listed under previous owners on the V5 document. The car was purchased new by Mr. Frederick Wright from Balgores Motors, Volkswagen and Mercedes specialist in Romford, Essex on 27th May 1972. The original bill of sale, present and pristine, shows that he ordered the car with number plates, delivery to his home just a mile away, where it resided for the next 47 years. Careful maintenance and care over nearly 5 decades is evident with, road tax, mudflaps, factory under seal, and gas and regulator for the 2-burner hob behind the passenger seat all completely intact. The exceptional preservation of this wonderfully original Type 2 Volkswagen Dormobile owes to the fact it was stored in a bone-dry garage for much of its life. Apparently Mr. Wright would never drive the car in the rain and the vehicle remained in the garage during the winter months to avoid salted roads. The van was primarily used to travel down to the south coast of France during summertime where Frederick and his wife, with their niece and nephew, visited various camp sites; a favourite being Camp du Domaine close to Toulon Airport. The car still displays several different French campsite stickers from the 70s and 80s. If you care to rummage under the seats, you will find a baguette carrier bag, a time zone calculator and some ferry crossing times from Le Lavandou. The van spent many happy summers in the south of France completing 1700-mile round trips from when it was new until 2001 when it was parked in the garage due to Mr. Wright’s ill health. The van remained virtually unused, only being driven to the MOT centre and back for close to 20 years before Mr. Wright sadly passed away. BODYWORK LUW899K still wears 80% of its factory paint which remains in wonderful original condition. When we took the vehicle in, we resprayed the front and rear bumpers in colour coded Pastel White, reconditioning the steel wheels to match. The rear quarter and corner had previously been painted in the original colour at some point. The body is totally rust free and has had no welding (not even the battery tray!) retaining all its German steel, almost unheard of in original UK right-hand drive examples. The bill of sale shows Mr. Wright ordered the car with factory under-seal and as previously stated, he kept it in a dry garage from the day he purchased it, which explains the remarkable condition of the bodywork. The panels are straight and perfect apart from a very few small insignificant dents, which only add to its authenticity. INTERIOR This is where we get rather excited! The Dormobile interior came to us completely original. However, the cloth upholstery on the buddy seats and the rear seat bed was showing its age. As such we took the decision to replace the cloth with an oatmeal fabric, in keeping with the era. Our supremely talented seamstress managed to keep the original leatherette. Simply put, if we were to replace anything, it had to be done right. The front seats are pristine, undamaged, and completely original. The rubber matting on the floor and wheel arches is complete and in perfect condition. The 2-burner hob assembly is in better condition for its age than any we have EVER seen here at Dormobile. Complete with heat shield which stows behind the driver’s seat, the unit unfolds and slots together perfectly. The sink still functions using its original water pump – the condition of which can only be described as unprecedented. The pristine condition extends to the fridge which still has the original racks…again, in amazing condition. The dashboard is immaculate and complete. The original door cards are in perfect condition. The headliner is unstained, unripped. The cab floor retains its original yellow carpet in good condition. All cupboards, trim and surfaces are undamaged and in incredible condition for their age. They all work as they should. The van is complete with its original table and a pair of foldable buddy seats, the bed functions exactly as it should – and with the fabulous new oatmeal upholstery, it is ready for comfortable sleeping. The car has its original spare wheel and plastic cover in perfect condition. MUSEUM PIECE This vehicle is a museum piece. In every cupboard and cubby hole lurks another time capsule, neatly and efficiently packed with 1970s and 1980s curiosities. The lucky buyer should have as much joy exploring as we have had. Just a few of the delightful items you will come across include everything one would need for a holiday, from camping kit to Heinz branded shopping bags, to card games, to news articles of the time including one referencing notorious East London gangsters The Kray twins. The glovebox contains 3 old AA handbooks and a ferry timetable. There are pots and pans, a questionable looking jar of Oxo, a first aid kit, a pair of food trays and a comprehensive tool kit, wrapped in what appears to be a WW2 British Army issue side bag dated 1944. ENGINE / MECHANICAL The engine in the car is a Volkswagen factory-reconditioned unit identifiable by the “recon” logo and A prefix. It is unclear how many miles the reconditioned unit has covered as there are no invoices to confirm when it was fitted, but with the total mileage of the vehicle being just 69,850 this is most likely a very low mileage motor. The engine performs very well and pulls strongly. There is no end float or leakage, and it runs without smoking at all. The engine is smooth on start-up and there are no noises or rattles, confirming it is very healthy. Recent recommissioning work included a new crankshaft oil seal, pushrod tubes, valve work, and a full strip and clean of the carburettor along with other work and a full service. This can be seen in detail on the invoice. The gearbox is faultless and selects all gears well. The suspension is firm and reflects the low mileage and low stress of the car’s life. All the electrics work as they should. The steering is direct and firm. The brakes are strong, and the brake pedal is firm and not spongy. The handbrake operates correctly. All gauges operate as they should as do the wipers, ducted heating, horn, headlights, indicators etc. The sender unit was rebuilt and now works as it should. PAPERWORK The Van retains its original bill of sale and original blue V5 logbook as well as newer blue and red V5c logbooks. The van is complete with its original service booklet, service record book, Dormobile D4/6 instruction booklet, VW accessory brochure, and a spare key. There are blank application forms for The Motor Caravaners’ Club and the Dormobile Owners Register, and complete instructions for the seat belts, hob, and foot pump. There are 27 MOT certificates dating from 1975-2009 and 12 tax discs dating from 1999-2011. SORN papers are also present. There is an undated service document for £2.50 from VW Audi dealer London Road Garage Romford, another invoice of £30.28 from them dated 1975, a bill of £394.15 from 2009 for a full service by Mercury Service Station in Harold Wood Essex, and a full detailed recommissioning by Central Garage in Hartfield East Sussex on 18th June 2020 including comprehensive engine work and a new clutch among other things amounting to over £1500.