One of the Best Early Bay T2 Campers in the UK


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Own one of the best Early Bay RHD VW campervans in the UK. I'm a retired engineer and spend most of my time abroad, hence a reluctant sale. I'm not in a hurry to sell and have owned this vehicle a long time; it has served me well and is currently kept in storage. It is only used during summertime when I'm home... I know the entire history of the van for almost 30 years.

Please read all the details, I've tried to be as thorough as possible so you don't waste anybody's time... I am currently living in Mexico and subject to Covid restrictions, quarantines etc. Direct Email contact or via the JK web site is the only way to arrange a viewing at the moment... ([email protected]). I can arrange a test drive from Mexico by prior arrangement if you're prepared to work with me a little. I will be honest and say this vehicle is well worth a look before you consider any other in the price range, it is genuinely very 'useable'.

I would like to return to the UK to complete the sale and meet the new owner however the current pandemic has probably made this impossible. I can complete a sale remotely if necessary, the log book was pre-signed and is with my parents. The van used to be beige, I resprayed and colour coded it red... the restoration and conversion have been ongoing for several years, hence any disparity with the photographs; the work was finally completed in the summer of 2019. I left for Mexico in December...

I've 'kn-owned' this vehicle for almost 30 years and owned it for around 15, I bought it from a friend who bought it from another. I'm an engineer and restored the van fully throughout (with photos) and upgraded it all round as necessary or was required. It is a Devon conversion (pop top) and comes complete with most VW camper accessories available including; a VW (2x) bike rack for the rear door, a JK tailored VW awning, table & chairs, crockery, modern double din stereo with DVD player and USB... to name a few. I've travelled from one end of the UK to the other in it without issue... with diesel reliability and economy (read on). I've covered approximately 10,000 miles on a reconditioned turbo diesel engine, it now has approximately 90,000 on the clock. The gearbox was overhauled with warranty in 2019 (before CoVid) and a new clutch was installed.

This is a 1960's Early bay window VW that it's hard to put a price on. Similar new (imported) Type 2's are in the region of £40-50k+ and I genuinely think mine is far better; restored with all original VW parts and panels instead of newer, thinner recycled metal replicas from Brazil. It has generally been used as a daily drive and driven over longer distances at weekends. I don't find it physically 'that big' to drive (and now, after my upgrades) it runs and performs around town very similarly to the average diesel estate car. Hi-40's MPG, decent acceleration, free road tax, very affordable classic insurance; a full MOT was undertaken in my absence, Sept 2020, it passed without issue.

This isn't an ordinary bus: I tried to iron out as many of the 1960s early bay problems that VW wasn't prepared to or couldn't. I really can't say how much time and money I've put into this project, let's just say 'a lot' and much more money than I'm asking for it. The right buyer will be relative to the sale as I'm very attached to my van after years of hard work and investment. I want to sell it to somebody who wants to use it regularly and appreciates it for what it is... a daily run around.

So, what makes it one of the best in the country..?
I (we) renovated this as a project in order for me to use it as my daily drive; not to win competitions. The van isn't 'concourse', it's usable. I wanted to do what VW was unable to with the original Type 2... modernise it for todays traffic conditions. We accomplished 'some of' this and at some cost. However, If you are a VW air cooled purist you might as well stop reading now. It looks the same and drives very similarly to the original but we upgraded and changed almost everything in order to make it safer, reliable and efficient, it will/should serve you well into the future. (hopefully another 50 years... it was restored to do just that!)

Firstly, I got rid of the original 16mpg, (gutless) air-cooled engine and replaced it with an efficient, more powerful, reliable, liquid-cooled 1.9 Turbodiesel that gets up to 3 times more MPG...approx. 50MPG at 50MPH (seriously 40s+), we nicknamed it the 50/50. The MPG alone makes it usable as a daily drive and the engine easily keeps up with modern traffic, it cruises comfortably at 55-65MPH, as it should... if you want to go any faster, (it will/could) but seriously... don't buy a Type 2. I've restricted it slightly to keep it safer.

The diesel conversion is well-known on VW camper forums (Peugeot 1.9TD) but this is one of a kind with the work being undertaken as a favour by race mechanics and a VOSA inspector, who are friends. We undertook this as a bit of a challenge with little expense spared (within reason), I can give you the full details of the conversion specifics if you’re really interested, it was a long ongoing process. The van now has a more modern, reconditioned diesel engine and an upgraded gearbox (using the original 2.0L VW gearbox which is replaceable). It makes the van viable as an everyday drive, with similar power, consumption and acceleration as a family car.

We retro-fitted 2 radiators into the VW rear air intakes in order to provide adequate liquid cooling to the engine and also give it a cab heater that actually works, unlike the original air-cooled heaters that were often ineffective. The gearbox was stripped completely and rebuilt to accommodate the difference in torque and lower rev speed from the new diesel engine. All of this work was done keeping in mind 'access' to make it easy to maintain and work on by any mechanic; a VW Type 3 style work hatch is fitted above the diesel engine with an inbuilt tool kit alongside in the re-purposed wheel well... easy maintenance.

The brakes and suspension were upgraded from the old-style drums to the more modern (Type 2) disk brakes, no need to stamp the brake pedal through the floor. It has all the working functionality of a newer T2 but all the original features and looks of the T2 early bay window… which is (almost) exactly what I wanted. A lot of time, thought, effort and money went into this restoration.

I had new chrome/stainless bumpers fitted along with all the associated chrome trim... you will struggle to find another chrome trim VW T2. This vehicle really is a one-off and catches every eye as it passes, without fail. Long term ownership has allowed me to add the extras that many other vans won't have... for example; original T1 brass trim around the front headlights, which are rare...they shine more than the chrome when polished.

It has central locking on the front 2 doors for easier access; the interior has been colour coded red to match the exterior and re-upholstered in burgundy and white. The Devon conversion includes the pop-top roof and comes with upgraded matching kitchenette & appliances, fridge, sink, hob, top locker plus a rock n roll style bed and includes a 12v electric system... I have a 240v conversion but don't want to cut a hole in the rear panels to install it, your choice? I also have an electric window conversion kit (*needs fitting*) ...

The windows are specially tinted, darker at the rear than the front (*front O/S one needs replacing*... £50 TBA). The sleeping area can't be seen from the outside; it's like sleeping in a one-way goldfish bowl. This gives you breath taking waking views of the surrounding scenery whenever you're parked in isolated scenic areas. However, there are also internal window blinds fitted if that's not your can opt for complete privacy. It comes with a VW cab-over roof rack for extra carriage space or a tent/awning and a VW bicycle rack. You can also buy bunk beds to fit in the Devon pop top roof to accommodate 2 bunks for kids if needed... I don't have, but I tried to tick all the boxes...

Free road tax, £150 classic insurance Per Annum, +/- 50MPG and it will run on Vegetable oil if needs be... it has a Bosch fuel pump fitted and I have a new oil Pre-heater kit to run on veggie oil or biofuel if required (not fitted). Personally I thought it too much hassle to do this, it's easier to run on diesel but the option is there should you wish it, I don't.
None the less, you are NOT going to find a cooler, safer, cheaper to run VW Type 2 in the country... GUARANTEED. I did all my research on this so if you've got the money, want a vehicle that you can actually use and look cooler than a snowman day in day out, this is the vehicle for you... as well as a future asset that will hold it's value.

I have a vested interest in keeping this vehicle on the road and will provide you with all the support and necessary; mechanic details, related contacts, everything that you require as well as my phone number etc. However, I have to say that if you're a hobby mechanic, this car is a dream to work on... simple and basic diesel. A complete engine change in less than 4 hours is not a problem if you know what you're doing; very little difference to the original air cooled VW.... a couple of electric plugs and a few bolts.

Unfortunately, you can’t take the 1960s out of the original design and engineering. With probably over £40,000 drip spent on this vehicle, it still drives like a 60's bus even with (literally) everything new, replaced or upgraded, I could easily spend more on it. If you know anything about VW's you will find they become a friend/enemy and a hobby. You will never stop spending on it whichever one you buy... so, be warned, it's a relationship you're getting into ...

I can easily see this vehicle lasting ANOTHER 50 years, it has had everything possible done to ensure so; original replacement panels, wax-oiled & undersealed fully, it is a unique, usable investment. I really would not sell it if I wasn't leaving the UK to live abroad, I have a newer T2 pickup here in Mexico... it isn't as good.

These are the reasons why I think my VW T2 is way better than most, if not all of the others that are currently available; but of course, I'm biased... all VW owners are!
I will take £25,000 as it stands any offers have to be very close to this... don't consider offering a lot less; appreciate that I have spent close to double this amount renovating it. There are many more pictures available if required.
This advert has been viewed 4 times and was posted on 24 Sep 2021 at 03:48

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As with all online marketplaces you should take care when considering a vehicle purchase. We advise you physically inspect any vehicle in person before parting with any money. If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is. The JK Marketplace is a free feature on our web-site. If you have reason to believe that one of the adverts placed here is a scam then please let us know. NEVER SEND MONEY TO AN ESCROW ACCOUNT, THIS IS A SCAM.

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