1963 VW T2 Split Screen - VanWurks Restoration

1963 Volkswagen Type 2 Camper for sale
Supplied new to San Antonio, Texas
Presented in its original colour scheme
Recently restored and upgraded, with all-new interior
Beautifully presented in its original colour scheme of Sealing Wax Red and Beige Grey, this Volkswagen Type 2 Camper has been superbly restored and discreetly upgraded in recent years.

Built on 13 March 1963 as a Microbus, its ‘221’ model designation denotes a left-hand-drive model with cargo doors on the right and a full middle seat. It was delivered new to San Antonio in Texas with the 40PS 1500cc engine and the optional extra of six opening side windows.

The Volkswagen stayed in Texas for more than 50 years. It was then brought to the UK in 2014 by its new owner, who embarked on a complete restoration. The dry Texan climate meant that the bodywork was found to be remarkably solid, with only minor sill repairs needed before it was resprayed.

The engine – a 50bhp, twin-port, 1600cc unit from a later T2 model – was rebuilt and the fuel tank was replaced, as were the window and door seals. The work was carried out by renowned specialist Brookside Aircooled, with invoices totalling £16,000.

The Volkswagen was then entrusted to Manchester-based VanWurks, which installed a completely new interior in two-tone Cream and Mushroom. This stage of the restoration incorporated modern materials and upgrades, and the Camper now includes a built-in fridge, a twin-ring gas hob, a sink, a fold-out ‘rock and roll’ bed, and a picnic table that can be removed and stored away.

A new roof lining was fitted, complete with sound insulation and additional lighting, an alarm system was installed, and the creature comforts extend to a Blaupunkt sound system plus iPhone connectivity. A modern power-management system includes 240V sockets as well as a leisure battery and external power supply, and there’s also a removable roof rack for extra storage.

The fully restored Volkswagen was then acquired by a new owner in 2016 and remains in superb condition. Now being offered for sale, this coveted ‘split-screen’ Type 2 Camper brilliantly combines the classic West Coast vibe with well-chosen upgrades, and it perfectly embodies the timeless appeal of this automotive icon.

The first production Volkswagen Type 2 was built in late 1949 and the model went on to be every bit as recognisable and popular as the Type 1 – better known as the Beetle.

The Type 2’s forward-control layout and rear-mounted engine gave it an impressive amount of interior space, and Volkswagen offered it in various forms, from a panel van and Microbus to a pick-up and even an ambulance. The most well-equipped version was the ‘Samba’ – officially known as the Sondermodell, or ‘Special Model’.

Production was carried out at the main Wolfsburg plant until 1956, when it was switched to a new facility in Hanover. Demand was huge and more than 60,000 Type 2s were built at Hanover during its first year in operation, and the one-millionth example rolled off the line in 1962.

Originally fitted with the Beetle’s air-cooled 1131cc flat-four engine, the Type 2 was gradually upgraded with larger engines of 1192cc and, from 1962 onwards, 1493cc. Drum brakes were used all round and the only choice of transmission was a four-speed manual.

From 1964, there was the option of a sliding side door rather than the standard two-piece door, and the distinctive ‘split-screen’ appearance lasted until the 1967 introduction of the T2 variant. This has become known as the ‘bay window’ model thanks to its one-piece windscreen. It was replaced in 1979 by the more angular T3, and during that car’s production run the air-cooled engine was dropped in favour of water cooling.

The original ‘splitty’ and ‘bay window’ models became cultural icons of the 1960s, particularly in the US. A blue ‘splitty’ famously featured on the album cover of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, which was shot on a New York side street, but it’s with the West Coast counter-culture that the model is most closely associated – usually having been painted in suitably psychedelic colours.

That classless appeal remains the same even decades later, and the Volkswagen Type 2 has deservedly gained a strong following among classic-car enthusiasts.


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