Arguably more than any other mainstream automaker, Volkswagen is serious about its heritage. So much so that it appointed Franz-Josef Paefgen – former chief executive of Audi, Bentley and Bugatti – to head up its classics program. In this capacity, Paefgen oversees the heritage departments of each of the group's brands, but while its commercial vehicles operation may seem the least likely to preserve its past, today's announcement proves that assumption wrong.

The Oldtimers department of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles just recently moved into a new 7,000 square-meter facility in Hannover, Germany, where its staff of 13 dedicates itself to the restoration and preservation of old VW Buses. Although the garage has been active for several years, working on the company's own vehicles, the Oldtimer department has now opened its doors for private owners to bring in their vehicles for any degree of service.

Have an old Bus in need of some TLC? Click through the jump for the press release for further details and check out the gallery of high-resolution images for a closer look inside the workshop.
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Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Oldtimers now also offers Ex Works Restoration
Company installs 100 vehicles in 7,000 square meter premises

Hannover, March 29, 2012. Hardly any other automobile has such a high cult factor as the Volkswagen Bus. Today, 65 years after its first appearance, it stars in cinema films and commercials and stands – more than any other vehicle – for freedom, travel and fun. At Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles this legendary VW Bus has its own department dedicated to preserving its heritage: Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Oldtimers. Formed in 2007, the team has expanded fast over the five intervening years. Not only have the experts purchased and restored about 100 vehicles – from now on, they are offering the restoration of historic Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles ex works for external customers, inclusive of detailed documentation.

For this purpose, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Oldtimers moved to a new building in Hannover at the beginning of this year. An area of approximately 7,000 square meters now not only accommodates the historical treasures, but also houses a machine park which includes everything from a sheet metal bending bench, lathes and milling machines to its own paint shop. The department now has a staff of 13, from mechanics to a technology historian and an event planner.

Owners of a historic Volkswagen Commercial vehicle can now have it restored here, at its place of origin. No matter whether a full or partial restoration is required, or a Bus is simply to be made roadworthy, the 'Bulli' workshop team will undertake any assignment. Paint renovation or an inspection is also possible. The staff talk through all personal restoration wishes with the customer before preparing an individually tailored offer.

The unique feature: only here does the customer receive certificated ex works restoration. In addition, for each customer the team of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Oldtimers provides comprehensive documentation of the restoration of the vehicle, in which every step is photographically documented and described in detail. Thus the work performed by the specialists from Hannover is recorded for posterity, and customers can leaf through their folder whenever they wish. Some of the replacement parts needed when working on oldtimers are even taken from Volkswagen's original stock.

Here Volkswagen Classic Parts supports the VW Bus workshop as a partner.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      Avinash Machado
      • 3 Years Ago
      That row of buses in the lead pic makes me drool.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Haha. I love that there is a Kombi 'Ladder Truck'! And why all the hatin'? We know over the years these things have done more good than bad for us.. if ya know what i mean. *wink, nudge*
      • 3 Years Ago
      "Arguably more than any other mainstream automaker, Volkswagen is serious about its heritage." Compared to Mercedes-Benz... and their classic centers?! Come on. Some naysayers may even claim Merc rolls around in their heritage *too much*. VW seems more proud of their retro ads than their retro cars.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I want one. Silly VW never made a new Bus.
        • 3 Years Ago
        ??? No new bus? They've got one. VW has never been out of that market. They just don't import it thanks to the Chicken Tax.
      William Flesher
      • 3 Years Ago
      I would love to see VW show some love to the first generation FWD vehicles of the 1970's. Keeping my 1978 B1 (VW Passat/Dasher, Audi 80/Fox) on the road is getting more and more difficult.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Your argument that VW is more serious about their heritage than other automakers is horribly false. Just look at Mercedes Benz, who have dedicated classic centers to bring the old cars back to life, as well as a museum (like BMW/Audi/Porsche). VW is arguably one of the least serious (at least in relation to their German brethren) about their heritage IMHO.
      • 3 Years Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      I wonder if they will make new body or floor pan stampings like BMC has done for the old MG's and old Minis?
      • 3 Years Ago
      These were from before my time, but I'd love have one. I think it could be a neat idea to have one of these old buses fitted with a hybrid drive system ... or even electric drive and just use it around town, to go to work and grocery shopping. Of course some might thing that would be sacrilege to do such a thing to a classic vehicle. My idea just stems from having been a passenger in a later model van a few times and the cabin was filled with engine noise.
      Kai F. Lahmann
      • 3 Years Ago
      Volkswagen serious about it's heritage? Good joke. They only care about Type 1 (Beetle) and Type 2 (Bus). Only 0,1% of all VW Type 4 (the "411" and "412" models) – 388 cars – were still remaining in 2010. The *total* opposite is Mercedes-Benz. About every third vintage car you can see on shows is a Mercedes-Benz. Also it's still common to see up to 50 (!) year old Mercedes-Benz cars in normal traffic (W110, W114, W111, W108, C107). A very special thing is the W123: These cars are between 37 and 26 years old and estimates are about 10% of there cars a remaining and they are *still* a common sight on the road!
      Tony Soel Hamid
      • 3 Years Ago
      I loved VW,....!
      Britt Grannis
      • 3 Years Ago
      VW is far from loyal to it's older VW owners. Remember the "lawsuits" they brought to bare on the aftermarket VW parts suppliers, VW clubs a few years ago.
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