There are few vehicles which can approach the Volkswagen van for sheer classic presence. Today, early examples of the first-generation models are so desirable that they can fetch more money than any current van on the market. That's mighty impressive for a vehicle which sold for very low prices when new. And who could possibly forget the Campervan conversions which were available right from the factory? Apparently, Volkswagen isn't completely unaware of its illustrious rear-engined past. The automaker has selected five Campervans to take part in a special part in this year's Vanfest, which takes place this month in the U.K. The five winners represent one model from each of the five generations that VW has been selling its commercial vans. Our favorite has got to be the 1966 split-window Transporter, complete with Safari windows. Seriously, as far as Campervans go, it just doesn't get any better than that. Looking at these past designs, we wonder how Volkswagen ended up choosing a restyled Chrysler minivan for its U.S. Routan. They can make up for it, at least a little bit, by cutting its roof off for a proper camping conversion. Yeah... not likely.
WINNERS OF VANFEST 'FIVE GENERATIONS OF CAMPERVAN' DISPLAY
The winning Volkswagen vans have been chosen for the 'Five generations of Campervan' display at Vanfest, Europe's largest gathering of Volkswagen vans, which takes place at the Three Counties Showground, Malvern from 12 to 14 September.
The competition for owners to have their vans selected for the special display and each receive £100 worth of items from the retro collection of Volkswagen merchandise was supported by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles and the organisers of Vanfest.
The oldest van chosen to represent the first generation of the Volkswagen Transporter is a valuable 1966 'split-screen' Samba entered by its proud owner Simon Callum.
The second generation 'bay window' model chosen for the display is Allan Ward's 1968 Devon Eurovette, while the third generation, often known as the T25 or 'wedge' is a 1990 Atlantic owned by Philip Clegg.
A red customised 2002 campervan conversion owned by Michael and Anne Whitburn represents the fourth generation of the Transporter, while Martin and Blanche Adams will have the newest van on display with their cool, black Volkswagen California camper complete with chrome accessories as an example of the current fifth generation model.
Over 10 million Volkswagen Transporters have been built since production started with the iconic 'split-screen' model in 1950, which must make the Transporter one of the most popular vans in the world.
Now in its fifth generation, today's California camper is now produced directly by Volkswagen at its own factory to the same high standards as all its vehicles, and sold in the UK with a three year warranty.
The versatile and practical design of Volkswagen campers has made them a great success for travelling as well as an every day vehicle. The latest California, for example, quickly transforms from a car that fits into multi-storey car parks, into a home from home with an electrically-operated pop-up roof, two double beds, kitchen with fridge, sink and two burner hob, a four-seater lounge with table, plus an outside table neatly stored in its side door with two deckchairs stowed in the tailgate.
The full retro collection of Volkswagen merchandise can be seen and purchased at www.volkswagenmerchandise.co.uk. For more details of the California camper, visit www.volkswagen-vans.co.uk/california, or call 0800 717131 for a brochure.