Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Epic Battle -


Cor­ro­sion is the num­ber one en­emy for all camper own­ers. Get up a lad­der and look at the roof – es­pe­cially if there’s a pop-top or lift­ing sec­tion – and gut­ter­ing. Work through all the pan­els and doors be­fore tak­ing a thor­ough look at the chas­sis. The con­di­tion of the paint­work can re­veal many mal­adies. Look out for any or all of the fol­low­ing: or­angepeel ef­fect, cracks, dim­ples and mi­crob­lis­ter­ing. Dam­age to a gloss sur­face can of­ten re­sult from rust lurk­ing be­neath. VW power units are rugged and sim­ple and if well main­tained can give you years of fine ser­vice. Look out for signs of dis­persed oil within the en­gine bay; check the sur­round­ing tin­ware and rub­ber seals. If the in­te­rior’s tired, take into ac­count that, while there are many prod­ucts avail­able to rem­edy this, they come at a price. So do bud­get ac­cord­ingly. Find some­one who knows all about air­cooled en­gines and get them to sur­vey a po­ten­tial pur­chase even if you have to pay them for this ser­vice – it could be the best money you’ve ever spent.


Rot is one of the rea­sons why you don’t see too many of these on the road; scarcity of parts is an­other. You’ll find used pan­els oc­ca­sion­ally, oth­er­wise you’ll have to re­pair what you have or get new ones fab­ri­cated. The hinged, el­e­vated roof needs to be in tip-top con­di­tion; and that equally char­ac­ter­is­tic stripy plas­tic ma­te­rial doesn’t come cheap. If wa­ter has got in through the roof it could af­fect the in­te­rior/floor­pan. The en­gine is reached via an ex­ter­nal bon­net hatch and a panel be­tween the front footwells. Mo­tors are ei­ther a hard-work­ing 1508cc units in early mod­els, 1594cc in later ones. Loud gear­boxes will need re­build­ing or re­plac­ing al­to­gether. If lu­bri­cant lev­els have run low the trans­mis­sion will be vo­cal; look for leaks from oil seals. Orig­i­nal ex­ter­nal bright­work and in­ter­nal fit­tings will not be easy to source. Early fur­ni­ture was made from thin wood cov­ered with melamine that rot­ted eas­ily. En­sure the fold­ing seats that make into beds work as they should.

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