Samba is on the ball

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week - clas­s­ic­ca­rauc­

The first (and be­lieved to be the only sur­viv­ing) right-hand drive Volk­swa­gen Samba 23-win­dow camper­van is be­ing of­fered at auction next month.

Clas­sic Car Auc­tions has a £45,00055,000 es­ti­mate on the ve­hi­cle, which has been com­pletely re­stored in the orig­i­nal colour com­bi­na­tion of Beige White and Seal­ing Wax Red, at its War­wick­shire Ex­hi­bi­tion Cen­tre sale on 10 June.

Orig­i­nally ex­ported from Ger­many to South Africa in 1959, the sought-af­ter Samba fea­tures eight small sky­light win­dows and a sun­roof, and spent 40 years in warmer climes be­fore be­ing brought to the UK.

Its new Bri­tish owner car­ried out a full restora­tion that in­volved ac­quir­ing orig­i­nal parts – in­clud­ing semaphore in­di­ca­tors – from the US. A cabi­net maker by trade, he re­stored the orig­i­nal wood­work us­ing a Devon in­te­rior. The only de­vi­a­tion from orig­i­nal spec is a 1600cc twin-port en­gine built by Bear VW Ser­vices in Birm­ing­ham. The com­pany also rebuilt the gear­box.

Si­mon Langs­dale, CCA’s clas­sic car con­signer, says: ‘A right-hand drive 1959 Samba is rare enough, but com­bine this with an au­then­tic Devon in­te­rior, only avail­able in that pro­duc­tion year, and you have one very spe­cial bus!

‘How the owner man­aged to source all orig­i­nal parts is quite ex­tra­or­di­nary. This has to be one of the most orig­i­nal, re­stored campers any­one can find, as well as a tes­ta­ment to VW ap­pre­ci­a­tion.’

No ex­pense has been spared in restor­ing this 1959 VW Samba to orig­i­nal con­di­tion.

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