Our Top Five... Classic and collectible Volkswagen camper vans


With its fold away beds and tables, sinks and cookers, the Volkswagen camper, or bus in the US, has been the starting point for many an adventure.

Many of us go misty eyed at the mention of the Volkswagen Type 2, as it is officially known, as we remember road trips, weeks exploring the Californian coast, or, for British readers, eating chips as the rain comes down in Margate.

First built in 1950, the popularity of the Type 2 reached its peak in the 1960s as a symbol for the hippie movement.

Today, these early classic models are as popular as ever, but this time it's collectors buying them up. Here's our top five…

1952 VW Barndoor Westfalia Camper - $38,500


A wonderful example of one of the earliest production Type 2s, this beautiful machine sold for $38,500 at RM Auctions in 2006.

Featuring a split-screen windshield, around 1000 of these models were produced by coachbuilder Westfalia between 1951 and 1958.

From 1955, VW Westfalia owners had the option of tent and awning additions. This machine predates such luxuries.

1962 VW Double Cab - $40,000


Based on the Type 2 design, this unusual looking pick-up made $40,000 at a Barrett-Jackson auction earlier this year.

Featuring a highly-unusual double cab, this three-speed machine is a very rare early model from 1962 and is a real head turner wherever it goes.

1961 VW Micro Bus Double Door Camper - $47,300


This restored camper with its extremely rare double doors on both sides is the perfect vehicle for a week or two on the road.

After being in storage for more than 35 years, it has been spruced up to include a new luggage rack and canvas awning.

The Caravelle Camper company, one of the first US camper conversion companies, fitted out this model with its original interior equipment back in the 1960s.

It sold for $47,300 at Barrett-Jackson in 2009.

1965 VW 21 Window Samba Bus Custom - $82,500


With its cloth, rollback sunroof, vintage luggage rack and picnic basket, this Samba bus is ready for the beach.

Featuring the highest specifications for its year, it has recently undergone significant restoration work, including a completely rebuilt engine.

It sold at Barrett-Jackson for $82,500 in 2011.

1963 VW 23 Window bus - $217,000


Auctioneer Barrett-Jackson calls this beauty "one of the most desirable vehicles in the world". Featuring 23 windows, the manual transmission machine includes documentation from the VW factory in Germany where it was made.

Having recently undergone a seven-year restoration, it is now just as it was in 1963, right down to the original radio and the correct decal on the engine.

It recently won the "best bus" award at the VW Classic show in the US and sold for $217,000 at Barrett-Jackson in 2011.


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