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A quid short of £25k is strong money in anyone’s terms, especially when it buys something that first turned a wheel on the UK’s roads 36 years ago.
But such is the love for VW’s fabled T2 van that such exalted prices are now what the market will stand. And this example, brought to you courtesy of our friends at Woodleigh Motor Sales of Grassmoor, Derbyshire, is that rare beast: one that shows no signs of ever having been mucked about with. It sits at the correct height from the road surface, rides on period-correct steelies with hub caps and its cabin is refurbished as original. The shades-of-brown paneling and seats is as you’d expect, and just what you’d want. It also has a lift-up roof to create proper sleeping space within. We’d quibble, though, with the ad’s claim that it’ll sleep up to six, though. Well, maybe that’s true – but only if you are young, skinny and very, very tired!
All said, it is kitted much as it left the factory back in 1978. Importantly, while many T2s for sale are left-hand drive Euro-imports, this is a UK car and so has the tiller on the ‘proper’ side of the cabin. It’s had a recent respray, for sure, but wisely whoever sanctioned it has kept to its very-1970s orange-and-white colourway. Inside, there’s a sink, cooker and a three-way fridge (‘three-way’ means that it’ll operate using the van’s 12-volt system, 240-volt mains hook-up, or gas power). It also has an external socket so that you can hook up to the mains at camp-sites, and it also features a ‘leisure’ battery, a second power source for lighting and other uses whenever at a stop.
The 2.0-litre petrol motor is original and has covered just 41,000 miles. This motor is rated at 70bhp, making it a sluggard in modern traffic. And, while known for toughness, it’s on the cards that this unit will have lost power with age. So long hauls, fully laden, on motorways will be conducted at a leisurely 50mph maximum: speedy, it won’t be. In truth, if you’ve only ever driven ‘modern’ cars or vans, piloting a T2 will be a shock. Back then un-assisted steering was nothing to be afraid of because hauling the wheel around at parking speeds gave greater benefit than a gym work-out, while getting the brakes to respond necessitated a meaty shove on the pedal.
No, a bus such as this is more about being there than getting there. At the festival camp site, in one of these you become the coolest kids on the tent-block. As we said earlier, £24,995 is a lot of money. But if we had it to hand, somehow we might just buy this bus – it has too much character just to pass by.
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