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This isn’t, of course, a classic Volkswagen T2 camper van. Never mind the big VW motif on its nose: the asking price alone is a mere quarter of what you’d expect to give for a real one is this good a fettle.
It is a Subaru Sambar, offered via Autoweb.co.uk by our friends at DCY Europe www.dcyeurope.com, who specialise in importing Japan-market used cars to these shores. Thius model was never sold officially in the UK, but city-bound Japanese love tiny minibuses like this because they’ll thread nimbly through streets that are narrow and incredibly traffic-jammed. What’s more, this Subaru’s baby engine and tiny dimensions confer tax and ownership benefits to urban-dwellers – not least the ability to use parking space specially allocated for such tiny vehicles.
In the UK, it’s usefulness will also come good. There are four seats, each with plenty of leg- and headroom, while those twin sliding doors are a blessing whenever you wish to use a car park and load/unload your kids or elders. Oodles of access space and no fear that neighbouring vehicles will accidentally collect door-dings. There’s also plenty enough space for luggage.
Inside, a red and cream dash and matching trim make the cabin a jolly place to sit. There’s a big, lidded storage space in the dash and big trays, too, to house your personal bits’n’bobs. This one has covered 62,000 miles, which is low for its age, and the seller warrants it as correct. There’s a year’s MoT test ticket and DCY will put a three-month warranty on the vehicle, too.
The Sambar has a 660cc motor powering the back wheels. This one has a manual gearbox, allowing the driver to better exploit its modest power. While it’s not one to comfortably take on a cross-Continent cruise, it’ll potter happily, if noisily around town.
Insuring one? You’ll need a specialist but there is a good choice of Japan-import specialists that’ll find you cover for a fair price – Mr Google should be your friend here. For spare parts and servicing, DCY can help, although the Sambar is pretty straightforward mechanically, so any garage worth using should be more than capable of routine work.
So – there you have it. Looks like a VW camper that’s shrunk in the rain, handy enough to transport four, plus luggage and won’t cost much to buy or run. A winner on many front – just don’t expect to take it to a VW club meeting and be warmly welcomed, though.
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