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This stunning and extremely rare Westfalia camper was ordered new for tourist delivery and left the factory on August 15, 1960. As with most tourist delivery vehicles of the time, the original owner likely toured the European continent before returning home, which in this case was South Africa. It remained in Africa and was discovered in Zimbabwe in 1999 by one of Great Britain’s greatest Type 2 experts, Stephen Nolan, who brought it to his shop in the UK.
The bottom half of the Volkswagen had been repainted Sealing Wax Red, so Mr. Nolan decided to strip the bus to bare metal and return it to its rare original color of Light Grey. In correspondence on file, Mr. Nolan commented that the body was amazing, that there was no rust and that no new body panels were needed, a rarity among Volkswagen buses. The Volkswagen was then painted to original specifications. Mr. Nolan noted that the interior was incredible, and he found the original tent under the seat and the original upholstery underneath the later seat covers. The woodwork was also original. Mr. Nolan noted that there are about 12 known right-hand-drive Westfalias worldwide and he has only seen two in this condition. To summarize, he stated, “How many RHD Westfalias exist that have not had all the panels removed? This van is one of the rarest in the world."
Today, the Westfalia is remarkably complete and outfitted with a host of extremely rare and valuable accessories and important, rarely seen original Westfalia items. These include the original roof rack, original tent and cover, as well as rare period-correct accessory Hella side mirrors, a thermometer, fan, accessory outlet, compass, a seldom seen Autovox Transmobil pullout picnic radio and Hirschmann red tip wind wing antenna, the correct emka cups and flower vase, the correct stove, and correct child’s cot. The van also features a new freshwater tank that was made from a mould of an original by Mr. Nolan. The bus is also complete with the Westfalia hitch and accompanying electrical connections, an item usually installed at the dealer when new.
The consignor, a Type 2 expert and collector, acquired the bus from Mr. Nolan about three years ago and rebuilt the 1500 cc engine. He notes that the Westfalia is fitted with an aftermarket Freeway Flyer transmission upgrade making highway speeds much more pleasant. In 2018 the Westfalia won Best of Show at the Cruise at the Beach Car Show in Redondo Beach, California, as well as Best of Show at the Silverado VW Campout at Oak Canyon Park. In 2019, it won Best Commercial Bus from 1955–1961 at the famed 7th International Southern California Vintage VW Treffen show in Anaheim, California. The opportunity to acquire an original Westfalia Type 2 with all its fascinating period accessories is a rare enough opportunity on its own, but add to that its configuration in right-hand drive and you have one of the most unique and sought-after Type 2s in existence.