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1978 VW Bay Window Camper Van

Guide Price

£15,000 to £18,000

  • Mileage~15,586 on clock
  • TransmissionManual
  • Engine1.6-litre
  • LocationShifnal, Shropshire


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ENDS IN: 56 Days 12 Hr 51 Min51 Sec




Paul Wright
Professional Consigner and Automotive Editor

Camper vans were used as ambulances, transport and panel vans for various commercial businesses - aside from being a mobile holiday home.

The VW camper van is probably one of the most iconic and recognisable van, bus, or pickups ever made. Development for the project started in 1948, and in 1950 the T1 was released for general sale by Volkswagen. It wasn't until the swinging '60s when the VW T1 became hugely popular, and is strongly associated with the influential cultural movement as the T1 was perfect, with its low running and maintenance costs, whilst providing a place to live.

The T1 was in production until 1967 when the new design, T2, came along; the second generation VW T2. Commonly known as the bay-window, the T2 is slightly larger and heavier than its predecessor, and was given the 47 bhp 1.6 litre engine and a 12 volt electrical system.

The T2 continued to grow in popularity and also development, with VW introducing small and subtle changes every year up until 1973, when this model became known as the late-bay with its high level front indicators, gear and accelerator linkage improvements and different bumpers. The late-bay model, the same as we have here, was in production up until 1979.

Alison, the owner, has succeeded in fulfilling her dream of owning a camper van for weekends away and day trips to the coast. But with a hectic work schedule and commitments, it has meant that the use of the T2 has been very minimal.

This auction listing was written from information supplied by Paul after meeting Alison the owner, and having visited and photographed the vehicle.

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Secure Auctions

We verify all our sellers and buyers to keep our community safe whilst also providing the highest levels of website security.

Full Transparency

8 out of 10 people that buy cars via our service don’t feel the need to visit due to the transparency and thoroughness of our listings.

Vehicle Delivery

We're there every step of your buying journey and will even arrange pick-up and delivery of your new vehicle.

Meet the owner

The idea of loading up the camper van and setting off for the weekend has been something I've wanted to do for many years - we got the van just how we wanted it, so that we would be able to do this.

Alison has always fancied a camper van as a weekend toy, something she and her husband could jump into and take off, for an enjoyable weekend away. Touring around was always the plan, and let's face it, you don’t even have to go far away but you'll feel like you are miles away, just because you’re away from the normal life at home. This is what Alison and her husband wanted.

The camper was purchased in 2017, and had some extensive work carried out converting it into just how they wanted it. The work was completed in 2018, and a few trips out have been enjoyed, but unfortunately with lifestyle and work commitments, the weekends away haven't happened as regularly as they would have liked, and so the T2 is unfortunately being sold so that, hopefully, someone will be able to enjoy more regular trips away in it.

Vehicle Owner

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White over blue and plenty of windows, which were replaced in 2018 when this camper van conversion was completed.

Wheels and Tyres

The wheels are the original steels, which have been finished in white, with the hubcap also painted a blue and white combination. The wheels are in good order with just a couple of rust spots dotted about - a very easy Saturday afternoon’s work would rectify this.

The tyres are all matching Nexen and in good condition, with a small amount of wear to them.


The bodywork on the VW all looks to be in good shape, with no obvious signs of any repairs having been carried out. Originally, the T2 came from South Africa in 2017, which is always a good sign on the corrosion side of things. Externally the van is as it came from South Africa, but has had all of the rear windows replaced.

The front panel appears to be nice and straight with no dents. There is some slight corrosion to the top offside corner and some blistering at the lower edge of the windscreen.

Around to the sides of the T2, the door gaps align equally around the edges but, with new door seals fitted, the doors don't sit flush due to the newness of the seals. Hopefully, as time goes on, these will bed in then the door catch will be able to be adjusted for a flush fit. The double side doors align well, with the gap to the middle a little smaller than around the edges.

Around to the rear and the boot lid opens and closes as it should, and also aligns as it should. The engine cover sits a touch lower to one side and not quite as flush, as it should to the bottom edge of the opposite side. This may just need a little fettle to straighten it up.

Please see the gallery for more detailed images.


Finished in white over blue, the T2 was repainted before it came to the UK in 2017. Generally the camper presents itself very well. There are just an odd few blisters at the bottom edge of the front panel, and some to a couple of the seams around the bus which have started to appear.

There is also an odd few chips to some of the door edges, but nothing that couldn't easily be touched in.

The bumpers are painted white to match the top half, and these are both free from any scuffs. There is some paint that has started to lift on one of the swage lines on the top of the roof, but not really noticeable.

Please see the image gallery for more detailed shots.

Glass and Trim

One of the biggest selling points of the lovely T2 is the amount of glass, it makes it nice and light inside thanks to the addition of the curved rear windows. The rare curved corner windows were one of the main things that drew Alison to the bus. All the extra light makes it feel much more spacious.

The rear glass has all been replaced, with new seals, so shrinking seals is not an issue. There are a couple of scratches on the driver’s side window, but not a hard job to replace, and with parts readily available, just a couple of hours work would have this completed.


Freshly retrimmed, with a new Vanwurks kitchen, means the T2 is ready to tackle any trip you have planned.

Seats and Carpets

The seats in the T2 are all in excellent condition having been retrimmed not so long ago, and since then they've not had any real use. In the front is a single driver’s seat with a double passenger seat to the side. These are trimmed in white and blue vinyl to continue the colour theme throughout the bus. The door panels have also been covered to match, and are in excellent condition.

Into the back of the camper is where it becomes your home for the weekend, with a new Vanwurks kitchen which consists of a fridge, gas storage compartment, sink, (will need water), and a two ring hob all sitting neatly behind the driver’s seat. The rear seat has also been trimmed to match the fronts, but this of course is a rock 'n' roll bed, doubling up as the sleeping arrangements.

A grey fitted carpet covers the floor area which is in excellent condition.


The dashboard has a couple of small splits to the top, probably caused by the warm climate in South Africa. The instruments are working apart from the odometer, which no longer counts the miles and it stopped at ~15,586.

The switch gear is reported to be working as it should.

Please see the interior gallery for more detailed shots.

Steering Wheel / Gear Stick

The steering wheel is a three spoke aftermarket item which is in good condition.

The gear knob looks to be the original in good order with no obvious wear.


An air-cooled 1600 cc powers the camper van along with ease - not the fastest, but who needs fast when you’re this relaxed.

Engine and Gearbox

The 1600 cc starts up fine and sparks into life with the typical sound of an air-cooled VW. The engine sounds just as it should, with no untoward noises coming from the bay. There is a small amount of oil to the underside of the engine, but don’t most air-cooled VW’s have this?

The four-speed manual gearbox is in excellent order following a rebuild in May 2018, where it was also fitted with a new clutch, and since then it’s not covered many miles. The change is smooth, and the T2 pulls as well as you would expect through all the gears.

The engine bay has a socket for a 240 volt hook up point fitted. This would power the 240 volt socket to the base of the rear seat.

Suspension and Brakes

The T2 sits just as it should, and looking to the underside, there looks to be very minimal corrosion to any of the suspension components.

Bringing the van to a halt, nice and safely, the brakes have been given an overhaul with any parts replaced that needed it. Alison reports that the van stops just fine with no brake judder, or pulling to either side.

The Drive

Quite literally home-from-home but on a smaller scale, the T2 is perfect for touring around. It has everything you need, including the kitchen sink!

Alison and her husband have enjoyed a few trips out since the van was completed but unfortunately not as many as they would have liked due to work commitments. The ones they have had, have been thoroughly enjoyed.

Electrics and Other

The cooker is in as new condition and would just need some gas to power it up. There is the Vanwurks fridge which is quite an ample size. There is a circuit breaker located under the rear seat, along with the all important Propex heater should it get a little nippy at night.

In the engine bay is a leisure battery which has recently been replaced.

History and Paperwork

South African import means that the dry climate has been extremely kind to the bay window.

When Alison got the T2, it had been used as a van for weddings for its first year in the UK. Whilst in good condition it wasn't quite as she wanted. It was shipped off for a full interior refit, seats and Vanwerks kitchen.

There has also been plenty of work to the steering, and a rebuild of the gearbox to stop it jumping out of gear.

All of the work totalled in excess of ~£8,000, to get the van just as she wanted.

The V5 is present and shows 1 previous keeper.

There is currently no MOT on the VW as it is exempt. The last one expired on 15th May 2019.

We’ve done all our usual seller checks including photo ID, V5, and the vehicle is HPI clear.

Service History
Date Type Mileage
16.05.2018 MOT 15,586
05.05.2018 Gearbox Rebuild & Clutch
06.11.2017 Brake Adjustment
11.04.2017 MOT 15,889
Key Details
  • ModelBay Window Minibus
  • TransmissionManual
  • Reg. Date01.01.1978
  • CC1599cc
  • Mileage~15,586 - Clock Stopped
  • HistorySome
  • ColourWhite over Blue
  • Interior ColourWhite and Blue
  • Chassis #20630054778
  • Engine #SFAS444372
  • MOTNo - Exempt
  • MOT ExemptYes
  • Road Tax ExemptYes
  • HPi ClearYes - Clear
  • Former Keepers1
  • VisitedYes
  • Sale TypePrivate
  • OwnedYes
  • Key FeatureRead for Action

Auction Bidding

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Current Bid: £2,000

Ends : Mon 18th October

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Auction Views : 362
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Vehicle Location

Shifnal, Shropshire

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