Our 1968 VW Camper Van

I bought my camper van back in 1990 when I was at Loughborough University studying Design. The van was purchased, for £750, so that I would have a vehicle to transport all my gear to Antwerp, Belgium - to take part in an exchange scheme - and I have owned her ever since, with a vow never to sell!!

The van is a 1968 Bay window. This was the first year of the Bay Window, as the design changed from the 'Split Screen' version of before. As such, there are a few features that can only be found on a 1968 model - great fun when trying to source parts - for example, the windscreen wipers or the front door handles! There are more fundimental design details that lasted from 1968-1972. These include the small rear lights and lower position front indicator lights, the more rounded air vents at the rear, the rounded bumpers and the shape of the engine bay lid - in my opinion it is these aesthetics that make this period of Bay Window van the most attractive. It retains some of the more curvy features from the iconic Split Screen model, before things got squared off on later Bays.

I am lucky enough to have the original documents that came with the van, including the log book and manual.

Registered in January 1968, I think the van was actually built in December '67, so she is pretty early!

Some history.

Note how long exhausts [didn't] last even back then.

The van is fitted with a single port 1600 engine, which has always performed brilliantly. From daily commuting, to 6000 mile touring trips around Europe, the engine has always been happy to chug along at 55mph all day long, with the odd burst up to 65mph on special occassions! The engine block itself is not the original that came with the van - like many vans this old, it has had a re-condition unit fitted in the past, however, all the ancillaries that bolt to it, such as the tinware and manifolds, are original, as far as I know.


 The van in camper mode, in about 1991

I have recently found out that my camper conversion is a 'Canterbury Pitt'. This was a conversion that had been used on Split Screen campers, and was then used on the Bay Window vans when they came out - however, Mr Pitt himself passed away in 1969, so apparently there are not many Bay Window campers with this particular interior.