Lizzie Pope
Digital Editor

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Discover the story behind this rather special, completely restored VW camper van that’s heading to auction and is ready to be enjoyed once more

Love VW camper vans? Then you’ll want to find out more about this 58-year-old model that’s set to be auctioned next month.

This 1959 Volkswagen 23-Window Samba Camper Van has undergone a painstaking restoration, and will be sold resplendent in its original colours of Beige White and Sealing Wax Red.

That it was supplied new as a right-hand-drive ’van adds to its rarity, as it’s understood that very few right-hand-drive examples were made.

As good as new?

When it rolled off the production line in Germany in 1959 it was shipped to South Africa. With is eight small skylight windows and sunroof, it was surely perfect for soaking up the sun.

It remained in South Africa until 2005, when it was imported to the UK. At that point, this VW camper van’s new owner treated his purchase to an exhaustive, three-year restoration, involving a bare-metal strip down and the removal of every single nut and bolt.

Being a cabinet-maker, he was able to restore the camper van’s original woodwork. He also replaced the chromework, the interior trim and the window frames, as well as giving the VW a respray.

He went to great lengths to source original parts – possibly one reason the work took so long! – including the semaphore-style indicators which came from America.

The only area in which this camper van isn’t original is when it comes to its engine. This 1.6-litre unit has been built by Bear VW Services in Birmingham, the same company that rebuilt the manual gearbox. It has covered just 2100 miles since its restoration.

Hard work pays off

This VW camper van is due to be sold by Classic Car Auctions (CCA) on Saturday 10 June 2017, at the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre.

And the exacting work of that restoration has been rewarded, as it has been valued at between £45,000 and £55,000 by the auction house.

Simon Langsdale, classic car consignor at CCA, adds: “A right-hand-drive, 1959 Samba is rare enough, but combine this with an authentic ‘Devon’ interior, only available in that year, and you have one very special bus!

“How the owner managed to source all original parts is quite extraordinary, and this has to be one of the most original, restored campers anyone can find anywhere, as well as a true testament to VW appreciation.”

There can be very few VW camper vans for sale that are as distinctive as this!

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