Volkswagen launched its second model, The Type-2 in 1951 which was initially based on the Type-1 more commonly referred to as the Beetle. When it was first launched, the bus was only available in two configurations: the Kombi with two side windows, middle and rear seats and the Commercial with a traditional van layout.
The history of Westfalia’s camper conversions began upon a special request by a British Army officer stationed in Germany in 1951 to equip a VW camper van as a portable home. Westfalia installed double doors between the B and C posts before kitting the van out with home comforts including a folding table, curtains and bed. The resulting bus was so multifunctional that Westfalia’s order book swelled and they soon went into full time production. The Westfalia camper created a feeling of freedom and independence that had been unthinkable up until that point.
Westfalia camper models were continually improved to include greater amounts of creature comforts including a folding roof, sound insulation and more storage amongst other things. This bus was built in the penultimate year of split screen German camper production and, being a SO42 model, it is one the highest prized by collectors and enthusiast alike.
Chassis 236105805 was sold new to Australia before being imported to the UK by Terry’s Beetle Services in 2008 and repainted in its original colour of Velvet Green. The current owner purchased the bus in 2010. The exterior of the bus features its original Westfalia roof rack, all original lights and lenses, Bosch spotlights, convex mirrors that look exactly as per the originals but afford better visibility, genuine original VW dealership fitted mud-flaps and a modern tow bar with full electrics. Neil Melliard painted all the sign written race livery, including the Porsche logo which is finished with 24 carat gold leaf.
The bus retains much of its original interior, complete with rock and roll bed, swivel table, built-in cool box, water tank, curtains and wardrobes. The bus comes with its original tool bag and jack and has a new German weave carpet set in the original colour. All the seals were replaced when the bus was repainted and it retains all its original glass with Securtit markings. The bus retains its original door cards and oak panelling which have been covered in a huge number of stickers that reflect the history of the bus and its participation in many of the world’s greatest events including Goodwood, Spa 6 Hours, GP Ice Race, the Porsche Heveningham Concours and Volksworld Show.
The bus benefits from a host of mechanical upgrades including a Type 2 Detectives IRS conversion with freeway flyer big ratio gearbox, their excellent handling kit (which includes Bilstein shocks and anti-roll bars both front and rear), both developed specifically for the Splitscreen bus, and uprated CSP discs at the front with brand new drums at the rear which are assisted by a Type 2 Detectives brake servo kit which hauls the bus, trailer and race car down from speed amazingly easily. It also features a brand new long range (60 litre) aluminium fuel tank.
The bus ran a standard 1,600cc engine for many years, but now benefits from a 2,332cc engine built in 2019 by the legendary Ian Clark of WPS Engines fame and features a new aluminium crankcase, 84mm Genuine Okrasa Crankshaft with 14lb 8 dowelled flywheel and stage 1 Kennedy clutch kit, Porsche journal Carrillo con rods, 94mm Mahle cylinders and stroker pistons, Engle 110 cam with straight cut gears and 1.25:1 ratio rockers, CB 044 heads ported and flowed for torque with 40 x 35.5mm stainless steel valves with dual springs, with the compression set at 8.5:1. Externally the engine features a 3.5qt deep sump, full flow oil system with external 32 row oil cooler and electric fan, 1 5/8” CSP Python SS exhaust system with matching CSP heat exchangers, 42mm DCNF Weber carbs on Berg manifolds with Berg linkage and Carter electric fuel pump and 12 volt electrics with Bosch 009 dizzy and Petronix electronic ignition. All this provides 180hp, and more importantly, tree-stump pulling torque.
The bus has been developed over a long period to be ultra-reliable and effective, so it has sensible quality of life upgrades including a wired in USB charger, electric oil temperature and pressure gauges in a pod under the dash, a brand new propane plumbed-in heater fitted under the back seat and sound deadening throughout the entire vehicle. The car now runs new 5.5 inch Porsche style rims on brand new Michelin all-weather tyres.
chassis number: 236105805
engine number: 60875
exterior colour: Velvet Green
build date: 31/01/66
- a much loved, extremely well developed bus in its original colour of Velvet Green
- built by a well-known historic racer to tow his Porsche 356 race car to international races, featuring an extremely tractable 180bhp 2,300cc WPS engine
- retaining many original trim and external details but with modern performance from uprated suspension and brakes
- simply the coolest bus in the paddock - all set for Goodwood Festival or Revival !