South Australian Sopru Camper

14 12 2015

South Australian Sopru Campervan, spotted some weeks ago in Lorne, Victoria, with the evening sun in the background. Color may be Flipper Blue (CLR529). Pretty bad rust at the front mask and at the usual places, but hey, still cruising!


1977 Australian Sopru Campervan

27 04 2014

Here comes a VW campervan conversion I haven’t seen before: Spotted at last weekend’s National VW Club Bug-In in Geelong, Australia, this one is from a company called Sopru from Adelaide in South Australia. The owner told me they still existed and that at the time they were one of the campervan converters officially approved by Volkswagen. This one comes with the less usual automatic gear box and the 2L CJ engine. The pop-up roof looks like a Devon conversion, but differs in detail. Kitchen set-up with fridge and cooker behind the passenger seat, similar to the Westfalia Helsinki set-up (here is a web site with more photos of the interior of a similar 1972 Sopru conversion). Aussie roo bar with spare wheel at the front, and a rain water drain tube attached to the roof rack, as practical solution for tent poles etc. Cool “VW Campmobile” label at the rear lid, and 1970ies color strip along the sides, probably both from the original Sopru conversion. What a great campervan!

PS: Thanks to Earth Jive for setting me on the right track with Sopru, not Sapru! Had that wrong in the first version of this post.












Hire-a-Kombi on the Bellarine, Victoria

16 04 2017

Last weekend was a special treat for me as the kombi fan in the family. Our friends Jodi and Campbell rented a campervan from Hire-a-Kombi and we spent a camping weekend together on the Mornington peninsula. So last Saturday, we picked up the camper together. Hire-a-Kombi are located on the Bellarine highway (1830 Bellarine Hwy, Marcus Hill VIC 3222). On that day, three of their eight kombis were getting ready for pick-up: In addition to our campervan “Clancy”, an orange-and-white 1974 Westfalia camper, two eight-seater buses were ready for use as wedding limousines: Layla is a mustard-yellow T2ab hybrid from 1972. Harriett is a cream white T2b late bay window bus.


Clancy, our 1974 Westfalia campervan


Layla (mustard yellow) and Harriett (cream white), the two wedding limousines


And there was another beautiful kombi that looked ready for action, an orange Sopru campervan (see this older post on another Sopru). The color could be Riverina Orange (Australian VW color code CLR722). She is not yet on the web site of Hire-a-Kombi, but perhaps about to join the fleet soon?


The Sopru campervan

In addition to these ready-to-drive kombis, there was an amazing armada of old kombis and campervans, lined up along one side of the property. Some are future projects, some others may serve as spare part supplies. We had stumbled over this kombi parade already at the end of 2015, see this older blog post, but it was, again, an impressive sight. Great start into our “kombi weekend” – more to come soon!



Geelong Sleeping Beauty

17 05 2016

Here is a late bay window kombi we saw last November somewhere in suburbia in Geelong, Australia. It is a Sopru campervan which may have started its life in yellow and was then re-sprayed in light green. Sopru pop-up roof and Sopru roo bars at the front. Front wall panels and bench matrasses in the rear newly upholstered at some point. Furniture in there rear looks a bit self-built, but then I do not know the Sopru conversions in detail. Another customer of “V-Dubs Only“. Looks like put away and waiting for the next holiday season. Hope it has a lot of holiday trips ahead!





Sage Green Berlin Westfalia Camper

30 04 2016

We are back in Germany, so no more Australian Soprus or Sunliners. Westfalia is again the dominant camper van conversion, if you lucky to see a bay window bus on the road at all. Here is a particularly beautiful example, spotted last October in Berlin, when walking wonder-daughter home from Kindergarden. It comes with a Late Bay Westfalia fold-up roof with an additional roof rack on the top. FIAMMA Carry Bike bike rack on the rear door, same we have for our Taiga Lily. Beautiful fresh paint job in authentic 1970ies sage green (Taiga Grün, L63H). Advertising for “” (German for Bus Stop Berlin) – look at this, another VW bus specialist garage in Berlin! Beautiful green Westfalia plaid seat covers on all seats and benches. Original-looking Westfalia kitchen block. Left side with a louvered or jalousie window in the middle (looks old/original) and a sliding window in the rear (probably newer version, added later). I admit I am slightly biased when it comes to sage green kombis, but this is a fantastic bus!

PS: Small world, and small Berlin: Met the owner of this very same bus two years ago when we parked next to him at a local DIY market, for a sage green family meeting.




VolksAir, a Geelong-based VW Garage

12 01 2016

Three weeks ago I had a chance to visit VolksAir, a garage specialised on air-cooled Volkswagens in North Geelong, where a wrecked blue-and-white kombi at the entrance shows the way. For those interested, I will add the address and telephon number in the VW garage list above. It is always exciting to enter a workshop filled with kombis, and it was great chatting with the owner, Frank, who has been a kombi mechanic and fan for decades. I had already visited this garage during our last visit to Australia in April 2014, so below are some photos from December 2015 (with a blue and white Sopru camper on the left) and two snapshots from April 2014 (with two campers and a highroof kombi). The yellow Sopru camper is from 1975 and there are some more photos of it in this older blog post. Thanks to Frank for taking the time to show me around!




A Subway / MuzzBuzz Coffee Van

9 01 2016

This kombi used to park at an intersection in Geelong on a corner shared by a Subway restaurant and Muzz Buzz, a drive-through coffee place. Interesting paintjob: Depending on the angle you look at it, it would look like a billboard for Subway or like a Muzz Buss coffee van (love the “Mobile Caffeine Response Unit”). Perhaps they served the coffee out of this van before the little coffee shop on the site was erected? I believe this was originally a Sopru camper. Suddenly I see Soprus everywhere. The pop-up roof looks like a Sopru, and the typical Sopru front roo bar has been chopped down to a front wheel support. The seats are newly upholstered in the Muzz Buzz colors. When I took these photos in April 2014, it was retired from active service, parked in a corner and had suffered from a break-in (window in driver’s door smashed and shattered over the front seats, fixed with a plexiglass). Now, 18 months later, it is gone. Hope it is on good hands and perhaps has started its next life.

Aireys Billboard Kombi

21 12 2015

Taiga Green late bay campervan used as eye-catcher for the restaurant “The Captain of Aireys” in Aireys Inlet, located between Angle Sea and Lorne on the Great Ocean Road. Rear roo bars look like from a Sopru camper, but the front bars are more massive than the Soprus I have seen so far. The pop-up roof also looks different. Jalousie window with only two tiles, opposite the sliding door. Haven’t seen one of those before. Plastic extensions on the rear air inlets for the engine to get more air funneled into the engine bay, for better cooling. Certainly caught my eye!




Kombi Spotting: The Next Generation

9 12 2015

When the four-year-old has become a better VW bus spotter than the parents: Casual comment from the backseat while we were waiting at a traffic light in Geelong, “Look, there is an orange Bulli over there.” And there it was, hidden from our view by other cars, and spotted early enough for daddy to take a snapshot. Very proud of my big girl!

P.S. Beautiful Aussie campervan with pop-up roof, small front roof rack, windscreen visor and the full roo bar set-up with front spare tire. But not sure from which campervan conversion company. Looks different from the Sunliners and Dormobiles I have seen so far, but this type is also quite common down here.

P.S.S. It is a Sopru! Thanks to Bevan and Inheritanceorg for pointing this out. I had learnt about Soprus 18 months ago, see the beautiful Sopru campervan in this older post, but did not make the connection.


Geelong Late Bay Camper

13 06 2014

1975 campervan spotted in May in Geelong, Australia. Roo bars back and front. Also a pop-up roof one sees a lot over there, but not sure which conversion (Sunliner, Sopru?). Nice original-looking color with 1970ies stripes on the side. Large roof rack bridging the pop-up roof, with awnings on both sides, and plastic tubes at front and rear for addional storage. Fan pull switch in the dashboard I did not know yet but have seen in many late bays during this visit. What a very cool and down-to-earth camper!

PS, @Zero-to-sixty: Gear shift scheme on this ash tray (and in all late bays on this Australia trip) without the N for Neutral. But all were T2b’s or T2a/b hybrids, no T2a’s. Greetings from Berlin!

PS2 (Jan 2016): It is a Sopru camper, not a Sunliner. See also this Sopru blog post.