Our New Zealand Camper on a CD Cover!

25 02 2013

One of our photos from last year’s trip through New Zealand has just made it onto a CD cover! The bright blue campervan “Number 5” from Classic Campers now graces the cover of the new CD “Bright Blue World” by Courtney Leigh Heins, a singer/songwriter from Los Angeles. Courtney found the photo on my Flickr photo stream, fell in love with it and asked me whether she could use it for the cover, which I gladly agreed to.
The kombi, a 1975 late bay Devon camper, was parked on a rest site along the Summit Road on the Akaroa peninsula on the South island, overlooking the bay formed by an old volcanic crater. Here is the link to the Akaroa blog post and to the complete New Zealand road trip. The original photo is from the NZ album on my Flickr photo stream. Check out Courtney’s new CD – great music! You can find a video of one of the songs on the CD, “We were young”, on YouTube.

Now Courtney generously sent me several CDs and I’d like to give five away to readers of Campervancrazy. If you’d like a copy, please say so in the comments below!



New Zealand Bay Window Devon Camper

7 02 2012

We are on the ferry from Wellington on the North Island to Picton on the South Island of New Zealand. And at the top of the line of cars waiting for boarding was this beautiful 1973 bay window campervan. It is Devon conversion with the same pop-up roof as our 1975 Devon camper. The inside looks a bit different from our bus, no cooker and no sink unit, but two sitting benches in the back. I have just met the owners while walking around and rocking our baby daughter asleep on the passenger deck. Kirk and Jan, a lovely American/New Zealand couple in their early sixties who live in Seattle and have recently started to spend part of their time in New Zealand, Jan’s home country. They have been driving Vokswagens for all their lives, beetles, buses, a Karman Ghia, but are still most in love with the buses. They bought this one, with the 1600 cc/50 HP engine, about a year ago here in New Zealand and had it for a long time at the panel beater, getting the body in good shape again. It also just got a new paint job and now really looks fantastic.

Our NZ Campervan

4 02 2012

The kombi we are currently travelling NZ in is a 1975 T2b VW camper from Classic Campers. The campervan conversion is from the English company Devon Ltd. This company still exists and nowadays offers VW T5 campervan conversions, but the web page unfortunately has no useful information on their history and the camper conversions of the 1970ies VWs. Apparently the most common classic VW campervan conversions can be differentiated by the way their pop-up roofs operate: Devon conversions pop upwards altogether, Westfalia conversions fold up via hinges at the front or back of the bus, and Dormobile roofs fold up via a hinge along the side of the van. Our Devon camper has a nice large pop up roof which provides standing height for the back part of the car (if you are smaller then say 1.85m). The speedo is in miles-per-hour, with stickers reminding you of the relevant km/h, which are actually pretty useful. (The change to the metric system in New Zealand happened in December 1976, so our little camper predates it by one year.) Unusual 240V electricity inlet, sticking out from the side of the van – but I have seen this now with a number of older and also very modern campervans in NZ.

The gas cooker block, the sink unit and the rock-and-roll bench/bed are still original Devon. The kitchen block opposite the sliding door has been replaced by a more modern cup board with a 12V fridge.

The two-flame Devon cooker is pretty cool: Metal side boards fold up to form a chimney which protects the unit from wind and probably also the curtains from the flames. The complete block can swing out of the car so that one can cook either inside or outside the van. Fun to see this sophisticated seventies (or sixties?) design still working beautifully.

First bacon and eggs breakfast on the Devon cooker.

Anyway, it’s great to back in a kombi!

A happy blogger...