New Kid on the block: T3 Joker

22 05 2016

A new bus in our neighborhood! It is a VW T3 (or T25 or Vanagon) which was produced in Germany between 1979 and 1992. And it is a Joker, a campervan which was sold directly by Volkswagen, but with a camper conversion from Westfalia. The German T3 Wikipedia page lists the different T3 Westfalia campervan conversions sold by Volkswagen as the models Camping (till autumn 1983), Joker, Joker Plus, California and Atlantic. So the Joker is a predecessor of the first California, which VW builds up to now, and nowadays independent of Westfalia. There is a beautiful blog post by WildAboutScotland on the history of the California. With the extra front grill below the head light grill this bus already comes with a water-cooled engine, so it is rather from post-1982. The early T3s still came with air-cooled flat four engines taken over from the late T2/bay window buses. Wikipedia is not very informative on the different T3 Joker generations, but the Volkswagen Westfalia T3 Camper van site provides a lot of background information. Looking at the available color options at the time, this bus is ivory beige (German elfenbeinweiß, VW color code L567). The high top version here was apparently added to the model range only in the late 1980s (model Joker 3 or Joker 4, depending on the interior set up). The earlier Jokers rather came with pop-up roofs instead of hard tops. Interesting that the head lights are round and not yet rectangular. Anyway, welcome to our neighborhood, good to have more kombis around!

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Awesome Mercedes Classic Camper!

23 04 2015

What an awesome classic camper! It is a Mercedes 206 D. Daimler-Benz built this transporter type between 1970 and 1977. In their nomenclature 206 D means it can carry up to two tons of cargo and comes with a sixty horse power diesel engine. This one is in beautiful condition, looks fully restored and comes with a German classic car registration. The bulge running around the van at chest hight looks very much like a design element borrowed from the split window and bay window VW buses of the 50s, 60s and 70s. Different to the VW kombi, the engine here is at the front, so there is a lot of space for the motor home in the back.
Before Mercedes built this transporter its predecessor was originally developed by the Hamburg company Tempo under the model name Matador. Tempo was bought in 1967 by Hanomag, Hanomag merged 1969 with Henschel to Hanomag-Henschel which, in 1970, was taken over by Daimler-Benz. The outer shape of the transporter remained the same from a face lift in 1967 onwards (then the Hanomag models F20 to F35). The Mercedes trucks were sold as models L 206 D, L 207, L 306 D and L 307. The transporters from all these companies were collectively called the “Harburger transporter” which has this (German) Wikipedia site.

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High Roof Late Bay Campervan

10 11 2013

Another Berlin kombi, photos taken in July when this van parked around the corner for a couple of weeks. Front wheel box and cushion covers (green-orange-yellow plaid) look very much like a Westfalia campervan conversion, but the roof is unusual. Not sure whether Westfalia actually installed permanent high roofs on late bays. And on top of the high roof is another pop-up roof. I can see that having head room and extra storage room permanently is useful, seeing how small these campers are.

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