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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Dortmund!

25 05 2013

A sad night for Dortmund. The BVB, the local football team, lost in the Champions League Finale against Bavaria Munich. First time that two German teams were in the final, an exciting and quiet balanced match, all happening in England. And Munich wins – what a shame. I moved to Dortmund in 1995 and stayed for four good years. Great people, and an infectious excitement everywhere for the football club. I had bought the Old Lady, my first kombi van, just before I moved to Dortmund. Below is a snapshot from 1999, proudly taken on the day I had installed the spare wheel on the front. Nice Dortmund registration. Triggered the occasional smile with custom officers…

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Two Late Bay Crew Cabs

24 01 2013

Here are some photos of two Late Bay double cabins. The first one is from Geelong, Australia, photos taken in 2012. Painted in a cool matt black, including front and back bumpers and rims around the headlights. Boards around the cargo bay removed and cargo area covered with a wooden deck. Wheels could be Porsche Fuchs wheels. Not the most practical van but a very cool looking one.
The other one is from Hamburg, photos from 2005. Except for the improvised paintings, it is probably relatively close to original condition, just a bit run down. Color could be ivory white (color code L567). This paint was used for vehicles of rescue services like the German Red Cross. Perhaps this van started his life as a transporter with one of them. I guess the metal frame on the cargo area in the back may be original and may have been covered by tarps on each side. Now replaced with wooden panels so that the cargo space is more solidly covered. Nice sticker from a VW bus garage in Hamburg which actually still exists (VW Bus Service Mamèro).

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The Future is Waiting in the Background

6 08 2010

The two buses at the workshop hall in East Berlin. The past in front, the future waiting in the background…





Buses under Repair

30 07 2010

Both buses in the workshop at Berlin Ostkreuz. Aren’t T2s just the best old buses ever?