The T3 vanagon arrives in the ads!

26 02 2017

There is a new ad by the Dutch bank ING-DiBa which, for the first time, sports a T3 vanagon! The german line translates roughly into “car loan for people with their own mind”. So far split-window buses dominated ads and TV commercials for many products. Some years ago the T2 bay window buses appeared on the stage as well. Now it seems the T3 has also been recognized for its emerging coolness factor. Seeing that about 99% of the Berlin kombi club members are proud owners of T3s, I have also warmed up to them over the years. With the engine in the rear and the very early T3 buses still with air-cooled engines, they are certainly much closer to the splitties and bays than any of the later generations. In certain parts of “cool Berlin” you would see several T3 vans parking in every street, often as self-made campervan conversions. If only because the T2s are now so rare and expensive that the T3s have become the affordable entry ticket into VW-bus based campervans. Judiging from the high wheel houses, this one is probably a Syncro (4-wheel drive) and also not a factory-built campervan. The roof rack with canoe and ex-army aluminum boxes completes the “camper-credibility”. And it even does not hide the little problems that come with such old cars (rubber sealing at the sliding door is partly out of position). Nice!

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PS: In 2013 ING-DiBa had a TV commercial campaign staring a T1 split-window, along the lines of “Make your dream come true with a car loan. Get yourself a split-window bus.”, see also this older blog post. Below a screen shot and the link to the commercial on Youtube

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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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Happy New Year from Berlin!

31 12 2014

Two days ago the snow arrived in Berlin! Two days later, it’s mostly gone again. But we had two great winter days, with lots of pulling our 3-year-old on a sled around our block and through the nearest park. No winter pictures of our buses, so below is a beautifully snowed in T3/T25 Atlantic Vanagon from our neighborhood. Thanks for coming to my blog and following it over the last year. Wishing you all the best for the New Year!

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