The last ever delivery of brand new Volkswagen campervans has arrived in Britain, heralding the end of an era for the iconic ‘hippy bus’.
Ninety-nine of the final batch of vans rolled off the production line and onto a container ship bound for Britain after manufacture ceased for good in Brazil in December.
They are the last brand new campers in all of Europe.
End of an era: The last new consignment ever of VW campervans arrives at Southampton docks
They don’t look much now: Danbury Motorcaravans will transform these vehicles with their empty interiors and factory white-paint jobs into luxury versions of the old classic
On the road: Another transporter arrives to deliver the last ever VW campervans to Danbury MotorCaravans in Yate, Bristol
They don’t look much now, with empty interiors and factory white paint job, but Danbury Motorcaravans will transform them into luxury versions of the old classic.
The Bristol-based company has been turning the VW vans, officially known as the Type 2 Kombi, into beloved campers since the model was first launched in 1950.
They have already sold all but 20 of the very last batch and say it will be a sad day when the last VW Type 2 leaves the factory.
The end of production, due to new health and safety laws in Brazil, is now pushing the price of second hand VW campers up.
‘These are the only new vans in the whole of Europe – it really is an end of an era,’ said Jason Jones, director of Danbury Motorcaravans.
‘The VW campervan is so iconic and so loved that it has barely changed shape in 60 years.
‘The new van has a modern engine so it’s much more reliable and economical but it’s effectively still the same van that was launched in 1950. It captured the hearts of so many people when it was launched and it continues to do so today.
‘A little known fact is that Volkswagen have never themselves made a camper.
‘They have only ever sold the ‘Type 2′ as vans which are then outfitted by coachbuilders around the world.’
Unloading at the Danbury plant: The Bristol-based company has been turning the VW Type 2 Komb vans into beloved campers since the model was first launched in 1950
‘It really is an end of an era’: Jason Jones of Danbury MotorCaravans hides peeks out from among the rows of brand-new vehicles
High demand: Danbury have already sold all but 20 of the very last batch and say it will be a sad day when the last VW Type 2 leaves the factory
Danbury Motorcaravans production manager Matthew Bees with some of the last delivery of VW campervans
Mr Jones went on: ‘At Danbury we have been fitting out VW campervans since they were launched in the Fifties and everyone here is very sad that this batch of new vans is the last we will ever have.
‘It will be a very emotional day when the last one rolls out of the factory – that will be one very lucky owner who picks that up.
‘We will be sad to see them all go but the smiles on the faces of the customers who pick them up makes up for it.
‘It’s impossible to collect one of these vans without grinning from ear to ear.
‘You’re not just buying a car – you’re buying a travelling companion with which you will enjoy many memories.
‘Of course there are other makes of camper van but none will ever compare to the classic VW.
‘We’ve even seen the second hand market rise because of demand.
‘We have sold all but about 20 of the final batch and already we are seeing the market go up simply because these vans are unique .
‘There will never be another one.’
On the production line: VW campervans became an instant hit with travellers worldwide on their launch by the German car company in 1950
The old factory: The original vans were called Type 2, following on from Volkswagen’s first offering the Type 1, better known as the Beetle
Production in Brazil: From 1994 onwards the country was the only place in the world still manufacturing Type 2 campervans
All good things… But new Brazilian laws introduced this year state all cars must have an airbag and anti-lock breaks which are impossible to fit on a VW Type 2
VW campervans became an instant hit with travellers worldwide on their launch by the German car company in 1950.
The original vans were called Type 2, following on from Volkswagen’s first offering the Type 1, better known as the Beetle.
The Type 2 came to life when workers at the German company’s plant built a van around the chassis of a Beetle to carry parts around the factory.
A customer visiting the site spotted the strange-looking van and placed an order for one there and then – and the rest is history.
Production in the UK stopped in the UK in 1967 but continued in South America.
From 1994 onwards Brazil was the only country in the world still manufacturing Type 2 campervans but production ceased in December on health and safety grounds.
New Brazilian laws introduced this year state all cars must have an airbag and anti-lock breaks which are impossible to fit on a VW Type 2.
The VW Transporter is the modern-day equivilent of the VW campervan.
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The consignment has just arrived at the only British importer, but already most of them have been snapped up by enthusiasts more than happy to pay the £35,000 starting price.
They are the last brand new campers in all of Europe