As I’m sure you’re aware, prices on air-cooled Volkswagen buses and especially campers have gotten insane over the past few years, largely fueled by the boundless reserves of now-rich Boomers’ nostalgia. There’s a VW camper on Bring a Trailer at the moment, though, that, while arguably even cooler than the standard pop-top Westfalia, seems to be immune from the Boomer Nostalgia Price-Inflating rays and as such is still not insanely-priced. It is a little bonkers, though.
This particular VW camper looks sort of like a normal 1974 Type 2 Microbus, only it’s wearing a comically oversized backpack. That’s because this particular one is something more than a normal pop-top camper bus, as it started life as a humble VW Panel Van until it was converted by the Mexican PaCoMobil company, which fitted more conventional-style corrugated aluminum camper bodies onto (well, more like into) the basic bus.
The design is really pretty clever; the whole rear of the bus behind the B-pillar is cut away, with only a little bit of bodywork left to enclose the engine. That part of the body also has had the once high D-pillar-mounted air intakes relocated down low, behind the rear wheel opening.
Into the big hole they’d carved a large aluminum camper body has been dropped, complete with a cab-over bunk and full-height door on the side.
These are called “Snail Campers,” partially because of the snail-shell look they have and partially and I’m going to guess because all of this extra volume and mass is still pushed along by a stock air-cooled dual-port 1600cc flat-four engine.
The one in this one appears quite stock, with a single carb and what looks like a slightly less restrictive exhaust, but it’s still only making around 50 horsepower or so, if I had to guess.
Incredibly, that’s still enough to render the thing motile, as this video proves:
Look at that, it moves!
It appears that much of the interior has been re-done, with some comically ornate touches like a chandelier, ornate knobs and handles and plumbing hardware, and what looks to be marble (maybe fake marble?) in the bathroom.
Oh, that’s worth mentioning, too—unlike most VW campers, you can comfortably shit in this one without being banned from the camper forever by ashen-faced owners who apparently never had to shit in their life.
Really, this is a far more capable camper than a standard Westfalia VW Camper, which is why it’s so incredible that the price, as of this moment, with one way to go, is only at $11,500. Compare that to how much VW campers of this year usually go for, according to J.D. Powers:
Look at that—the average is like three times the price of this, and you can’t even shit in them! This looks like a steal.
I’m also curious about that hatch above the engine compartment—it must be some sort of external storage? Also, I like the tow hitch on there, which is likely a great option for those who feel 50 HP pulling like three times the normal expected weight is just too much power. Pull a jetski and problem solved!
I think even though the purists may turn their noses up at a mutant like this, personally, I think this would be the hit of any VW show you took it to, and would also be simply a more usable and flexible camper on its own.
This seems like a great way for someone to get into an air-cooled VW camper in a novel way, for a lot less money.
If any Jalops gets this thing, please let me know! I’d like to try out that shitter.