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You've Got One Day Left To Bid On This Wonderfully Weird-Ass Old VW Camper And It's Kind Of A Steal

Illustration for article titled Youve Got One Day Left To Bid On This Wonderfully Weird-Ass Old VW Camper And Its Kind Of A Steal
Photo: Bring a Trailer (Fair Use)

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.

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Photo: Bring a Trailer (Fair Use)

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.

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Photo: Bring a Trailer (Fair Use)

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.

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Photo: Bring a Trailer (Fair Use)

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.

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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.

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Photo: Bring a Trailer (Fair Use)

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.

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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:

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Screenshot: JD Powers
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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!

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Photo: Bring a Trailer (Fair Use)

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.

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Photo: Bring a Trailer (Fair Use)

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.

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If any Jalops gets this thing, please let me know! I’d like to try out that shitter.

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus, 2020 Changli EV • Not-so-running: 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!: https://rb.gy/udnqhh)

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DISCUSSION

So, what features does it have inside:

Additional details include a wine rack, lamps, and a range hood; a cook top is not present

You put a crystal chandelier and range hood in, but no way to cook food?