Europe gets first official VW Camper for 32 years


South America's emissions and safety regulations allow its patrons to enjoy, to this day, access to a factory fresh VW classic that died here in the UK in 1979.

We're talking about the 1973 VW T2, known colloquially as the Camper Van and the second generation of the legendary Type 2 Transporter of 1950 - the iconic 'Splittie', so named because of its two-piece split windscreen.
It's still being produced in Brazil, and while Brits have been able to unofficially import one for some time courtesy of Bristol's Danbury Motor Caravans, Volkswagen has never jumped on the nostalgia bandwagon and imported the car officially for any European buyers. The company prefers to tease us with concepts instead, like Geneva 2011's Bulli concept.

Until now, that is. And it's Volkswagen's Dutch arm that's done the deed. Yes, for the first time in over three decades, European buyers can have an officially imported, warrantied T2, complete with modern interior and engine. America is jealous. Fact.

A brand new T2 will, without doubt, make any bloke willing to make the investment the coolest dad since this guy.

Sadly, however, Volkswagen UK refuses to play ball, which means that, while it's possible to go direct to Danbury, getting one of these 'official' ones means buying a car that's already come through the UK once before: bizarrely, VW Holland is taking cars imported into the UK and registered through Danbury, then shipping them back.

That effectively makes the Dutch cars used buys, albeit with no miles on the clock, and with the guarantee of a proper VW warranty. Each costs €45,000 – about £39,000.

Meanwhile, a Danbury 'Amigo' in right hand drive, which is a Brazilian T2 dragged into the modern era, costs £26,000.

A VW UK spokesperson told us that "there are currently no plans for these models to be imported by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles UK. Our technical and marketing teams have confirmed that the vehicles do not meet the necessary emissions regulations and homologation."

Five years ago, the Brazilian T2 got a long, long overdue facelift that included replacing the old air-cooled engine with a water-cooled 1.4-litre 'Total Flex' unit. It can be run using unleaded of biofuel.

A massive, ugly plastic grille replaced an achingly cool front spare tyre when the T2 got its Brazilian, though the Dutch redux at puts the spare tyre back. Well, the holder for it anyway -it's empty.

Volkswagen Holland expects to sell no more than 50 T2s through the official channel...which probably explains why VW UK isn't that bothered. We'd still like one.
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