1. 1963 Volkswagen Splitscreen Campervan

1963 Volkswagen Splitscreen Campervan

NOW SOLD. This was its sale page.


I spent a long time searching for a good VW Splitscreen Camper. Despite sellers’ descriptions, every one I looked at had been welded. I only wanted a virgin…


There’s a major difference between British and American definitions of rustfree. In the UK it means the rust has been cut out and welded. Over there, it means it has never rusted in the first place. After much hunting, I eventually found one that met that specific criterion.

I spared no expense in my quest. The best way to find an unwelded bus is to look in towns in the American desert. This bus had spent 25 years in the arid atmosphere of Palmdale, California. It was perfect. The chassis had never rusted.


The previous owner had totally restored the camper for his wife, so she could use it to take clients on trips into the mountains. Then they had a baby and had to sell it. They changed their minds twice after I’d bought and paid for it! The purchase was hard work, but worth it.


Here it is, below, looking like a lost puppy, waiting for me to come and get it at the docks.


As well as its excellent metallic condition, this bus has a totally unique interior.


It was originally a panel van, so to enable camperability has been totally refurbished inside using cork and bamboo.


It looks fantastic and is great to sleep in too.


There’s a fridge, sink and hob. Instead of changing LPG bottles, the gas tank is underneath the van and is filled from outside, at a petrol station.


We’ve used the bus for business advertising at shows, and it gets a lot of attention.


I originally had plans to customize it, as in the photoshopped image below.


Then I found the splitscreen roadster, which required full restoration, and spent all my time and resources restoring that instead. The ’63 has been our daily car. I’ve done any mechanical jobs that have been needed.

A few years ago I had the gearbox replaced with a reconditioned one. A few months ago (June 2008), I fitted a new 1641 twin port engine, which I bought from Heritage Volkswagen.

The engine has a 2-year guarantee, until June 2010.


We can no longer justify keeping two Splitscreens, so one of them has to go…



Some more photos, taken 16th September 2008

I’ve just had the bumpers powder coated and re-fitted.



This is the original American number plate for the bus, showing a tag until 2005, which was when I imported it.



UPDATE: 19th September.

A sunny day today, so I took it over to Hove beach for a photo-shoot:

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