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10 Best Classic Campervans
If you’re in the market for a campervan, it can be difficult to know which type to get – while a classic campervan, with its head-turning looks, might seem the obvious choice, the added engine power and more modern amenities of a contemporary campervan can’t be ignored.
But if you simply can’t see past a classic, here are some of the best camper vans you can buy.
What are the best classic campervans?
1. 1964 Classic VW T2 Samba
If it’s eye-catching looks and the last word in retro cool that you’re after, it’s difficult to see past the classic VW campervan – or Volkswagen Type 2 multi-variant utility vehicle, to give it its full title. With so many VW campervans to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start, but the 1964 Samba model – with its wider rear door, side pivot doors (instead of the usual sliding side door), split-screen front windows and trademark all-round roof windows – is the ultimate classic campervan.
An early adopter of the two-tone paint job that’s now synonymous with VW campers, the Samba also had a sun visor over the split-screen front windows. 23-window and 21-window versions are the most sought after and VW only produced the Samba for a very short period of time – a true classic.
2. 1967 BMC Princess
One of the most unusual campervans you’re ever likely to see, the BMC Princess looks like a conversion but was actually coach-built on a Vanden Plas Princess chassis – on the outside, it looks partway between a hearse and an ice cream van, or a very British version of Ecto-1 from Ghostbusters.
On the inside is a fold-down table with seating for four, alongside loads of storage and cupboard space and enough wood-panelling to kit out a fleet of Morris Travellers. This campervan didn’t just look the part, it delivered on performance, including features such as power steering and automatic transmission, which were unheard of on similar campervans of the era.
3. 1973 VW T2 Westfalia
Another classic VW campervan and one of the earlier bay window campervans, the Westfalia is a design classic, with its distinctive pop-top above the front cab which houses a sleeping area and a luggage rack to the rear of the roof. Inside is a double bed, along with the usual kitchen and living area with plenty of storage space. Although not quite as eye-catching as the split-screen models, the T2 followed where the T1 – better known as the Beetle – led and both models had larger windscreens from the early/mid-70s onwards.
4. 1978 Bedford CF250 Dormobile Landcruiser
Although not the best looking, the Bedford CF250 Dormbile is a classic British-built campervan – housing a six-foot double bed, made up from the double bench seats and a four-foot hammock, there’s also enough room for a kitchen, fridge-freezer high-level storage and a chemical toilet. It’s basically a classic British Butlin’s holiday on wheels.
5. 1979 Ford Transit Mk2
Another late-70s transit van conversion came in the guise of the Ford Transit Mk2, which saw a motorhome exterior placed on the chassis of Ford’s ubiquitous, all-purpose van. More of a motorhome than a campervan, the Transit has sleeping quarters above the cab and in the back of the van and has a kitchen, living area and even enough space to house a toilet and wet room.
6. 1979 VW T2 Devon
Another VW classic and one of the most enduring and best camper vans around, the Devon is a bay window camper conversion, with a pop-top roof to make for extra headroom in the kitchen and living area. These well-equipped campervans come with a double bed and room for a couple of hammocks, alongside the usual kitchen and living amenities. Although not quite as eye-catching as the earlier, split-screen models, these often still carry the trademark two-tone paint job and are probably a much better drive than their 60s counterparts.
7. 1985 Dodge B250 Ram Sportsmobile Campervan
A feat of US motoring design, Alongside all the fixtures and fittings you’d expect – fridge/freezer, sink and cooker – is a dining area that contains a sofa which folds down into a 1.9 metre double bed, while another double is housed in the van’s ample pop-top. The sizeable cabin even has enough room for a hammock, making the Dodge Ram campervan the sort of vehicle you’d expect the A-Team to have enjoyed their retirement in, not least because it could comfortably sleep all five of them.
8. 1986 VW T25 Hightop Campervan
Into the 80s and VW are still producing eye-catching and highly sought-after campervans – the 1986 T25 hightop is perfect for anyone who needs the extra headroom but doesn’t want to worry about the maintenance involved with looking after a pop-top. Gone is the air-cooled engine, replaced with a 1.9 turbo diesel and inside is all the usual VW camper fixtures and fittings including a sink, cooker, loads of storage and a rock and roll double bed.
9. 1999 Mazda Bongo
Given that the Mazda Bongo is now 20-years-old, it can definitely be described as a modern classic and so rightly makes the list. Bongos were first imported from Japan as a more cost-effective and reliable alternative to the costly VW models. Although they don’t have the looks of their German cousins, they do come equipped with a much more powerful and ultra-reliable 2.5tdi engine, automatic transmission and sleep up to five people. There’s also enough room for all the kitchen and living facilities you need on a road trip.
10. 2013 VW Kombi
Although no more first-generation VW Type Twos were made in Germany beyond 1967, the microbus continued to be made in Brazil right up until 2013, meaning you can buy a nearly-new, old-style, air-cooled campervan, complete with all the eye-catching style of the original, but with much more modern driving and safety standards. Although often produced as a bus – meaning it’s filled with seats instead of a kitchen and living area – there are plenty of conversions about, including the much sought after Devon model.
How to take out classic campervan insurance
Whether you have a classic Devon, Samba or Westfalia, you’ll need a classic campervan insurance policy that covers you for every eventuality and ensures all your possessions are fully insured whether it’s being kept on the drive or driving around Europe.
Call our experts on 0800 0304 206 – our unrivalled choice of policies is what helps 95% of our customers rate our service as ‘Excellent’ on Trustpilot with a customer satisfaction score of 4.9 out of 5.*
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