Volkswagen Introduced their next generation transporter in 1967 with every part of it completely new and it showed. Gone was the split screen front window as well as the V front end. These were replaced with a flat front and one piece screen. the Bay Window was bigger than the splitty with suspension changes, wind down widows and the engine fitted with a back-bar for stability.
The Bay was easier to drive and more power was delivered with larger engine choices available. Soon came front disc brakes and gear linkage improvements. In 1973 the Bay Window model was completely revamped. The late Bay came with square bumpers and indicators moved higher. Other changes included engine improvements and upgrades.
The Bay Window was an outstanding success for Volkswagen, taking over where the Splitty left off. Today it has firmly taken its place alongside many other classic VW’s in the huge Volkswagen scene. Prices continue to increase as the popularity of these vehicles seems to be never ending.
VW Campers are very popular and there are loads for sale in magazines and on websites. Although this allows many unscrupulous sellers to take advantage of buyers with little or no knowledge when it comes to a Bay Window van.
The first thing to check is the body work. Take a good look around the windscreen for corrosion and also the head lights, these are common places where water and moister do their damage. Door bottoms and inner and outer sills are also hot spots for rot so inspect thoroughly. Check the sliding door for rust and make sure it flows freely, if it doesn’t then the runners are worn.
Underneath the van can also rust so check the front beam as structural integrity is of the upmost importance. Water can get trapped in the rear corners and battery tray so check for rust and repairs.
If you choose a tin top then make sure the guttering is intact and free from standing water. This can be eaten away by rust also if it has an elevating roof get the seller to demonstrate while you check for leaks and cracks.
Open the engine hatch checking it for rust and take a sniff, if you smell petrol there could be a leak so check the fuel pipe for signs of damage or wear. Oil leaks aren’t uncommon so when you start up the engine any smoke can be a sign of a leak. Turn the engine off and check behind the crank pulley giving it a tug to check for any play then see if oil is leaking from the engine.
Gear boxes are hard wearing although can be an acquired taste as they are sloppy and unresponsive. When test driving a VW van check it doesn’t jump out of gear by accelerating in each gear then taking your foot of the gas. Also make sure the clutch isn’t slipping by putting the hand brake on and selecting first gear then release clutch until it stalls. If the revs get higher the clutch is on its way out.
Look out for brake leaks with damp patches on drums or on the floor also check shock absorbers for the same. Make sure indicators, lights and horn all work properly and listen out for any noises whilst driving.
Although VW campers are known largely for being just that, campervans. They’ve actually been built for a variety of other purposes over the years, including taxis and ambulances.
Mark Wilkinson, Managing Director Says:
“The T2 Bay Window is no different to all early Volkswagen’s. Character and simplicity in abundance. Today popularity is still massive with no signs of slowing down.”