1967 Volkswagen Westfalia: Family Camper

1_ 1967 VW Westfalia camper
Robert Storck says that, for as long as he can remember, his wife Misty has been intrigued by the size and shape of the early Microbus Volkswagens and hasn’t been reluctant about sharing her opinions of the bus with him.

Volkswagen manufactured a wide variety of bus models all based on the same basic platform. As he delved into the background of the buses, Storck soon found himself acquiring an attraction to them equal to that of his wife.

Next came the search for a solid rust-free VW, which led to many disappointments, as most of the ones he saw for sale were halfway rusted away or were worn out. Eventually, Storck saw an advertisement offering for sale a 1967 Volkswagen Westfalia camper located in Bluffton, S.C.

Other than photographs of the vehicle and telephone conversations with the owner, Storck had never seen the VW nor had he listened to it run, let alone drive it.

Nevertheless, Storck gambled and bought it over the telephone in December 2014. The singular disappointment came when the driver of the truck delivering the VW to Storck’s Virginia home managed to break off the key in the ignition. That mishap was quickly repaired. Storck and his wife then gave their 1967 VW a careful once over and were pleased with what they saw.

At the time, the Volkswagen had recently undergone a thorough restoration with a two-tone color scheme of Mango Green on the bottom and beige on the top. Both front and rear bumpers and the overriders are painted white.
The bulbous chrome hubcaps and the king-sized VW initials on the nose below the two-piece windshield add a touch of sparkle to the otherwise plain bus.

Like most every other Volkswagen from that era, this one is powered by an air-cooled four-cylinder engine mounted in the rear. In order to help the struggling engine operate comfortably, a set of 10 louvers at the rear corners of each side of the vehicle draw fresh air into the engine compartment. The louvers on the right side are adjacent to the gasoline filler door.

2_ 1967 VW camper side doors
Across the rear of the VW are two openings; the lower one for access to the engine while the upper one is simply a liftgate to the passenger compartment. Tail/brake light assemblies with the separate backup lights above are located on either side of the engine hood.

Of course, the primary function of the vehicle is camping. Each barn door opening on the right side not only provides ventilation but also a window and access to the outside.

On the doorless left side of the 1967 VW Westfalia are three Jalousie crank open windows to provide flow-through ventilation.

Booth style seating can accommodate at least four around the table. Every inch of space under the wood veneer ceiling inside the Volkswagen is put to use. Above the centrally located table is a pop-top portion of the roof that can be raised for ventilation in hot weather camping or for additional headroom otherwise.

The accommodations inside are very cozy, especially since the Volkswagen is a mere 14 feet, 6 inches in length between the painted bumpers, stands only a bit over 6.6 feet tall, and is 3 inches shy of 6 feet wide.

Although the speedometer stands ready to register speeds up to 80 mph, the chances of attaining such a speed are remote because of the 2,535-pound empty weight and the lack of aerodynamics.3_ 1967 VW front

Whenever Storck climbs behind the two-spoke steering wheel of his bus and takes it out for some road therapy, he reports the car “likes it at 55.”
Now the question has arisen, is the Volkswagen hers or is it his? In the interest of family harmony the couple have decided to share their treasure.

— Vern Parker, Motor Matters
Copyright, Motor Matters, 2015

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