Rare Tin Top! 1972 Volkswagen Camper

What initially caught my attention with this 1972 VW Camper is its exceptionally clean condition and the fact that it’s a “tin-top” with a non flip-up roof. Values on VW campers have been ascendant for some time now, so let’s examine this example closely and see what the big attraction is. This Westphalia camper is located in Las Vegas, Nevada and is available, here on eBay for a current bid of $20,100, reserve not yet met.

The seller refers to this VW camper as a Vanagon but that name wasn’t applied to U.S. models until later, but it’s still a good descriptor. This camper is officially known as a T2 and it is one that has been modified by Westfalia-Werke for the purpose of being able to travel and enjoy the great outdoors. Westfalia modified VW vans from the early ’50s until 2003, and though I thought all had a pop-top, that’s not the case as that feature was an option. But the standard features included the usual camper suspects like foldout seats, arrangements for sleeping, folding table, cabinets, a refrigerator (icebox or cold box), water storage, a sink, and electrical hookups among other items.

This camper has been reconditioned with a new coat of Sea Blue paint and it presents beautifully. While there are functional benefits to the pop-top, the lines of this tin-top are arguably smoother. Its two-tone exterior, topped off in white, adds to this van’s visual appeal while helping to keep the interior cooler. One concern is the image presented above, it shows a rather rippled-looking driver’s side – is it real or is it just light reflection? I can’t tell with certainty, I’d have to examine it in person. The back bumper isn’t exactly on straight either.

Check out that interior! The seller opines: “The brand new Burberry style interior is eye-popping and just wonderful“. Eye-popping yes! Wonderful?…the jury is out on that one. It appears to have been well finished no doubt, but papering your interior with what looks like tablecloths from Vito’s restaurant is a matter of taste I guess. The white bucket seats are perfectly trimmed but my recollections of camping trips tell me that white is not the ideal shade for interior upholstery. The cabinets are referred to as “beautiful” and they show well but they are standard VW camper affairs. Here’s some good news, “This overhead A/C unit is rare and in fantastic shape includes hoses, fans, evap unit, etc.”  And now the bad, “We will also include a full bus VW Air Conditioning overhead system we recently acquired for the bus (which came out of a 1975 bus) but did not install. The A/C system has all that you will need minus a compressor…” I’m not sure how difficult it will be to source and connect the needed compressor as well as install the full bus system.

Under the boot is a 2000 CC, flat-four-cylinder engine in place of what the seller claims was the original 1600 CC motor. Research indicates that U.S. spec ’72 Type 2s came equipped with a 66 HP, 1700 CC flat-four but at this point, it doesn’t matter and the extra CCs are always welcome in a vehicle known to be painfully slow. The typical four-speed transaxle connects the engine to the rear wheels.

If a Type 2 camper is your thing, this one’s certainly a looker and worthy of consideration. The added engine displacement is welcome but it would be helpful to know a bit more about the A/C situation; if you have it, you’ll want to use it. So what do you think about this Westfalia camper, better with, or without the pop-top roof?


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  1. mikeh

    Nice to have that extra protection under the dash during a frontal collision. I’m reminded of why you need to wear a seat belt on commercial flights. It’s easier to find your corpse after a plane crash.

    Like 4
  2. Bluetec320 Bluetec320 Member

    Oh my gosh, there is more body filler on that drives side rear quarter panel than on Tammy Fay Bakker’s face! They also installed the wrong era front VW emblem. And why would you not straighten that rear bumper? I think I’ll pass, 😆

    Like 5
  3. TimS Member

    My family owned one of these and this is only the second solid top I’ve seen counting ours. It was fun to camp in as a kid (primarily because it was only us kids sleeping in there), and while I wished at the time we could keep it, i would not want another as an adult.

    Like 2
  4. Terrry

    Bent sub-frame, a load of Bondo and still it’s being bid over 20k. Smh.

    Like 2
  5. local_sheriff

    Never knew there was a tin top Westy either, question is are there really sleeping accommodations for 4 ADULTS then without the foldable top?

    The ’70 camper my brother and I owned 20+years back was also converted to the 2liter, a very sensible (read:highly necessary) powerplant upgrade to make any T2 move at all. These are charming vehicles indeed but I question whether those bidding them into the stratosphere have ever driven one…?

    Like 2
  6. bobhess bobhess Member

    Our ’77 had the dealer installed AC and it wasn’t complicated to service or work on at all. Replacing the original 2 piston compressor with a 5 piston, or “rotory”, unit will give increased capacity and no vibration. We kept the 7 ltr engine and had no problems with running 60mph all day. The evaporator was under the dash so cold air for the area up front was no problem. We had the fiberglass top and the upstairs bed. Not sure how you sleep more than two people in this one unless the third person sleeps on the floor.

    Like 1
  7. Gary Rhodes

    The whole left side looks like a ocean with all the waves in it. Out little whitecaps on it

  8. Car Nut Tacoma

    Awesome looking VW Bus. Although camper vans aren’t my cup of tea, there’s something I’ve always loved about the 1970-78 VW Transporter (Bus). My favourite years for the VW Bus have always been 1972 and 1976.

  9. bobhess bobhess Member

    Read 1.7 ltr engine size. With a 7 ltr in one of these I’d already dead.

    Like 2
  10. Jeff

    T2’s are great vehicles – I personaly like the early ones the best (68-70) – but this one – bondo and bondo, overspray and overspray – no thanks

  11. bobhess bobhess Member

    The ripples look just like trees to me. Major reflection here.

    Like 2
  12. William Uhlhorn

    Thanks. I bought this two weeks ago. It is rippled. And the electrical wiring looks like it was attacked by a one armed, blind paper hanger. Nothing works except the head lights and back up lights. Sorry I didn’t see this story sooner. Ahh ….A fool and his money…

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