VW Speed Camera Van Unearthed After 55 Years!

The idea of featuring a vehicle used to catch speeders smarts a bit at the moment, as I recently got bagged while doing some highway travel. These things happen, of course, but I might have found the experience more pleasant if a wicked Type 2 VW Bus with vintage Telefunken camera equipment on board did the actual bagging. This particular Bus remains in highly original condition with its antique speed-catching equipment still on board. If you’re thinking of bidding, stop right there – as it’s headed straight for VW’s own collection. Find the story here on Fox News in VW’s home state of Lower Saxony.

The footage provided in the article is wonderful, including this one showing the Bus parked roadside for patrol duties. This would be one of the slowest high-speed chases ever recorded should the Beetle driver decide to run. The 1953 Type 2 was used for training purposes and as sort of a rolling testbed of video and radar technology as it was deployed across the local police department. The fact that a prototype like this has survived entirely unscathed is remarkable.

It’s worth mentioning that the lens on the left rear is a vintage speed camera, with a flip-down lid that helped conceal the flash. To think that the Germans were already testing out speed cameras in 1953 is incredible, especially considering this technology is only just starting to be rolled out to U.S. municipalities (not that I’m in any particular hurry to see it used more extensively.) Condition remains well preserved, although the Bus has been repainted from drab green to pale blue.

Telefunken is a company that still exists today in Connecticut, where it builds high-end microphones for the recording industry. I actually sent the article to my contacts there, as they are gearheads themselves and would love to see the original equipment still installed in a desirable Type 2 van. I can’t say I blame VW for scooping this rolling piece of history up and keeping it in a preserved state – that’s exactly what a once-in-a-lifetime find like this deserves.

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  1. Dave77 Member

    Only just rolling out mobile speed cameras you are lucky we have had them across the UK for years or as we call them mobile ATM’s

  2. Coventrycat

    Ironic that a VW bus of all things is used. It looks just like a Telefunken U47. You’ll love it.

    • Scott


    • glen

      I saw Zappa at the old Exhibition Stadium in Toronto, he could play guitar, but it just became a lot of noise after awhile.I have some of his albums,I’d like to try and have his complete collection, he put out dozens of albums.

    • MarshMountaineers

      With leather?

  3. Chevy Guy

    Thats cool, but my uncle had a VW van and there’s no way that thing could catch anybody, not even if they were in a prius. Still cool, a nice piece of history.

  4. PYM

    I thought I was the only one to think about Sheik Yerbouti on this one …

  5. local_sheriff

    What a great piece of German pro car history! Geeks(like me!) will notice it’s so old it has the large engine door and no tail gate.
    As for its original color it wouldn’t be drab green as mentioned in the write-up,more like this dark leaf green contrasted with white. German law enforcement agencies on both sides of the border fancied the white/green livery, and has stayed with it up to this day.
    Anyone interested in vintage German professional cars are advised to check out the site polizeioldtimer.de

  6. Midwest Jeff

    Telefunken ruiniert farfegnugen, ya.

  7. IkeyHeyman Member

    Die faasnacht kummt hinneno!

    • Midwest Jeff

      Would you be so kind to translate your statement? I have used several on-line german to english translators and the best I can come up with is “The horse collar walked away.”

      • Dave

        You’re using the wrong translation device. You need to ask Farnhaan.

      • local_sheriff

        It doesn’t really translate into proper German – other but ‘ the Fasnacht( a Swiss celebration) comes thereof’.Think he tried to say ‘die Fasnacht kommt schon’, which is true as it takes place in the February/March transition.
        Ikey;wenn Sie erstmal Deutsch zu schreiben versuchen,sollen Sie mindestens ein bisschen besser probieren…!

      • IkeyHeyman Member

        Grossmama Boettger used to say something like that in Pennsylvania Dutch and I tried my best to remember it….I’d ask her to clarify but she’s “resting comfortably”, so to speak. I believe it’s an observation on how slow something/someone is.

      • local_sheriff

        Your Dutch heritage explains it all, Ikey – Fasnacht would be the equivalent of Shrovetide celebration.It’s a religious custom in European countries and among Euro settlers in the US,also related to carnival.I’m no Plattdeutsch expert but I think your Gramma Boettger’s saying meant something like ‘the Day will come , regardless of what’.
        Her last name also indicates you’re descendant of a barrel-maker, also known as a cooper !

  8. James

    Did anyone else notice the license plate number? I wonder if they did that on purpose as the book came out a couple of years earlier, in 1949!

  9. 71FXSuperGlide

    Well, that’s the most interesting thing I’ve seen surface lately. :D

    Times must have been time post WWII Germany, so they put some of that military know-how to use collecting speeding fines.

  10. PatrickM

    Not available to us? Then, my only comment is “No Comment.” Thpbpbpbpb.

  11. Rex Rice

    Good thing that it’s not available because who would want it? I have had a few old busses & loved/hated them all.

  12. Edward

    This is a barndoor type II indeed. Sadly, over the years, the body has been chopped to accept the later model ft. and rear turn signals. Early buses had no front signal lights, but semaphores just behind the doors about window height. The rear lights were minuscule round red lenses about 2” in diameter inside a chrome ring. The large rear window is a mod as well. If this bus ever had a rear window, it would have been half the size of the current one. Note the original bumpers. They were notorious for not stopping a fly! Finally, look at the picture of the front of this vehicle. Note there is no fresh air ventilation entrance at the top of the roof line above the split windshield. This is a barndoor only attribute. These vehicles came with 25hp engines and a split case, non-synchro into first transmission. Even with the changes made, I’d expect this van to sell for well over $25K due to the scarcity.

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