Cohort Outtake: VW Bus High Roof Wide Body Custom Camper – Hope It Has a Bigger Engine Too

Needless to say, the original VW bus was also the original camper van. Westfalia built its first conversion in 1951 at the request of a British officer stationed in Germany. And in addition to Westfalia, an innumerable number of individuals have applied their creative energies to adapting the box on wheels to their desires. This one, posted at the Cohort by SoCalMetro, is undoubtedly one of the more ambitious ones ever. I would have died for this 40 or 50 years ago. I still am…

Not only does this have a drastically higher roof, including custom windshield panes, but there’s no doubt that the whole body has been widened too. The wheels are clearly sitting in further in their wells, especially at the rear. Sadly, SoCalMetro only posted this one shot (please, more, next time!). Looks like some tall windows in the passenger side, one tall one on this side, and then a couple of small awning windows. And looks like there’s a hood scoop in the back for the poor engine. Well, it’s quite easy these days to build a VW air cooled engine with up to 2.3 liters and plenty of power, so this rig might not be quite as terminally slow as one might expect. But that all depends. Just needs a second engine.

Speaking of, I once came across an amazing twin-engine, twin rear axle, double-decker VW bus in an old Popular Mechanix or such, in the city library when I was splaying hooky from school one day. It was from about 1961-1963 or so. A guy in Tennessee no less cut up and spliced together two or three old VW buses, and put them together like a Greyhound Scenicruiser. He extended it with a second rear, including a complete second drive train, and then raised the rear 2/3 with a second upper body part. I was riveted with the account. They built it to go hunting! And it could run on one or both 36 hp engines! I seem to remember that the biggest challenge was shifting both transmissions, never mind the throttles and clutches. But with twin rear axles, they said it had great traction in the woods. I bet it did.

I’ve tried in vain to find that article again. Maybe Sally Sublette can? She can find anything. I’d love to see it again, to make sure I didn’t dream it or that it was a drug-induced hallucination.