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Volkswagen Vanagon

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Volkswagen Vanagon
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Wikipedia: Volkswagen Type 2 (T3)

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A van produced by Volkswagen from 1979-1991, the North American market name for the third generation Volkswagen T2.


History

The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's Volkswagen Type 2 (T3) page on 26 July 2018, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

U.S. Vanagon model variations included the Vanagon, featuring vinyl seats and a spartan interior; the Vanagon L with optional cloth seats, more upscale interior panels, and an optional dashboard blower; the Vanagon GL with more equipment like a padded steering wheel and front armrests; and the Westfalia pop-top camper Vanagons, which came in two versions. A Camper version known as the "Campmobile" with integrated kitchen, complete with refrigerator (which ran on propane, 110 V or 12 V), a two burner stove, and stainless steel sink with onboard water supply. A fold down rear bench seat converted to a bed and the pop-top included a fold out bed; these models could sleep four adults. A 'Weekender ' version which lacked the refrigerator, propane stove, and sink of the full 'camper' versions offered an optional removable cabinet with a 12 volt cooler and self-contained sink. In 1984, the Wolfsburg edition was configured with a rear bench seat and two forward-facing middle seats. Under the bench seat, which folded down to make full size bed, was a storage compartment and a rear heater.

Wolfsburg Edition "Weekender" models featured two rear-facing seats behind the front seats in place of a centre bench seat and a table that could fold up from the sidewall – or fold down when not in use. Multivan models featured Wolfsburg Edition trim and an interior with rear-facing seats, the same fold up table, a pop top with upper bed, and cabinet behind the rear seat on the driver's side. Wolfsburg Edition and camper van vehicles were outfitted for Volkswagen by the Westfalia factory.

Syncro models were manufactured in limited numbers from 1985 through 1992, with the four-wheel drive system added by Steyr-Daimler-Puch Works in Graz, Austria, with a short wheelbase and 48/52 front/rear weight distribution.

Model years 1980 through 1985 featured round sealed beam headlights. Subsequent models for North American and European markets featured round sealed beam headlights or smaller square headlights, with the primary lights outboard and high beams inboard. Later models from South Africa returned to round headlight housings for both the primary headlights and high-beams.

The T3 was replaced by the T4 (Eurovan) in the U.S. market in 1993 (1992 saw no Volkswagen bus imported to the U.S. market, aside from custom campers sold by companies other than Volkswagen). Top-of-the-line Wolfsburg Edition Westfalia Campers, which had all options, were at the top of the price range. In addition to the camper models, a Carat trim level was available for 1990 and 1991 model years. This model included all options available for the Transporter configuration. Some models featured optional aluminum alloy wheels.


Photographs

Volkswagen Vanagon Camper "Sierra Nights" by Tommy Lisbin
Alabama Hills, California, USA
View photo of Volkswagen Vanagon Camper - 9.9MB


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