’79 Bay Window Camper
Body: Left-hand drive custom-paint Late Bay
Interior: Bespoke camper
Engine: Its original Type 4 suitcase engine
Suspension: Lowered. Narrowed front beam with T2D dropped spindles and adjustable rear spring plates
Brakes: VW front discs and rear drums
Wheels: Flat 4 Enkie Slot mags
The car: When VolksWorld Camper&Bus magazine featured this Bus back in 2010 (was it really that long ago?) they described it as: “A multicoloured, acid-infused collision of flowers, shapes, stripes, pearls and Kandys.” It’s fair to say this Bus set the trend for hibiscus flowers and retro stripes were still seeing in the VW scene to this day. It was a breath of fresh air back then, and it’s still as fresh as daisy eight years later.
It would also be fair to say, that no other Bus it inspired, has been painted to the same level of finish either. This is entirely down to the people behind it, the amazingly talented Neil and Mandy of Melliard’s Modern Pinstriping and Lettering.
Starting with a good, solid US import Microbus in its original VW Merino Yellow, the roof was masked off to create a series of bands, radiating outwards from the centre. Onto these went masks that covered where the flowers and the swirls around the edges would be, before the bands were painted in a series of gold metallics towards the edge, then browns and oranges towards the centre. The golds were coated with Spanish and Pagan Gold House of Kolor Kandys, into which was added a gritty, sparkly dry pearl.
The flowers came next, airbrushed on in various rustic colours, followed by the wallpaper pattern in the centre. This was followed by gold sizing and gilding around the flowers and swirls in 23k gold leaf, 12k lemon gold and variegated leaf, some with a spun finish. A final decorative stage was to add the outlines, highlights and gold leaf swirls to the edges. All of it has been sealed in with several coats of high-solid clear coat.
The roof is literally the icing on a very cool and retro cake. Having been sourced from an Austrian collector in the Alps, it’s a genuine, low mileage Bus that has been upgraded and meticulously cared for over the years. In all the important areas, it’s still factory yellow paint, but the inside now features a custom made camping interior with some funky Formica tops. The black basket weave seats were stitched together by Bernard Newbury and we (Type 2 Detectives) are responsible for the stance. It’s rolling on a pair of our Late Bay ball-joint dropped spindles, a narrowed beam and air shocks, so it drives as good as it looks on those period-style Slot mags.
It wasn’t built as a show van, and has been used and loved by its previous owners – a lot – which is testament to how well it was built and been looked after. If you fall in love with this Bus in 2010 you’ll know how long you had to wait for a chance to make it your own. Don’t miss it now.