Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A truly rare beast

Searching for a campervan in Malaysia is no easy task. They are just so rare here. However my search lead to an example of the most iconic of campervans, the VW Westfalia campers or simply known as Westies.

When I first saw the VW advertised I thought it was just another Kombi van, but I visited the owner and saw it in flesh I soon realised that it is genuine Westfalia built camper with an unsual forward hinged pop up top. It is left-hand drive so it must have been a fully imported unit.

I was told by the owner that when he found this van, it was in a dilapidated state and he has spent considerable sum of money to get it to it's current condition. Mechanically, the van is beautifully restored, the engine is not the original unit, but a remanufactured unit from Brazil. The steering and gear linkages work well and the brake is good . However, the original campervan interior fittings has long since rotted away. The owner has no choice but to remove what remains of the original bed, table, cabinets, sink and cook top and installed two bench seats. Only a few of the original panels was still kept. The original pop top shroud was gone as well and so was the original bunk bed. To get the van back fully to its original spec is going to be an expensive affair. A VW van enthusiast may consider this to be minor issue in the light of its rarity in Malaysia. This Westy is interesting, it is probably one of the very few units in Malaysia if not the only one, because of that it commands a high asking price. But all I want is a campervan which I can accomodate my family of five and to go on a road trip with it. I have to look elsewhere again.


Darren said...

Interesting to read your quest for a camper van.
I run and have spent much time in SE Asia, including Malaysia. I have always wondered about traveling with a camper van there.

Looking forward to reading more.

motorcamper said...

There rarity of camper van in Malaysia is actually a blessing. There are no by-laws to restrict campers from parking at public beaches and parks (or not enforced if such laws exist). Generally the sight of a camper at public land attract curious glances instead of complaints. However I have been careful not to annoy other people who share the public places lest I spoil it for other camper van owners.