The VW Campervan
The VW Campervan is based officially based on the Volkswagen Transporter, also known as Bus, Camper which is short for Kombinationskraftwagen. The VW Transporter was first introduced in 1950, as Volkswagens first manufactured vehicle was the Beetle termed as the T1, Volkswagen decided to give the Volkswagen Transporter the factory designation of T2.
The design was originally created by Dutch Volkswagen importer Ben Pon. Ben visited Wolfsburg in 1946 with intentions to purchase a Beetle, he recognised a market for the Transporters and whilst visiting Volkswagen he sketched out a rough design dated April 1947. The production for the Transporter would have been earlier than its official launch in 1950 however the factory was already at full capacity building the Beetle.
The production process
The first prototype was called the type 29, based on the beetle chassis the construction after a few test proved to be far too weak so a ladder chassis was designed and out into production. The first models used the reduction gear from the Type 81 and were fitted with a25 hp flat four engines.
Further development was made to the vehicle aerodynamics, the engineers used a wind tunnel at the Braunschweig University, after the testing with a drag coeffient of 0.75 they added simple changes to the design creating a vee, these minor design improvements had dramatic results and brought the drag down to 0.44. Volkswagen’s chief executive officer Heinz Nordoff who was appointed in January 1948 approved the design for production which started 19 May 1949. The first model rolled of the line to debut in November 1949.
At that point only two models were offered, the Kombi with two side windows and removable seats and the commercial panel van. The Microbus was added in May 1950 which was joined a year later in June 1951 by the Microbus Deluxe.