Volkswagen’s California Van Marks 25 Years with Anniversary Edition

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles celebrates 25 years since the California was launched—an exotic name for a dedicated camper van.

Volkswagen announces new California model, named Edition 25
Volkswagen announces new California model, named Edition 25

For many this type of vehicle has meant freedom to travel and explore new places and California has marked an important point in the construction of recreational vehicles dedicated to those families who want to spend their vacation on wheels.

In the 80s, air travel was not within everyone’s reach, and the tent was no longer fashionable. Those people interested in holidays, from Western Europe, were seeking an alternative to these two options. Towed caravans or traveling by train were not appreciated and not flexible enough, so the European tourists, especially those wishing to explore the southern European have turned to motorhomes or camper vans.

Volkswagen had taken advantage of this new trend and created a new model: the California.

It was not a totally new idea. A number of independent manufacturers existed which altered commercial vehicles to suit this purpose. The Westphalia, for example, was a manufacturer that already had a history in this area and even one related to the Volkswagen.

The Volkswagen Westfalia was the official partner in the recreational vehicles segment. The first model was modified in 1962. It was the SO34, a modified original VW Transporter for the holidays.

This was followed by the Westfalia SO42, based on the same design, but with a greater number of specific features. The model SO42 was very popular in the United States.

Volkswagen announces new California model, named Edition 25
Volkswagen announces new California model, named Edition 25

Westafalia continued to produce models dedicated to the holidays in the 70s using the base vans and from other brands too. They carried the names of explorers like James Cook, Sven Hedin, and Marco Polo.

In the early 80s, Westphalia was to have a major success with the Joker model, based on the Transporter T3. The Joker was basically a modified transporter, the rear seat could be converted into a bed and a small kitchen with a fridge, gas hob, and sink were located inside. Thus the Volkswagen California was born, which the folks at Volkswagen manufactured for 25 years.

The most important element that debuted on the California and was preserved until today is that it can raise the ceiling to create additional sleeping space inside.

The previous models were modified to have a super fixed ceiling, an element that could affect vehicle stability and its ability to pass under low areas.

Over their 25 years of existence, Volkswagen produced 100,000 copies of the California, which covered three generations of the model. The current VW California is available in a variety of engines, with two 2.0 TSI developing 150 and 204 hp, and five TDI engine (84, 102, 114, 140 and 180 hp).

Some of these engines can be associated with the automatic DSG transmission and 4Motion all-wheel drive.

To celebrate 25 years of the California model, Volkswagen has launched an anniversary version, based on the Multivan, named Edition 25.

Volkswagen announces new California model, named Edition 25
Volkswagen announces new California model, named Edition 25

Details

The VW California Owners Site

The VW California owners’ site for all your California accessories new and used, classified ads, Thule accessories, ‘Vanorak’, funky carpet and sisal sets, bicycle carriers, luggage carriers, kayak carriers, and mattress toppers.

This is the only site dedicated to The VW California, designed and published by California owners for California owners.

The pages on this site provide an information resource for owners, dreamers, enthusiasts, and potential owners.

Website: thevwcalifornia.com

Worth Pondering…

Few places in this world are more dangerous than home. Fear not, therefore, to try the mountain passes. They will kill care, save you from deadly apathy, set you free, and call forth every faculty into vigorous, enthusiastic action.
—John Muir

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Luxury Campervans

Campervans have always had their appeal, but by installing some of the many things modern technology has to offer, it is now possible to have a luxurious home away from home.

Luxury campervans (Source: vancations.com)
Luxury campervans (Source: vancations.com)

Camping has become a common option for many people who had never tried it before, as they realize how enjoyable yet affordable it can be.

Campervans have always been popular, particularly as a project among men who like to tinker, reports JustLuxe.

However, by installing some of the more fabulous things that modern technology has to offer into the traditional shell, it is now possible to have a luxurious home away from home while on the road.

VW California Campervan

The Volkswagen California is the ultimate all round compact camper.

The VW California is the first and only factory built, purpose built camper van by Volkswagen. Despite the Volkswagen brand being synonymous with camper vans, all previous incarnations were after market conversions.

With two gas hobs, its own sink, a movable folding worktop that doubles as a table, an extremely handy fridge, and room for all the pans and utensils you’d expect at home, you can tour safe in the knowledge that you have all the equipment you need to enjoy your mealtimes while you take your next vancation.

Luxury campervans (Source: vancations.com)
Luxury campervans (Source: vancations.com)

What makes this camper different is the easy pop-up electrically powered roof, which becomes a ventilated but cozy second bedroom. No more three-in-a-bed situations! While sleeping, the side and front curtains ensure maximum privacy for your family.

You also get heated seats, plenty of storage including a wardrobe, double glazing, heating (which is just for the living area—there’s air conditioning up front), and all the safety features such as airbags, traction control, and ABS, JustLuxe reports.

For those who opt to restore their own camper, the possibilities are endless. It is very important to most that they keep the original features as well as adding their own.

Many get very creative, installing accessories such as fold out flat-screen TVs with surround sound systems and even satellite connections so they can watch their favorite TV programs while on the road. In some, they have high gloss kitchen units with marble effect counters, just like you pay thousands for in your own home.

Carpets with a deep pile are popular, as is the use of leather for the seating area, and they help to keep the vehicle warm while maintaining a luxurious feeling.

It’s not just the VW that makes a fabulous home on the road—Mercedes Sprinter and Ford Transit vans with the longer wheel base also lend themselves well to the job. The extra height allows for the installation of pull-out awnings, extra beds, and more storage space. In one Sprinter, the person doing the conversion was able to fit a washroom with a separate shower cubicle.

Gone are the days when camping meant having a bad hair day. With a luxury campervan, it’s possible to tour in style while keeping the spirit of camping with the family.

Details

Vancations

Luxury campervans (Source: vancations.com)
Luxury campervans (Source: vancations.com)

Vancations is the cooler cousin of Benfield Motor Group, an independent family owned business that was founded in the North East of England in 1957.

Website: vancations.com

The VW California Owners Site

The VW California owners’ site for all your California accessories new and used, classified ads, Thule accessories, ‘Vanorak’, funky carpet and sisal sets, bicycle carriers, luggage carriers, kayak carriers, and mattress toppers.

This is the only site dedicated to The VW California, designed and published by California owners for California owners.

The pages on this site provide an information resource for owners, dreamers, enthusiasts, and potential owners.

Website: thevwcalifornia.com

Worth Pondering…

Few places in this world are more dangerous than home. Fear not, therefore, to try the mountain passes. They will kill care, save you from deadly apathy, set you free, and call forth every faculty into vigorous, enthusiastic action.
—John Muir

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End of the Road for Volkswagen Kombi

The classic Volkswagen Kombi is set to cease production next year, ending some 63 years of continuous production.

The last Volkswagen Kombi will be built on December 31, 2013. (Source: autocar.co.uk)

The Kombi, or VW T2 as it is known in Brazil, the only country where it is still produced, will be forced out of production due to new safety legislation coming into force in South America’s largest country, reports Autocar.

To comply with the new Brazilian market legislation coming into effect on January 1, 2014, all new vehicles must come with anti-lock brakes and dual front airbags as standard, meaning an end to the production of the more simplistic Volkswagen Kombi.

VW’s product development chief for Brazil, Egon Feichter, told Autocar that to comply with the new legislation, the Kombi would need to become “a new car”.

It is likely the last Kombi models will be built on December 31 2013, a full 63 years after the nine-seater first went on sale in 1950.

Feichter confirmed that it was only the new safety laws that prevented the Kombi from still being built, as it conforms to every emission regulation needed for new car markets in South America where it is still sold.

The new safety legislation is only for Brazil, but its position as the largest new car market in South America by some distance means it’s not financially feasible to continue with Kombi production.

Some 251 Kombis are still produced everyday at VW’s main Anchieta factory for South America in Sao Paulo.

Replacing the Kombi with a like-for-like model would be almost impossible, as “you can get two Kombis for the price of one normal car,” Feichter told Autocar.

The Volkswagen Kombi has been in production for 63 years. (Source: caravantimes.co.uk)

Volkswagen will continue to make the VW California, the latest incarnation of this 1960s, Volkswagen camper vans which was launched in 2001.

There are many companies out there that renovate old campers, but the California is the only one built and sold wholly by Volkswagen.

The company also has plans to launch a new compact Caddy van in 2013, reports Caravan Times.

Worth Pondering…

A man does what he must in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures, and that is the basis of all morality.

—John Fitzpatrick Kennedy

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