1968 SO69 Westfalia Campmobile

This old girl has a special place in our memories dating back to 2004 when we flew over to California for one of our VW treasure hunts. She was and purchased from the son of the original owner up near Sacramento CA and so has been owned by the same family from new when bought from the VW local dealer.

(Dave Rasmussen Volkswagen, San Mateo, California) on 23/08/1968.

She was built in May 1968


She’s been laid up in our barn in the UK Warwickshire countryside for the last 12 years until now.


Ive set up this blog to show the long over due full restoration ready for the sale of this old girl.


 Completely original ‘numbers matching’ vehicle.

Exceptional original condition inside but showing some previous bodywork to one side with mostly original paint (90%).


Heres a view of the service history completed at the same dealer where purchased throughout the years. I even have the original card that the owner was issued to allow the vehicle to be driven on the road before the licence plates were issued.



After a long old Planes, Trains and Automobiles journey to the owners town we met up ready for a road trip.


After the first night of driving we found a nice little spot next to a freeway. What a night!




The two week trip involved buying up old VW’s and visiting the ‘Pick ‘n’ Pull’ yards (Californian scrap yards) and filling the bus with as many parts as she’d carry. This included cab doors, front beams, windows, and any other parts we could unbolt!. Here’s a lovely split panel van we met at one of the San Francisco Pick ‘n’ Pulls along the way.


Obviously we ate out every night at only the best burger joints in the west! The old girl running her original engine not only worked hard lugging parts but out expanding waist lines as well!


The old girl popped a spark plug after around 1000ml through Merced County Nr San Francisco so we stopped off at the lovely old guys workshop. Unknown to us he used to specialise in 50’s – 60’s VW’s and we ended up chatting to him for around 3hrs!

So much so his wife rang him and asked him what time he’d be home as he was late for dinner!


During our chat, Tumazi called up a local guy as he knew he was selling his old bus as and that we were buying. He got us an appointment to go and see this guys apparent 21 window Samba which had been stored in his back yard for a few years. We were sooooooo excited!


Turns out the guys bus was an original paint 1962 23 window Samba looking a bit sorry for itself but all intact, solid and original. Needless to say, we bought it!


We managed to get a trip into Yosemite National Park on the trip and have a mess about then onto San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park to sleep along side the Bison!

The old girl was so full of parts we ended up sleeping under the bus on a number of occasions!





So back in the UK and lined up with some of the other Westfalia’s we had at the time, then pushed in a barn and mothballed for nearly 12 years. Ready for restoration.


So, after removal of all interior components, glass, closing panels, roof and engine for refurbishment. The body shell was set about by our sympathetic media blaster only focusing on the edges of each panel, character lines and areas of surface rust due to the UK storage.




Once all corrosion removed the body was cleaned off and a coat of 2K etch primer applied. Followed with spray filler to repairs and 2k high build primer.




Then for the final blocking using our 1000mm long block to ensure the panel remains straight. Meanwhile the inside and engine bay was treated to a complete refinish.







All of the body now painted and time for the underbody. All suspension to be removed and powder coated ready installation.


Follow this blog to see images up to present day following the restoration of this 1968 SO69 as and when we get the time.

One Comment

  • peter.ginn says:

    Lovely old early bay!! My westy has just had a windows out respray but I’ve just discovered the ply sliding door liner has a strip of ply missing off the middle of the door liner which only showed when the door is closed. Hoping you can find me a good one, but it’s a crossover bay with the same interior as ’72 bays. In ’74 the wood got darker. Left a text message.
    Looking forward to how the Samba turns Out!
    Peter Ginn.

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