Don Covey and Marian Addison:
1967 Volkswagen Westfalia camper van
In October, 1993, we purchased this ’67 VW Westfalia camper from a gentleman in Cape Breton, N.S.
My dad knew I had always wanted one and phoned me about it when it was advertised in the local Auto Trader. Dad had three of these old VW buses when we were growing up, a ’58 Kombi, a ’60 Kombi, and later a ’61 Westfalia camper.
It was the ’61 camper that I fell in love with back then, and had wanted one ever since.
The VW has undergone a complete two-year restoration from ’93 to ’95. The first year it was back on the road, we racked up over 8,000 miles that included a trip back to Cape Breton to show it off to the previous owner. I am the fourth owner of this vehicle, he was the third, buying it from his brother, the second owner. The original owner was a university professor in Toronto.
As a tourist delivery vehicle, it was purchased at a VW dealer in Toronto, picked up at the factory in Hanover, Germany, and driven around Europe on vacation by its new owner.
It was then taken back to the factory and shipped to the dealer in Toronto where it had been purchased.
The engine that was in the bus when I bought it was not the original motor, however, it was taken out and given to Ernie Jakubowski and the crew at Mantis Racing, in Oakville, for a complete rebuild.
It is a 1971 1641 cc motor with dual port heads putting out 60 horsepower and was built with reliability in mind. The generator was replaced with an alternator for reliability, also.
The bus is equipped with the SO42 camping interior, which is probably the most common layout of the ones offered for that year. It also has the optional pop-top roof which gives you enough height to stand up and stretch or get dressed in the morning without having to be hunched over.
It’s also equipped with an Eberspacher BN-4 gas heater located in the engine compartment. Over the years, I have added accessories to the bus such as the period correct wood slat roof racks, mud flaps, flower vase, gear shift extension, parking brake handle extension, and a pair of EMPI front bumper steps.
We have driven the bus to cruise nights and on numerous road trips that included VW shows in New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Ohio, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Michigan, as well as a few trips back to Cape Breton.
It has been in a miniseries, Lives of the Saints
, with Sophia Loren, and The Pentagon Papers
2003 film, starring James Spader. It has appeared in episodes of the U.S. television series Warehouse 13
and American Gods
, and some commercials. It has also been used for a few weddings and was featured in VW Trends magazine’s June 1997 issue.
At the time of restoration, the speedometer read 158,091. It now reads 212,995 miles. We look forward to the spring when we can take the old camper out of hibernation and hit the road once again hoping someday to reach the quarter-million-mile mark.
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