An extremely rare 1959 Volkswagen 23 Window Samba Campervan, faithfully restored to authentic standards, is up for grabs at the upcoming Classic Car Auctions (CCA) event at the Warwickshire Exhibition Centre on Saturday 10th June.
The 23 window model, featuring eight small skylight windows and sunroof, is among the most sought-after of all VW Campers and is considered as the ‘Holy Grail’ among collectors and enthusiasts.
The right-hand drive, manual example is believed to be one of just a handful on UK roads and today appears just as it did when it rolled out of the German factory in 1959 following a painstakingly detailed restoration.
Originally dispatched to South Africa, the Camper spent the first four decades of its life in warmer climes before being imported into the UK. Having been neglected for some years, the new owner decided to treat the Camper to a complete restoration to which he would dedicate the next three years of his life.
The restoration included a bare metal strip down and removal of every nut and bolt, the owner going to extreme lengths to acquire every part as either original NOS or original parts, including sourcing semaphores from the USA.
A cabinet maker by trade, he expertly restored the original wood work using a Devon interior he bought before owning the Camper, also replacing chrome work, interior trim and window frames, alongside a mechanical overhaul and exterior respray.
The only deviation from originality is the 1600 twin port engine built by Bear VW Services, Birmingham, who also rebuilt the gearbox, which allows the Camper to cruise comfortably at 65mph.
Today the Camper presents in very good condition in its original colour combination of Beige White and Sealing Wax Red. With just 2,100 miles on the clock since restoration, the Camper has been valued at £45,000 to £55,000 by the auction house.
Simon Langsdale, classic car consignor at CCA explains: “A right hand drive, 1959 Samba is rare enough, but combine this with an authentic Devon interior, only available in that year, and you have one very special bus!
“How the owner managed to source all original parts is quite extraordinary, and this has to be one of the most original, restored Campers anyone can find anywhere, as well as a true testament to VW appreciation.”