Splitty will be a peach at the beach

Inspired by longer days, people who like to plan ahead are probably thinking about what to do this summer.

And whatever that is, there’s hardly a better way to get a taste of warmth than by travelling in a genuine VW “Splitty” campervan.

Based on a 1966 German-built 11 window Transporter, it was exported to the United States and repatriated to Europe when it arrived on UK shores in 2008. Shortly after, the current owners, both Naval officers, acquired the VeeDub which underwent a total restoration with marque specialists. The rebuilt twin port 1.6 litre engine is coupled to a reconditioned gearbox, while the suspension is sympathetically lowered with coil springs over shock absorbers.

“The interior high standards match the exterior, a sheer delight to behold,” says Brian of Dorset Vintage and Classic Auctions, who is including the Splitty at an estimate of £29,000 - £32,000 in the next sale on March 19th at Henstridge Airfield between Shaftesbury and Sherborne.

“The owner is highly skilled – he built his own house extension and when he retires plans to go on a boatbuilding course so the Splitty is now ready to float someone else’s boat.

“It has a fridge running on electricity or gas, good lighting, a three quarter fold down bunk, and a Zig unit to monitor the 12 volt and 240 volt interior electrics. The gas cooker is mounted on one of the twin side doors so can be used inside or out, depending on the weather, making it ideal for those surf trips to Newquay!

“The exterior is finished in the VW factory colours of pearl white over velvet green and there’s a perfect colour match to the leather front and vinyl rear seat facings. The original roof has been retained rather than converted to a pop-top, making secure garage storage easier.

“It’s very appealing, highly practical, and great value when in the last few years some of these VWs with quality conversions have been achieving well in excess of £50,000. The copious history file clearly shows why this particular camper has such great appeal.”

Classic car enthusiasts wanting to hit the road on a lesser budget will still find plenty to attract at the sale, not least a 1968 Triumph Herald 13/60 (£1,500 - £2,500) that has had one Wiltshire owner from new.

“The online MoT history dates back to 2006 and shows the car has had very little use in the intervening years. It also shows that there have been no concerns over rust issues,” adds Mr Chant.

“Overall, the car appears sound and could make an interesting starter classic. Heralds are simple to work on because there’s a separate chassis and the whole of the front hinges forward for superb access to the engine and ancillaries. A novice home mechanic wanting to learn their way around could hardly have a better starting point!

“The MGB is always a popular choice and I’m also offering two, including one of the last limited edition MG B LE Roadsters (£7,000 - £8,000) which has spent a total of 18 years in storage, starting with five years when it was brand new.

“The car, registered A19 MGB, was manufactured in 1980 and hit the road in November, 1985, making it one of the very few MG Bs that can wear a prefix number introduced in 1983. It could readily be brought up to show standard but potential owners who want to retain its period patina could enjoy it as-is this summer.

“A previous owner has generously produced the original painted wire wheels from storage to be sold with the car, typical of the love owners show MGs. This car is a ‘rubber bumper’ model, now gaining in popularity, but we are also offering a 1970 chrome bumper car at an identical estimate.

“A 1953 MG TD (£19,000 - £21,000) also features in the auction – the owner brought it to us after researching auction prices and realising we achieved the highest price in 2019 for a similar period TF.

“Enthusiasts who savour statelier open top driving should take a look at our 1949 Daimler DB18 Drophead Coupe by Barker (£14,500 - £16,000), owned by a professional coach trimmer for the last 30 years who completed the interior to match the quality of the bare-metal body restoration.

“Other lots in the auction include a brace of 1990s original Mini Coopers, one needing restoration, a 1927 Renault NN 2 Door Coupe with Dickey Seat, a Lotus Elan +2S, and even a 1980 Vauxhall Cavalier 2000 GLS 4 Door Saloon (£800 - £1,400) in period hazel brown metallic and perfect for retired company reps who fancy a nostalgia trip!”