After the British took over the Volkswagen facility in Wolfsburg, Germany, following World War II, they realized the potential of VW Beetle-based motorized trolleys to be redesigned as vehicles and vans, according to a BBC.com article. The 1969 VW camper van, also known as the Westfalia, kept many of the changes that were made to the van's design in late 1967, which included bay windows and air-cooled engines. Several VW van models had been manufactured over the years, including transporter vans, trucks and camper tops.
The 1969 VW camper van was considered a "bay-window model," which originated in the 1967 VW bus and continued until 1979. The 1969 camper van featured a four-gear manual transmission with an average maximum cruising speed of up to 65 mph. The van was powered by a four-cylinder, four-stroke, 1.6-liter engine that was air-cooled. The engine produced 57 horsepower at 4,400 rpm and 81.7 ft.-lb. of torque at 3,000 rpm. According to the owner's manual, the vehicle's fuel consumption was 22.6 mpg and the fuel tank held up to 15.9 gallons. The camper van could also carry a payload of 2,300 lb.
All passenger seats in the 1969 VW camper van could be removed in order to transport bulky items and loads. Clips secured to the floor of the vehicle held each seat in place, however, the mounting bolts can be unscrewed; there are four bolts that held each seat.
Options and Improvements
There were multiple models available for the 1969 VW bus, including both single- and double-cab pickups, tarpaulin vans and the Westfalia. Improvements included the wind-up windows and increased reliability. Improvements and upgrades in the interior of the camper included an icebox, a sink with a manual hand pump, a sofa bed, a rear-facing passenger seat and multiple cabinets for storage. Other amenities include a children's hammock, roof rack and mosquito netting with an adjustable rear window.
The 1969 VW camper van's engine was placed in the rear of the vehicle and was air-cooled, which represented an improvement over vans previous to the bay-window models. Air-cooled engines utilized vents that allowed fresh air to enter the engine compartment, where a fan would circulate the air. This was different than modern vehicles that use radiator and liquid coolant to cool their engines.
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