Westfalia codes,waar staan ze voor ??

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Offline Area51

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alles is "helaas" in het engels,maar de vele foto's maken ook een hoop duidelijk !!
(artikel komt van thesamba )

(Edited on 12FEB05 with the help of input contained in this thread and PM's.  
Thanks everybody!  Will continue to be a work in progress w/ periodic updates...)

There seems to be a lot of folks coming into the forums wondering what type of camper
they have.  Perhaps this post will be of some help to those in that situation.  This is by no
means the final word on any of this, just an attempt to pass on some information, most of
which I think is accurate.  YMMV

FYI:  Westfalias came first, so they’re covered first.  All other camper kits are covered
down below.


The earliest campers were made by Westfalia, and the Westfalia kits were the only
campers officially sanctioned by VW.  

This is where it all began.  Westfalia #1.  Current whereabouts unknown.

If your bus was made in the 1950's, it is probably a Westfalia (AKA: Westy).  
If it's not a Westfalia but the bus was made sometime in the 1950’s, it was probably
converted to a camper at some point later in it's life (in which case, see
the other types of campers noted below).

Here is an excellent website that will show you the differences between the various
camper kits Westfalia produced from 1954 to 1958.  FYI, none of these campers were
walk-thrus, and most of them had “subhatchs”.  http://www.westfaliaregistry.com/alist.html

Example of a 1954 Westy:  (easily identified as it is a Barndoor – only two are known
to survive)

There were two types of kits available from 1955 to 1957.  One is known as the Export
(AKA: Deluxe) Camping Box and the other the Standard Camping Box.  (The former is
also known as a spring frame kit.)  I’ve read that Camping Box interiors (standard I believe??)
were available by special order up until around 1960.

Example of Standard Camping Box from the '55 to '57 era:

Keep in mind that the bus shown above was converted at the Westfalia factory specifically
for their museum sometime in the late '60's I'm told.  The kit pictured is reportedly one of
the later style camping boxes referred to above.  For our purposes here however, this
should give you a general idea of what the standard camping box kit looked like in
'55-'57.  This kit is also referred to as the SO-22 kit I believe.

Example of Export Camping Box from '55-'57 era:

Example of the 1958 Westy: (A one-year only model.  The last of the Westfalias with
pressed bumpers.  Note this bus has wrong bumpers on it.)

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Here is an overview of the campers produced by Westfalia between 1958 and 1967, it is a
good starting point for what’s to follow, it has a few errors but is a nice primer:

Another good overview of the later model split screen Westy’s can be found at:

http://perso.wanadoo.fr/olivier.d/historique.htm  (If you’re not fluent in French, right
click on the page and you should be able to translate it into English.  If that doesn’t work,
don’t worry, the numbers (eg. SO-23) are easily seen and clicked on.)
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In the model year 1959, Westfalia introduced the SO-23 kit.  These campers were almost
all made in 1959, 1960 & 1961 (although a few mayhave been produced in the 1958
model year...).  With the exception of one (known) vehicle, all SO-23’s are non walk-
thru’s, and nearly all of them had the “subhatch” seen in most pre’65 Westys.

Here is an excellent website that will help with this type of camper kit:  http://www.so23westfalia.com/

Example of the 1959-1961 SO-23 Westy:


Next came the SO-33 for 62-65. This kit was similar in many aspects to the earlier so23 kit and considered one of the less seen so kits in the 60's. This kit could be ordered with a "subhatch" style Westy, or installed in a non "subhatch"
style bus (eg: Standard or Kombi) as a removable option (called: MOSAIK).
Produced in the same years as the SO-34 and SO-35, but more prevalent in ’63 and ’64.

Example of the 1962-1964 SO-33 Westy ('61 & '65 MAY also exist...):

Example of the 1962-1964 SO-33 Westy MOSAIK ('61 & '65 MAY also exist...):

More so33 info can be found in this thread


From late in the 1961 model year through early 1965, Westfalia produced the SO-34 and
SO-35 campers.  The SO-34 is easy to identify, as it is the only camper produced by  
Westfalia with a white laminate surface on all of the camper cabinets in the rear.  I
believe the bulk of these kits were available in 1962 and 1963, the other years appeared
to be special orders only.  (The SO-35 was the same as the SO-34, only they had pear
wood cabinets instead of white laminate.  I believe the SO-35 was only available in parts
of Europe.)  These campers were also called “wide walk thrus”, and to the best of my
knowledge they all came with the “subhatch” option.

Example of the 1961-1965 SO-34 Westy:

Example of the 1962-1964 SO-35 Westy w/ incorrect upholstery ('61 & '65 MAY also exist...):

More info. can be found at the following sites:


Keep in mind that if you have a Dormobile (AKA: Dormie) top with a Westfalia interior,
you have what is called an SO-36.  I have seen Dormobile roofs married w/ SO-34 and
SO-42 interiors, a poster to this thread has one with an SO-44 interior, and I've
heard of one married to a SO-45 as well.  There were probably SO-35's produced
in this configuration as well.

Here is a good example of an SO-36 Dormie w/ a SO-42 Westy kit:


In 1965, Westfalia started creating the SO-42 campers and continued to do so until
production on the split screen ceased at the end of the 1967 model year.  This would
prove to be the most common type of camper (in my experience).  These came in walk-
thru and non walk-thru options.  Most of them had pop-tops, but not all of them.

Example of the 1965-1967 SO-42 Westy:


Westfalia also introduced the SO-44 camper in 1965.  This was sold in Europe, and was
only available as a non walk-thru.  Most, if not all of these, had pop-tops.  These also
continued through 1967.

Example of the 1965-1967 SO-44 Westy:

Additional information on this type of camper can be found at:


In 1967, Westfalia introduced another MOSAIK option – this one was called the SO-45.  
I believe this was also a Euro-only option – it is very similar to the SO-42 only it is made
with a real wood finish.

Example of the 1967 SO-45 Westy MOSAIK:

In order to keep up with the demand for campers in the 1960’s, VW dealers in the US had
to look elsewhere in order to fill purchase orders as Westfalia couldn’t keep up with the
demand.  A variety of companies here in the US, including Riviera, EZ, Sundial and
others stepped in to fill the bill.  Most of these companies started producing
campers in the 1961-1963 time frame and several continued through the end of the splitframe
era.  No information on year by year differences exist for any of these models to the
best of my knowledge.  It is thought that year by year variations are much less frequent
than above however.

To see if you have a Sundial, click here:

Sundial picture from brochure:

Sundial interior pictures:

To see if you have a EZ camper, click here:

EZ pictures from brochure:

Almost all Riviera’s came with a long window on the driver’s side, an easy identifying
characteristic.  Some pictures of a Riviera Camper can be found about halfway down at
the following link:  http://www.ezcamper.100megsfree4.com/othersimilarcampers.html

(includes “Do I have a Riviera” section)

Riviera exterior (long window) – main distinguishing feature (98% of time):

Riviera Interior:

Another model was called the Freedom Camper, fittingly nicknamed the snowtop due to
the large originally white fiberglass roof extension (easy to identify due to roof.)  These
campers had really gorgeous woodwork on the inside.  My favorite U.S. conversion.

“Snowtop” picture w/ main distinguishing feature:

Other than the fact that this camper was made in California, I know little about it.  Some pictures
of one can be found near the bottom of this link:  

Kit Camper interior:

Some pictures of a Caravelle Camper can be found at the top of the following link:

http://www.sundial-camper.com/ also includes information on Caravelle Campers

Caravelle tag:

Some pictures of a Road Runner camper can be found at near the bottom of this link:

Roadrunner tag:

I'm told that the Sportmobile had a white formica type interior as well.  It was manufactured
in Indiana, and followed the popular SO-42 layout including a fridge.

Sportmobile tag:

Other models included Coleman, ???, etc.  I have no information on these other
models, but have heard them discussed and seen pictures of them from time to time.  
There were reportedly at least a dozen different kits made just in the U.S. alone.  
Many of these kits look quite similar, so if there is not a badge to identify the maker,
you will really have to study the websites above to ID your camper.  

Keep in mind that the U.S. didn’t have the corner on aftermarket conversions, not even
close…  Germany had an amazing conversion called the Arcamobile.  

These are reportedly very low production models.

The roof on one of these is unique.

The interiors are simply amazing.

The UK also had several camper kits that are detailed below.


Westfalia’s were not officially imported into the UK during much of the 1960’s, for
reasons unknown to me.  As a result, companies such as Martin Walter (Dormobile) and
Cantebury Pitt were drawn into the fold.  The large Dormobile fiberglass top has become
synonomous with the Dormobile, or Dormie, but not all Dormies were the same down
below.  In addtion to the SO-36 Westy noted above, you also had the two examples
shown below (and probably others)…

Example of a Martin Walter fitted Dormobile:

Example of Cantebury Pitt (sp?) fitted Dormobile:

This is not an all-inclusive list, but it should help most folks (who aren’t too lazy to do a
bit of research) figure out what kind of camper they have.  

(If the language in this post is confusing to you, go to the excellent dictionary
available on this website - http://www.thesamba.com/vw/archives/dic/.)

Speaking of research, a good resource is the vintagebus listserv archives – found at:
http://www.type2.com/archive/search-vintagebus.html - this is where the bus fiends hung
out (some still do) prior to the advent of the forums.

You can also search through the forums here on the samba for a wealth of information, in
addition to the gallery pictures.  Don’t forget to check out the brochure section either, lots
of good camper pics in there.  Lastly, www.vintagebus.com is another goldmine of
pictures and information.  Hope this helps!

Additional information is certainly welcome and encouraged!  Anything people can
add to the non-westy sections would be great, my knowledge of years, etc. isn’t very
good on those.

Disclaimer:  I reserve the right, as always, to be wrong!  lol  Also, I wasn’t born with any
of this knowledge, and were it not for the old listservs, the websites noted above (and the
www in general) and other camper nuts like yourselves, my mind would still be a blank
slate… (and still is sometimes… <g>)
Alain - 1967 Westfalia SO42
Citaat van: Gerson
that's not patina, that's fucking rust man!!!

Offline vwspijlbus

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't Blijft een super (volledig )artikel over de verschillende uitvoeringen.
 =D>   =D>   =D>   =D>   =D>   =D>   =D>   =D>   =D>   =D>

Offline Area51

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Ik kwam nog meer (engelstalige) info tegen over de westfalia's

Alain - 1967 Westfalia SO42
Citaat van: Gerson
that's not patina, that's fucking rust man!!!

Offline vwspijlbus

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Beide links heb ik al een hele tijd terug hier geplaatst.

Offline Area51

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hier de site van een SO23 bezitter.

Alain - 1967 Westfalia SO42
Citaat van: Gerson
that's not patina, that's fucking rust man!!!