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Our 1963 Split Screen VW Camper Van Story

This is the story of our VW camper van. We bought it in July 1996 and sold it in December 1996 after a period of ownership of just five months. We had great fun, and fulfilled a long-standing dream. But we also experienced nightmare mechanical problems and safety issues. I told the story of the van in one of my first web features, completed after teaching myself basic HTML over Christmas 1996. Since I published it in Jan 97, I have received many appreciative messages from admirers of the van all over the world.

Part One | Part Two | Part Three

In 2004 I republished the story in a new format - and with an added twist! All newly added bits are in italic. If you've read the old version of the story before and want to find out the twist, go to Part Three. Otherwise read on...

For years I had wanted to own a classic VW camper van. We arrived back in England in July 1996 after several years working in the Middle East. We immediately started looking for camper vans. Unfortunately most of the vans for sale weren't in very good condition.

Visit the VW Camper Van section of my multithemed HyperBlog

Then I saw an advert for a 1963 split screen in Cornwall. In the photo it looked superb. We set off for Cornwall that night

This was our first glimpse of the Van the next morning. It was parked down a narrow lane, next to the house of the vendors.

We knew straight away that this was the vehicle we wanted. It seemed well maintained and was in outstanding condition. We put in an immediate offer.

We returned to Cornwall a few days later and completed the purchase.

Our first excursion was to nearby Lizard Point, most southerly place on mainland Britain

On our way back to Manchester, we stopped at Lichfield. The Van looked sensational, and attracted lots of admiring looks wherever we went.

Parked on the drive of my sister's house, it looked very impressive. But little did we know what was in store for us...



Part One | Part Two | Part Three

Written by Aidan O'Rourke
Posted/Updated 2004-07-15

Aidan O'RourkeAidan O'Rourke has been active in photography and online media since 1995. He has documented the development of the local area in his Eyewitness website (1997-2005) and as a contributor to books, publications and the Manchester Evening News. He runs his Eyewitness photography walks in Manchester, Liverpool and other locations. He offers one-to-one tuition in Photography and Languages. He is a high-level speaker of German and can offer photography walks and tours through the medium of German. Visit www.aidan.co.uk

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