As readily recognisable as the immortal 'Beetle' itself and a 'cult' vehicle in its own right, the Volkswagen Type 2 and its derivatives enjoyed an even longer period in production than their saloon progenitor. The original was conceived in the late 1940s by a Dutch Volkswagen agent, Ben Pon, who drew up plans for a van based on the Beetle floor pan and running gear. Known as the Volkswagen Type 2 (the Beetle saloon being Type 1) the result of Pon's efforts arrived in 1950 and almost immediately proliferated into a bewildering variety of models catering for an enormous range of commercial and domestic activities. The original retained the Beetle's rear-mounted 1,200cc air-cooled engine and four-speed gearbox, the latter suitably re-ratioed to cope with the van's greater weight. Engines grew in size and power while both handling and comfort improved as development progressed. By 1968, when the first major revision of this outstandingly successful design occurred, almost two million had been sold worldwide. The replacement, also called 'Type 2', was an entirely new vehicle, larger and roomier than before but still rear-engined. The most obvious difference was the newcomer's single-piece wraparound windscreen, giving this model its 'Bay' sobriquet, whereupon the original, with its two-piece split screen, became know to devotees as the 'Splittie'. Power units grew in size from 1.6 to 2.0 litres before production ceased in 1978 with the introduction of the third generation.
This rare VW Type 2 ambulance is one of nine built for the UK market. We are advised by the private vendor that it is totally original, even retaining its original paintwork, seating, stretchers, engine (still on standard bores) and gearbox. All numbers match and the vehicle comes with a factory certificate and a V5C document. Restored in the last four years and said to be driving very well, this rare Volkswagen ambulance would be perfect for a wide variety of historic motoring and other events.