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David Eccles’ VW Camper – The Inside Story, is a painstaking and passionate exploration of the evolution of the VW campervan conversion, from its origins in the early 1950s right up to 2005. It is a large, glossy, hardback book that’s lavishly illustrated with 400 pages – a perfect gift for any VW camper enthusiast.
This book is focused on production conversions – those undertaken by conversion companies as standardised production models. DIY and bespoke conversions are covered in this book’s sister volume, VW Camper Inspirational Interiors (see forthcoming review).
Well-known converters such as Westfalia, Devon and Holdsworth are covered, as are less well-known companies (to me, at least), such as Amescador, Moortown Motors and Eurec Campers.
Detailed specification information is provided for each camper, and materials used and options are also explained, making this book an ideal resource for anyone wanting to restore a camper or design an appropriate new interior for an old VW bus.
What’s interesting to note is the great variety of layouts and conversion options that were available in the past. Today’s VW camper conversions offer much less variety and are pretty much standardised on two core layouts, regardless of converter. David Eccles comments on this in the introduction to the book, and this probably explains why there is relatively little content covering conversions from 1990 onwards, when the front-engined T4 was introduced.
However, for anynone wanting to know almost everything possible about VW camper conversions on T1, T2 and T3 models (splits, bays and T25s), this is the book to buy – it is a pleasure to browse and a fantastic reference for owners of classic VW campers.