Abandoned 1970s Volkswagen Camper van is now a local monument

Abandoned 1970s Volkswagen Camper van is now a local monument

A rusty old 1979 Volkswagen Camper has been rescued from spending years abandoned in a field and is now a moving monument to Skipton, UK by a local businessman aiming to boost tourism in the area following the COVID-19 lockdown.

VW Camper Van

Andrew Mear, a local landlord, stumbled upon the classic campervan in a field near his home. Mear ended up paying the owner £9,000 (Php 573,166) to give it a new home.

Based on the Transporter T2, the camper features a pop-up roof and sliding rear door. The ‘barn find’ camper, with just 24,000 miles (less than 40,000 km) on the clock, was in extremely poor condition having been left to the elements, although Mear managed to get the engine running again after a little TLC and a new battery.

VW Camper Van

In just six weeksAndrew and a team of local mechanics fully restored the camper, with upgrades including the installation of a new starter motor, massive engine work, extensive body repair, and of course, a fresh coat of paint.

Meanwhile, the pop-up roof has been re-purposed into an expanding canopy for advertising banners, while the back pops open to reveal a display area for exhibiting food, drinks, and wares.

VW Camper Van

The camper van is also now fully wrapped in new graphics, showcasing famous landmarks from around Skipton. Features of the new livery include the 700-year-old High Corn Mill with its historic waterwheel, Skipton Castle, High Street House and the town’s famous cobbled streets.

“It was one of those lightbulb moments when I realized I could help both my tenants around Skipton and the town itself, to be promoted in a novel new way. After the COVID-19 crisis, Skipton, like everywhere else could do with a bit of a boost and this seemed a great way to present some of our best-known sights in a fun and interesting way," shares Mear, chairman of the Skipton Business Improvement District (BID). 

“The plan is that the van can be used by businesses in Skipton as a way to promote themselves during market and festival days. I’m particularly keen to help my independent tenants promote their businesses but the idea was for it to be a showcase piece for the whole town.”

VW Camper Van

The distinctive camper van will now be a regular sight on the Skipton High Street during market and festival days, and showcased outside High Corn Mill, one of several historic properties around the town owned by Andrew. 

Kate Thompson, Head of Press and PR at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said:

“We are delighted that new life is continually breathed into one of our most iconic vehicles. Today’s iconic California and Grand California would be nothing without their heritage which dates back 70 years and the birth of the first ever Transporter. Over the years fans have continually restored and renovated the classic camper and we’re delighted this model has been rescued and put back into use for a worthy cause.”

Photos from Volkswagen 

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