1959 Volkswagen Westfalia Camper

Summary

Volkswagen introduced its "box on wheels," the VW Type 2 Bus, in 1949. A few years later, VW contracted with Westfalia and introduced converted campers. First exported to the US in 1956, Westfalia campers provided home-like camping comfort and created a post-war recreational vehicle lifestyle. This soon-to-be cultural icon transported Americans down highways and byways and into the great outdoors.

Volkswagen introduced its "box on wheels," the VW Type 2 Bus, in 1949. A few years later, VW contracted with Westfalia and introduced converted campers. First exported to the US in 1956, Westfalia campers provided home-like camping comfort and created a post-war recreational vehicle lifestyle. This soon-to-be cultural icon transported Americans down highways and byways and into the great outdoors.

Artifact

Camper

Date Made

1959

Creators

Volkswagen AG 

Place of Creation

Germany, Wolfsburg 

Driving America
 On Exhibit

at Henry Ford Museum in Driving America

Object ID

87.153.1

Credit

From the Collections of The Henry Ford. Gift of Volkswagen of America, Inc.

Material

Metal
Glass (Material)
Wood (Plant material)
Rubber (Material)

Color

Peach (Color)
White (Color)

Inscriptions

Hubs: VW Center front: VW peach-colored emblem

Specifications

Make & Model: 1959 Volkswagen Westfalia camper

Maker: Volkswagen GmbH, Wolfsburg, West Germany | Camping equipment by Westfalia-Werke, Wiedenbruck, West Germany

Engine: horizontally opposed 4, 73 cubic inches

Transmission: 4-speed manual

Height: 76.5 inches

Width: 69 inches

Wheelbase: 94.5 inches

Overall length: 166 inches

Weight: 2569 pounds

Horsepower: 36 at 3700 revolutions per minute

Pounds per horsepower: 71.4

Price: $2,737

Average 1959 wage: $4,965 per year

Time you'd work to buy this car: about 7-1/2 months

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