The Type 2 '70

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Rear view Interior view Front view Side view Side door

Following a period of nearly a year of looking at all the vans that have come for sale in our price range (under 2000) we have finally managed to find one were the seller did not lie about the condition! Do you get sick of wasting time and money when advertisers just do not tell the truth??? The best "description" was of a very solid, original van for 2200. Off we shoot to see it, only to find a van with so much filler that the body seems could not be seen, all topped off with a 1/2" covering of hand painted household gloss. Loverly!!!

Anyway - back to our new van. We found it via an advert in the Type2 Owners Club and amazingly it was being sold by its original owner (Mr. Fielding) who bought the van new in December 1969. The only trouble was that the van was situated in Oxon and we live in North Wales which is 170 miles away. We arranged to see it the following weekend (Good Friday) in which time Mr. Fielding posted us a couple of recent photographs which is always useful if you are travelling so far. On seeing the van we were pleased that the description we were given was correct. The van does need work but we were told no lies. The best thing is the history that comes with the van. Mr. Fielding kept a book that details any work carried out, parts used and the cost. The book begins in December 1969 at 84 miles when the van was collected from "Devon", who carried out the camper conversion and ends at 177,000 miles when we bought the van! The van also came with the original dealer registration document and handbook. Mr. and Mrs. Fielding were also kind enough to loan us their photograph album which shows the camper when new and various camping expeditions.

The van is a 1970 model, registered in 1969 - see certificate and has a 1600 single port engine. This is the 3rd engine fitted into the van. The first and original engine had continual problems with studs breaking, resulting in the cylinder head blowing. After 9 years (77,178 miles) and 2 rebuilds the engine was replaced with a new short engine. The cause of the problems with the first engine were never found and the problems were put down to a "rogue" engine. The second engine caused no problems until 1993 (151,659) when a loss of compression while in holiday in France meant that a new factory engine was fitted at a cost of 18487 Francs (1800).

The 170 mile drive home proved uneventful with the van running perfect at a steady 50-60 MPH

The van is finished in Savannah Beige (L620) over cloud white (L581). The interior is from a 1972 "Devon" as Mr. Fielding has bought a 1972 van with only 34,000 miles and he preferred the interior from the earlier model. The roof has the traditional "Devon" pop-top conversion and is walk through between the cab and the rear area. The van also has the original quarter light opening windows on both sides in the rear.

Being a 1970 model, the van has the earlier front beam with drums on the front and the single port engine. The brakes take some getting use to after driving the 74' which has servo assisted disc brakes.

The van is MOT'd until November (also tax exempt) but does need a fair amount of work. The rear passenger arch needs replacing, both rear corners have been patched, the cab floor needs a repair and the front chassis leg ahead of the beam also needs a repair. On stripping the interior out, the floor was found to be holed near to the sliding door. This was probably caused by becoming wet from people getting in and out of the van. A new floor section has been ordered from Just Kampers and will be fitted shortly.

When we bought the van, Mr. Fielding very kindly loaned us a set of photographs showing the camper in use from the day it was registered. Now this is what you call history! Again, Thanks Mr. Fielding.

Cool evening Delivery In the woods Relaxing
Roof up Sea Mist This is the Life

Updated August 2001

The floor section bought from Just Kampers was fitted but the results were interesting. Even though the floor was fitted correctly, being seem welded all around and spot welded to the cross members as per original, the floor buckled under the weight of one person! The only reason for this can be that the corrugations were not the same shape as the original. This is a job that will need to be completed again in the future when we can find an original floor section but for now the floor is covered in 1/4" ply and carpet. Just Kampers refunded the cost of the panel when shown a photo of the sagging floor. Below are pictures of the floor before removal, during and after.

Original Floor Removing old floor Removing old floor
New floor in place New floor in place

Updated December 2001

MOT time arrived and the van was booked in for the test, with a fail being expected but not to the extent that the MOT inspector did! The van failed the test big time. The fail sheet looked more like an essay.We expected the van to fail on near side sills as we knew these needed replacing but the list went on and on. To cap it all the rear brake cylinder burst during the brake test which must have impressed the inspector no end. The full list of failure was:

Poor headlight illumination
Near side jacking point corroded
Near side Chassis leg corroded
Offside and near side inner wheel arch corroded
Offside front floor corroded
Front axle corroded - replacement only - no repair
Near side inner sill corroded

We were really surprised at the chassis legs needing repair. Maybe when we viewed the van we were too polite to have a good poke around with the screwdriver and possible blinded by the amount of history that came with the van. Maybe, we should have read our own Buying Guide . The beam failing also surprised us. How the inspector can say that the beam cannot be repaired and must be replaced is above me. If the repair is to a high enough standard then it should pass. Anyway, a new (new to us) beam has been purchased from the Bus Stop, Near Mold for 150 (ouch!!!) which really upset us as we have sold a number of beams in better condition for between 50 and 80. You live and learn. The "new" beam is to be cleaned back to bare metal and maybe even galvanised before being built up with all new seals, ball joints, brake cylinders and accesories.We do not intend to have to replace the beam again.

The chassis legs have been purchased from Alan Scolfield but the repair to the front cross member means that the front panel has to come off and that costs a hell of a lot as they are only available as modified latter units. We will have to strip everything off before deciding which way to go. With the amount of work needed it was a close call wether the van was going to be broken but we have decided to plough on. The main problem is finding somewhere to do the work. The van is too big to get into the garage so we are on the look out for somewhere suitable. I am even looking for a new house that has suitable van storage - but don't tell the wife.......

Updated September2002

Well the van has been sold without a single picture being taken! Mark was really cheesed off when the van failed the MOT in such style. So after 6 months of sitting on the drive he decided to get the work done and got all the welding and paint work done by a professional - he just did not have the time.

The list of panels needed was mind boggling - new out riggers, jacking points, front chassis rails, belly pans, outer sills, rear arch repairs, rear corners, battery trays, new beam plus many more "small" patch repairs were panels could not be bought.

The beam proved the real pain in the butt. A rust free beam had been bought months earlier but on fitting did not fit. The 1970 van had drum brakes so an early beam had been bought but a later beam (200 - ouch) was needed from a disc braked model. This confused things a lot - not a mistake that will be made again.

Once all the welding was completed the van was sprayed in 2K paint in the original Savannah Beige by a local spray shop. The wheels were shot blasted and painted along with the bumpers and other bits and pieces by myself.

The van was sold at Vanfest within 1 hour of arriving on the Saturday, which meant that we had to sleep in a 2 man tent at the side of my Passat.