Meet the new limited edition VW California Beach and California Ocean campervan models.
It’s been a long cold winter in the UK, but summer appears to now be here, and with summer comes all the romance of owning a classic Camper. Yet this is getting increasingly hard to do with petrol set to be phased out over time and parts becoming harder to find – not to mention what that long wet winter does to steel. Need insurance for your campervan?
So what do we do? Well Volkswagen have a somewhat less wallet draining option available if you (like me) have let go the enthusiasm of constantly ‘doing up’ a classic vehicle – it’s the Volkswagen California. Admittedly, the California doesn’t have the retro pastel and chrome classic charm of the original Campervan, but it does have all mod cons – and will cope with the sort of winter we’ve just emerged from.
The is the camper van version of the Volkswagen Caravelle, the 7-seater £40,000-plus luxury MPV that can just about claim a lineage all the way back to the original classic Type 2. But the big news here is that VW are to introduce a couple of limited edition versions of the California, of which only 80 will be made available to us in the UK. VW are placing this vehicle right alongside the image that we have of the classic air-cooled Type 2 of yesteryear; all warm lazy summer days overlooking the sea, with maybe a surfboard up top.
The special limited edition California campers are called the California Beach and California Ocean respectively (just in case you had any doubts about the previous paragraph). The Beach will come in at 148bhp, while the Ocean will offer 201bhp. Both will be 2-litre diesel engine powered and run through a 7-speed auto gearbox. Privacy glass at the rear of both editions and heat insulation on the front side glass are a feature, while LED headlights, 17-inch alloys and black roofing with matching door mirrors distinguish these special edition models.
Inside it’s all mod cons as you would expect in 2018 and a VW infotainment system as standard, with both Apple and Android connectivity. The Ocean edition offers the luxury of a full colour dash display plus interior lighting and brightly coloured dining area cupboards. The Beach offers a 3-zone climate control system – no need for a cloth to wipe the inside of a misty windscreen and a twenty mile run before you can generate enough energy to heat the inside here. The Ocean even offers an outside shower to get all that salty seawater off after a swim or surf.
The California Beach will start at £52,985 while the California Ocean will start at £65,879. Unconfirmed as yet, but these special editions are likely to be made available in a choice of Candy White, Cherry Red, Grape Yellow, Indium Grey and Oryx White.
A friend of mine who runs a business restoring and keeping classic VW Campervans on the road recently told me that business is actually booming. He places a lot of this down to families succumbing to the idea of a staycation, forgoing the cost of travel abroad for the joys of a home grown summer holiday – so if you like that idea and believe in the old wives’ tale that says a bad winter will lead into a great summer, then this might be the choice for you. If you’re slightly more pessimistic, the Ocean also features rain-sensing wipers.
Image Credits: volkswagen-vans.co.uk