28 April 2021
Corgi Volkswagen Type 2 1500 SP Devon Caravette - Pearl White and Velvet Green
VW's second creation, after the Beetle, has become a real motoring icon. Examples today can fetch proper money, so for many of us, a good scale replica is the closest we can get. So it is with great pleasure that I received this newly-tooled beauty from Corgi.
The camper modelled was built in Hanover, Germany, in October 1966 to option codes M396 - UK market RHD, and M543 - no seating in load area. It was supplied directly to VW's official UK camper van builder, Devon Conversions. This example was owned for many years by enthusiastic Split Screen Van Club (SSVC) member Christopher Pratt from Derbyshire, who restored the bodywork in 2010 and made sure, unusually in a VW Type 2, that the vehicle was kept completely original. In 2013 it was purchased by Shropshire-based fellow SSVC member Ted Thomas. He's rebuilt the engine, gearbox and other running gear of the van himself, being an engineer by trade. He has also made sure it is kept original, something that's easier to do on this vehicle as it was one of the first to use a 12-volt electrical system. Ted and his family enjoy using the van regularly and it won 'Best Splitscreen' at Camper Jam in both 2016 and 2017.
What makes this an even more special model for me is knowing the personal input that Corgi's Head of Brand, Darrell Burge, had in this release. A keen VW Camper owner, Darrell sadly passed away suddenly recently. It's a truly lovely model, with some really splendid detail. The finesse of the windscreen wipers and both number plates is especially pleasing. A fitting tribute to both Darrell and VW's iconic design.