When I was looking for the oldest VW T2 that still exists today, it soon was clear to me that I was of course not the first one who asked this question. In forums like Earlybay, TheSamba, or also in the IG T2 forum, this question came up many years ago – and so I quickly found what I was looking for. According to some comments, there is a panel van in Belgium, built in summer 1967 – with chassis number 67. That means it is the sixty-seventh T2 bus ever built!
It might be hard to imagine, but there is an earlier one! Further comments and a subpage on the barndoor.dk website finally led me to the oldest VW T2 currently known:
It is a single cab with chassis number 38. So much earlier than the Belgian panel van, mentioned above. I contacted the owner in Sweden and got the following new insights:
Both, the VIN tag and the M-plate are unpainted. In addition, the cars M-plate does not mention a planned production date. So it was not immediately clear, when this extremely early T2 was produced. But the owner was able to help me quickly. He had already ordered an official birth certificate from Volkswagen before. It shows the following line: „Built on: July 10th, 1967“!
So this is clear evidence that the VW T2 was officially built in July 1967 – still before the factory holidays started. So most books and information that are available elsewhere are wrong by claiming that VW T2 production started in August 1967.
In general, however, it is important to distinguish between the „planned production date“ according to the M-Plate and the „real production date“ according to the VW birth certificate. During my research, I soon noticed that these dates mostly do not match, especially for the early T2 buses. My first thought was that the reason for these different dates, were initial problems during the T2 production, which led to delays.
But then I wrote with Wolfgang in a german T2 Forum. He was already working in VW factory back in 1967 and added these interesting words:
“A short note about the production date. It’s always pretty fictional, especially around the factory holidays. When is the production date set? I can’t really tell anymore. The first individual parts were manufactured many months in advance. Was it the start of manufacturing of the body shell? The bodies were also infrequently stored in between and only continued to be built much later. But they already had a chassis number. Or was it the wedding (engine in)? Or was it the final acceptance? However you do it, there are a lot of faults on the long way from the individual part to the finished car, which means that bodies had to be overhauled or wait as the order got changed. And that’s why the production date is very mixed up when you change models and you can’t derive much from it. ”
I will also go more into detail on the topic of different production data – as you can read in this article …
Get back to the topic overview.
Or continue reading through my research in chronological written order: