Once again i have great news about Barndoor Deluxe Coachbuilds! 🙂 For a better overview I have divided this very comprehensive article into several chapters and individually linked them below! As one or the other visitor to my website may have already noticed, I am incredibly interested in the very first generation of VW buses (more precisely from the early 1950s) that were converted by coachbuilders. Most of these workshops used original Volkswagen panel vans from Wolfsburg – and equipped their bodies with additional windows and deluxe trim. These special deluxe versions of the VW Transporter were mostly used for excursions.
I have been researching this topic since around 2012 and together with friends we collect pictures, information and reports from witnesses and previous owners of such buses. Over the years all kinds of photos have surfaced that have really puzzled us. These pictures show Barndoors that were neither official Deluxes from VW, nor conversions from the so far known Austrian workshops of Kohlruss or Schreiner. The differences in the characteristics were too big – and also the German license plates often made me suspect that it could be a German coachbuilders work.
In general I noticed that during a research work that persistence, curiosity and patience often really do pay off. The best example is the solution to the riddle about the Kastenhofer bus, which I could solve in September 2020. And only about a week later I was able to assign another – previously unknown – deluxe conversion of VW T1 buses to a coachbuilder. I couldn’t believe my luck! It felt like these special buses had been bothering me for ages, robbing me of my mind and so I spent maaany hours trying to assign this type of barndoor deluxe conversion to a body shop. Hidden deep in a private car forum, or more precisely in a post that already was a few years old, I found the solution more or less by coincidence, as I had actually only researched the Kastenhofer coachbuilder. Finally some reward for all the wasted time of doing detective work and on following hints that turned out to be nothing at all. 😉
Ladies and gentlemen – I proudly present: the Göppel bus company from Augsburg! Yes for once it is not an Austrian, but a german coachbuilder! But Bavaria is pretty close..
Here are two photos of such buses that had haunted me for years:
Since I have now hopefully caught your attention, here are the individual chapters of my research:
► Features of a Göppel VW T1 Bus
► The early history of the coachbuilder Göppel
► Official Göppel VW Bus Photos
► Vintage photos of other Göppel Barndoors
► Comparison of 2 VW buses: Göppel Deluxe vs. Dr. Oetker advertising panel
I hope you will enjoy reading it! If you have any questions, feedback or other opinions, please feel free to contact me using the contact form.
If you are interested in this topic in general, I would like to invite you to join my new Facebook group:
► „Barndoor Coachbuilds“ ◄