Now.. so that you also believe me: here are a few photos that show a confirmed VW T1 with Göppel “body”. These two pictures of the same bus either come directly from the Göppel archive or were found in old magazines from the 1950s.
The special thing about it: This bus is an extremely early conversion! This is confirmed by various features on the bus itself, which you sometimes have to take a closer look at. The most expressive and best recognizable is the front jack support. It clearly proves that the bus left the VW plant by the end of August 1951 at the latest. Compared to the jack support in later years of construction, it is positioned a little further back.
Since I also have a photo in much better resolution on the side, I can narrow down the year of construction of the bus even more. Here are a few screenshots of the rain gutter – one from the front roof area, one further back. Very early T1 buses built in 1950 have another type of rain gutter on the roof fold. In contrast to later buses, there is no water drain at the front corner – and generally this gutter fold does not run to the rear corner of the bus, but ends before the height of the rear axle. Only the first 5050 VW T1 buses have this feature. This means that the bus pictured left the Volkswagen factory before the end of October 1950! In this case you shouldn’t be fooled by the rear bumper – it is obviously not an original one, so it doesn’t say anything about the year of manufacture.
Of course, the VW year of construction does not provide any information about the time at which the bus was equipped with these special windows at Göppel. Unfortunately, there are no more notes on this. One thing is certain, however! It must have been before October 1951, because a photo of this bus was already published in a magazine at that time! Such a mentioned magazine is in my possession.
But in the Göppel archive there was not only the picture of the deluxe excursion bus with folding sunroof shown above, but also this interesting picture! It shows a shop window bus, probably built in 1951. The large window panes enabled the seller to better present his electrical appliances.
Another photo shows that not every Göppel VW Splitbus was inevitably upgraded with decorative strips. This other Göppel shop window bus (built in 1953?) Has a very eye-catching advertising on the roof. It seems that no panel van served as the basis for this advertising vehicle, but a window bus! At least the missing upper three air vents in the rear side area testify to this. Showcase boxes were installed inside the cargo space. In contrast to the bus shown above, the goods (this time in the form of handbags) were not presented standing on the floor, but hanging on the wall.