VW T2 Bay Window

VW T2 Bay Window (1967 - 1979)

History of the T2 'Bay Window'

The Volkswagen T2 Bay Window


The expert team at JK have pooled their knowledge to produce a comprehensive model history of the Volkswagen T2 ‘Bay Window’. Topics covered include production history, camper conversions and vehicle usage. Particular attention has been paid to VW T2 Bay technical information incorporating engine codes, chassis numbers, paint codes, T2a ‘Early Bays’, T2b ‘Late Bays’ and ‘Crossover’ models. All VW T2 Bay variants are covered from Campers, Panel Vans, and Crew Cabs through to Westfalias and Kombis.

Body Styles and model variants

Volkswagen offered a huge range of models or variants of the VW Transporter, here are some of the factory combinations:

T2 Bay Panel Van

Panel van, a delivery van without side windows or rear seats.

T2 Bay Walkthrough

Walk-Through models had single passenger and driver seat, allowing you to ‘walk through’ to the rear.

T2 Bay Bulkhead

Bulkhead models had double passenger seats and single driver's seat (mostly on commercial versions like vans and pickups)

T2 Bay High Roof

High Roof Panel Van (German: Hochdach), a delivery van with factory fitted raised fibreglass roof.

T2 Bay Kombi

Kombi, known in Germany as a Kombinationskraftwagen (combination motor vehicle), with side windows and removable rear seats, both a passenger and a cargo vehicle combined. Seats were easy to remove and the rubber floor mat made it very practical for work use.

T2 Bay Bus Interior

Bus, was a windowed van with more comfortable interior reminiscent of a car. Normally 3 rows of seats, headlining all the way through, heating vents front, middle and rear.

T2 Bay Deluxe

Deluxe, was the ‘up market’ version of the Bus, but was available with optional extras, such as chrome bumpers, bumper over-riders,  late models had headlamp washers! Rubber trim on bumpers, 2-tone paint etc.

T2 Bay Single Cab Pickup

Crew cab pick-up, normally a 6-seat version of the pickup. Known in Germany as a Doppelkabine. Again had under bed storage, but with smaller access doors. Was available with 1 or 2 rear passenger doors.

T2 Bay Crew Cab Pickup

Crew cab pick-up, normally a 6-seat version of the pickup. Known in Germany as a Doppelkabine. Again had under bed storage, but with smaller access doors. Was available with 1 or 2 rear passenger doors.

Westfalia T2 Bay Camper

Westfalia , also known as a , "Westy". These came in a variety of finishes, with the option of an elevating roof, which used the deluxe Bus sunroof aperture. The interiors varied on the year and if the vehicle was produced for European or USA / Canadian export. Most VW fans see the Westfalia camper as the ultimate conversion.

Commercial and Camper conversions

Because of the style of the VW Transporter and the fact that VW were very relaxed about 3rd party companies converting them to alternative uses, there became a variety of specialist vehicles such as, the Kemperink, refrigerated vans, hearses, ambulances, police vans, fire engines and ladder trucks. 

There was also a small ‘army’ of convertors around the world turning both vans and buses into campers. These varied drastically in quality and luxury. Some of the well-known UK converters were Danbury, Devon, Dormobile, Canterbury Pitt, and Viking etc.  Just Kampers supply a great range of camper and camping interior parts for conversion and restoration.

Just Kampers Kemperink

In the 1890s, a family business called Kemperink was established in Holland's Harbrinkoek, close to Almelo. Coach trimming was one of the many diverse trades it engaged in. It evolved into a specialised coachbuilding company in 1931 and started producing heavy goods waggons as well.

Kemperink produced 2 basic models; The long and the tall (Lang und hoch)
Der Kastenwagen – Bestelwagen (a LWB high top)
Die Pritsche – (a lengthened pickup)

The Bestelwagen typically came without windows (unless a special request). A square section tubular steel structure with steel walls made up the high top rear cabin. To make up for the absence of windows, the roof piece is made of fibreglass and typically has a clear middle section to let natural light into the interior. Early iterations of the split screen van had a flat roof shape with rounded sides. Later Bay window automobiles had bent roof profiles, giving the inside more headroom. All of the vehicles had individual cabs and were based on the pickup. Earlier cars often had a fairly large back door equipped with gas struts and twin (or single) opening side doors.Little else changed to the basic vehicle during the 1960s and 1970s; the Kemperink went from split screen to bay window.

The only significant modification at that time was the availability of sliding doors in place of side doors or shutters that could be opened. The 'Bestelwagen Special' label was given to this car.
Hundreds of these vehicles would be modified from this basic design into numerous other sorts of utility vehicles, ranging from straightforward vans to mobile shops. They served as supply trucks, mobile kitchens, and radio rooms for the Dutch army. A lot of them were also utilised to convert campers.

By the end of the 1970s, VW itself was providing significant competition. After 20 years, VW finally developed their own LWB car (the LT), which ultimately led to Kemperink's demise. Kemperinks production ended shortly after Volkswagen unveiled the T3 Transporter in 1979. Approximately 2000 automobiles of all kinds were produced overall.

Production history and model development

  • Aug 1967 Saw the ‘Bay Window’ model replace the ‘Split Screen’. It was a radical rethink with changes such as ball joint front suspension, rather than king and link pin. Independent rear suspension, also known as IRS, was fitted instead of reduction boxes and swing arms, a one-piece windscreen, wind down cab windows. Engines were fitted with a ‘back bar’ to stabilize the engine. In fact just about every body panel and mechanical part is changed.
  • 1969  New front axle, fuel tank is now hidden behind a bulkhead, door handles are changed.
  • 1970  Minor changes took place such as the fuse box, otherwise an uneventful year.
  • 1971 > 72  Introduction of front disc brakes and new rear brakes. Also the introduction of the small 5 stud wheels with flat hubcaps.
  • 1972  Bodywork changes included flared front and rear wheel arches. Tall rear lights, with reverse lights as an optional extra. This year also saw the introduction of the 1.7L flat Type 4 style engine with twin carbs. There were some vehicles with early-style arches and disc brakes. A few of the late ‘72 vehicles have high front indicators and ‘73 on front panels but still have the wrap-around style front and rear bumpers.
  • 1973  Huge model revamp. The ‘wrap around’ style bumpers were replaced with the square style. The front indicators were moved up to the new grille. Changes were also made to the front arches and cab floor, accelerator linkage, steering box and many other improvements such as the 1800cc engine. Front brakes were again upgraded.
  • 1974  Main changes were improved gear linkage, indicators and wash wipe switches were upgraded, along with the sliding door and lock. 
  • 1975  Only big change was the cab doors are a ‘one year only’ style.
  • 1976  Changes to the cab doors/hinges. The accelerator linkage and pedal are also revamped.
  • 1977  No notable changes.
  • 1978  The main change was in August 1978 when the 2000cc engines had new cylinder heads and the heat exchangers were remodelled.
  • 1979  Sadly saw the end of ‘Bay Window’ production in Germany.

Quick guide to help identify  VW T2 Bay Window Transporters

'Early Bays’ 1967 > 1971  Distinguished by small rear lights, smooth wrap-around bumpers and low-mounted front indicators above the bumper.

Crossover - 'Late 71 Bays’  Flared wheel arches but still have small rear lights and drum brakes.

Crossover - 'Late 72 Bays’  Low front indicators, early wrap-around bumpers, but tall rear lights, disc brakes, supported gearbox and the option of servo brakes.

'Late ‘Bays’ 1973 > 1979  These are distinguished by large rear lights, grooved non-wrap around bumpers and high-mounted front indicators on either side of the grill. They also have flared wheel arches all around.

Bay Window chassis numbers explained

The chassis number, or Vehicle Identification Number (VIN), can be found stamped on an aluminum plate either behind the front seats or in the engine bay.  An example chassis number might read: 229 375 250 (This number belongs to a Type 2 Microbus made in 1969)...

The first digit of the chassis number, '2', indicates that this is a Type 2.

The second digit of the VIN, again '2', denotes the vehicle model. Which model do you have?

1. Panel van 
2. Microbus 7/9 seater 
3. Kombi i.e. van with windows 
4. Deluxe microbus 7/9 seater 
6. Pickup 
7. Crewcab

The third digit of the chassis number represents the year.

1968      218 000 001       >              218202251

1969      219 000 001       >              219300000

1970      210 2000 001     >              2102300000

1971      211 2000 001     >              2102300000

1972      212 2000 001     >              2102300000

1973      213 2000 001     >              2102300000

1974      214 2000 001     >              2102300000

1975      215 2000 001     >              2102300000

1976      216 2000 001     >              2102300000

1977      217 2000 001     >              2102300000

1978      218 2000 001     >              2102300000

1979      219 2000 001     >              2102300000

T2 Bay Window engine numbers

The engine number can be found stamped on the top of the crankcase, centrally above the crankshaft pulley on the type 1 or type 2 engines. And stamped on the top of the crankcase above the Cooling fan on the type 4 engine.

T2 Bay Window engine types
There were two engine options that were originally fitted to the VW Transporter between 1967 and 1979.
The first was the Type 2 1600cc engine, which is identical to the Type 1 Beetle engine except it has an extra engine mounting at the rear of the crankcase. Commonly referred to as an upright engine. The second option first appeared in 1972 and this was the Type 4 engine which was sold in three sizes, 1700, 1800 and 2000cc. Commonly referred to as a Pancake or Type 4 engine.

Type 1 and 2 Engines

CODE     CC           BHP        NOTES

B             1600       47           Single Port

AD          1600       50           Twin Port

AS           1600       50           Twin Port


Type 4 Engines

CODE     CC           BHP        NOTES

CA           1700      66           Type 4

CB           1700      66           Type 5

CD          1700      66           Type 6

AP           1800      68           Type 7

CJ            2000      70           Type 4

GD          2000      70           Type 4

GE           2000      70           Type 5

T2 Bay Window paint codes

What colour is my VW?  Although many VW Campers started out all white and the conversion companies (Devon, Dormobile etc) resprayed the bottom half the colour the customer chose (Orange was obviously a very popular colour in the 1970’s) there were many factory colour options too. Below are the colours available from Volkswagen, when the Transporter was manufactured.

Paint codes
L87 Pearl White
L90D Pastel White
L91Z Atlas White
L282 Lotus White
L581 Cloud White
L567 Ivory
L20B Brilliant Orange
L555 Titian Red
L30B Kansas Red
L30H Montana Red
L31A Senegal Red
L31H Chianti Red
LH3A Fox Red
L11H Sierra Yellow
L20A Marino Yellow
L21A Chrome Yellow
L62H Bali Yellow
L60D Elm Green
L61B Sumatra Green
L63H Sage Green
L512 Velvet Green
L610 Delta Green
L50H Brilliant Blue
L50K Neptune Blue
L53D Niagra Blue
L53H Orient Blue
L57H Reef Blue
LE1M Mexico Beige
L13A Dakota Beige
L13H Ceylon Beige
L91D Kansas Beige
L620 Savannah Beige
L12A Panama Brown
L87Z Agate Brown
LH8A Date Brown
L041 Black
L345 Light Grey
Information is correct to the best of our knowledge, and we accept no responsibility for erroneous information.

International production

What happened when production stopped in Hannover in 1979?  They are still made in Brazil today and available from Danbury near Bristol!  

Brazil manufactured the Kombi Splitscreen in the 1950s, through to a version of the German Bay Window, the obvious differences being a slightly higher metal roof, a raised bulge on the cab doors and in recent years the 1600cc air-cooled engine was replaced in December 2005, with a 1400cc water-cooled engine and as it’s water-cooled, they have a black plastic radiator cover on the front panel.  

Mexico also produced the Bay Window, again initially as a 1600cc air-cooled engine and in the early 1990’s fitting a water-cooled 1800cc  90 bhp fuel-injected engine.

As Brazil still builds about 35,000 Kombis a year, this makes it a very popular local vehicle and the longest production-run vehicle in the world.

Where else has the T2 Bay Window been built?  In KDF (Knock Down Form) or in local factories they have been built in:

Germany - August 1967 to August 1979
Mexico - 1970 to 1996
Brazil - 1976 to 2013
Argentina - 1981 to 1986
Australia - 1968 to 1979

Landmark production years

August 1967 sees the 1st ‘Bay Window’ Transporter produced in Germany at the Hannover plant.
1968 sees the 2,000,000th Transporter roll off the German production lines (in Hannover).
1977 sees the 4,500,000th Transporter roll off the German production lines (in Hannover).
August 1979 production stops in Germany to allow the ‘T25 / T3 to be produced.

4 years ago