Split screen insurance

Just after the war, Dutch Volkswagen importer Ben Pon had the inspired idea of creating a van based on VW’s Beetle car. By 1950, the Volkswagen Type 2 (T1) ‘ Split Screen’ (or ‘Splittie’ to its millions of devotees) was born.

The versatility of the VW van meant it could be produced in many different forms. The first official camper van conversions were completed by sub-contractors Westfalia-Werke in 1951. These were known as the ‘Camper Box’ and over 8,000 were produced in the years up to 1958. Similar conversions to split-screen Type 2s were completed in Westfalia, as part of VW’s Special Model range, until German production ended in 1967.

The popularity of the split-screen camper soon spread worldwide, with companies including Devon Conversions Ltd in the UK and Riviera Motors/Automotive Services Inc. in the US also carrying out conversions.

The first split-screen conversions were supplied with a simple awning, supported by a pair of poles and guy-ropes. This was soon upgraded to a small, enclosed vestibule style tent, and then larger, fixed versions were introduced. From 1965 until the demise of the ‘Splittie’ in 1967, colourful ‘Big Top’ style awnings became available, offering the added advantage of a stand-alone construction.

Further improvement came in the form of larger engine sizes, with power increasing from 1131cc in the early days, up to 1500cc by the end of split-screen production.

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Campervan insurance with salvage retention

  • Salvage retention rights
  • Discounts for club members
  • Choose your own specialist repairer
  • UK & EU breakdown worth over £100 and includes homestart
  • Up to £100,000 legal protection if you’re in an accident that’s not your fault
  • Dedicated claims team available 24/7, 365 days a year

Other ways to save

Late Bay Insurance

The ‘latebay’ version of the Volkswagen Type 2 (T2b) was introduced in late 1971.

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Early Bay Insurance

Introduced in 1967, the early bay-window Volkswagen Type 2 (T2a) camper vans took their name from the single-piece, double curvature windscreen that replaced the split-screen version previously used.

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