VW T1 van

Die-cast: Autocult’s Volkswagen T1

VW T1 van
Can you imagine any of today’s pampered F1 drivers riding to a race in one of these?

Unique VW for the racing-oriented collector … 

When I was a kid the only minivans were VW vans. They fit the mini category, maybe even invented it.

But these were simple vehicles that like VW’s Beetle captured many of us Boomers’ imaginations. What may have been forgotten, however, is that there were several iterations and in Germany in particular, the pickup version was a popular commercial vehicle.

Well, the T1 Transporter that Autocult has created in 1/43 scale, is a throwback to those times and this one is special built, a longer version making it a fun collector’s item to put into your showcase.

The History

VW Transporters were a popular vehicle in Europe, but they also were excellent racecar transports, after the teams did a little cutting and bolting to extend the vehicle’s bed.VW T1 van

Many race teams in Europe, and some in the United States, figured out that they could cut and expand the middle section of the pickup portion of the Transporter and easily fit a racer in the back. Naturally these things handled poorly and weren’t long on power. But they were low-cost and easy to work on. And ultimately the T1 transporter and pickup was a useful work truck for the racing world.

Can’t imagine the F1 teams today ever going this budget-minded, but things were different in the early 1960s when these transports were being created.

The Model

This pretty blue and white Doppelkabine Langpritsche (double cabin pickup truck) is sharply executed by Germany’s Autocult, which has been expanding its lineup the last year or so. Replicarz, which supplied the review model, handles the Autocult lineup.VW T1 van

This resin-bodied model is nicely executed and comes in a stout acrylic display case, a little nicer case than most 1/43 scale models arrive in these days.

Painting is well executed, including the matte finish cream-colored roof and trim, plus the creamy bumpers with their fine upper bumper trim. The Transporter’s front looks like a VW microbus and features photo-etched metal side window trim, including vent windows, delicate looking PE wipers and twin chrome rearview mirrors on either side. The twin windshield and rear side windows are trimmed in black and there are chrome door handles on all four doors.

The van’s nose carries a crisp photo-etched VW logo and chrome bezels around the headlights, with amber turn signals above.  Plus on the front doors is a dark blue and white Genuine VW Spare Parts decal.

Inside, the van’s interior is white with twin bench seats, enough space to carry driver and race team crew. The steering wheel also is white and features a two-spoke hub with one single speedometer gauge on the dash behind the wheel … a simple van for simpler times.

There’s a rear window facing the transport’s bed, which unlike today’s pickups is painted blue, not coated with some slip-resistant and scratch-resistant covering.

Wheels are chrome with blue centers and the white-walled tires are treaded.

This is an unusual model for U.S. collectors, and if this one is sold out, Replicarz offers several other VW T1 models from a variety of model makers.

Vital Stats: 1963 Volkswagen T1

Maker: Autocult
Scale: 1/43
Stock No.: 07008
MSRP: $119.95

Link: Replicarz.com

 

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