Automotive

Limited edition VW camper van celebrates 30 years of the Hotel California

Limited edition VW camper van ...
The new "30 Years" (left) poses with an original 1988 T3 California
The new "30 Years" (left) poses with an original 1988 T3 California
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The VW California 30 Years rides on 17-in high-sheen alloy wheels
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The VW California 30 Years rides on 17-in high-sheen alloy wheels
Contrast roof and mirror paint helps give the California 30 Years a unique look
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Contrast roof and mirror paint helps give the California 30 Years a unique look
Inside, the VW California 30 Years has a kitchen and cabinetry done in a "bright wood" motif
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Inside, the VW California 30 Years has a kitchen and cabinetry done in a "bright wood" motif
Serialized exterior badges help set the 30 Years edition apart from other California camper vans
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Serialized exterior badges help set the 30 Years edition apart from other California camper vans
The new "30 Years" (left) poses with an original 1988 T3 California
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The new "30 Years" (left) poses with an original 1988 T3 California

In this 30th year of the California camper van, the Düsseldorf Caravan Salon will welcome another new Volkswagen camper van in addition to the Crafter Grand California. VW will also debut a special edition T6 California designed in celebration of the camper van's big anniversary. The 30 Years package adds a fresh new coat of paint to the California's well-known spirit of open-road adventure and dependability.

The versatile California camper van debuted back in 1988, built atop a T3 Transporter. At the time, the camper was built by the good folks at Westfalia, but Volkswagen brought production in-house to its Hannover plant with the introduction of the T5, which is why Volkswagen was able to celebrate the 100,000th model (to drive out of the Hannover plant) earlier this year, even though more than 160,000 California vans have been built since 1988.

Unless Volkswagen has something truly special up its sleeve for later in 2018, the all-new Grand California should stand as the most memorable part of the California's 30-year celebration. But it won't debut alone, as it will be joined in Düsseldorf by the California 30 Years, a pop-top Transporter with some distinguishing features.

Contrast roof and mirror paint helps give the California 30 Years a unique look
Contrast roof and mirror paint helps give the California 30 Years a unique look

The 30 Years makes itself known immediately thanks to contrast pop-up roof and side-view mirror paint, available in either "metallic reflex silver" or "metallic indium gray." The new van also wears gloss back B-pillars and two special edition exterior badges with imprinted serial number. It rides on high-sheen 17-in alloy wheels.

Inside, the 30 Years comes complete with a kitchen unit and cabinetry finished in an all-new "bright wood" motif. LED lighting is affixed throughout the pop-up roof, tailgate and kitchen area, and auxiliary heating, adjustable via the in-vehicle control system or remote control, comes standard. The van includes an outdoor shower hookup at the rear.

Inside, the VW California 30 Years has a kitchen and cabinetry done in a "bright wood" motif
Inside, the VW California 30 Years has a kitchen and cabinetry done in a "bright wood" motif

Buyers can upgrade their California 30 Years with the available Drive Assist and Tour packages. Drive Assist adds some automated technologies, including parking assist, lane change assist and cruise control. It also brings LED headlights with cleaning system, LED rear lights, fold-in heated side-view mirrors and more.

The Tour package adds an upgraded comfort mattress, magnetic torch with charging base station and detachable tow hook.

Volkswagen plans to build up to 999 California 30 Years models.

We'll be attending the Düsseldorf Caravan Salon later this month, and Volkswagen's booth will be one of our first stops. We'll bring you more photos and information about this special edition California, the Grand California, and all the other camping and adventure vehicle news from the show.

Source: Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles

3 comments
Ergognome
We have a 1992 Eurovan CV Westfalia camper that looks remarkably like the California but was only sold in Canada for three years an not in the US. I have photos of the exterior and interior which look very similar if you are looking for any . I am trying to persuade VW In Canada to bring me one.
Longtermthinker
I love to see VW is finally reviving this van. As with many previous articles about tantalizing vw products no information about availability in US. Why is that?
bhtooefr
@Longtermthinker: I'd say they're not *reviving* it per se - they never stopped making it for Europe. However, they do seem to be dipping their toe into the water, gauging US interest. The problem with the T4 Transporter (the last generation that we got - 1993-1994, 1995 (camper only), 1997 (camper only), and 1999-2003, as the Eurovan) was that it was simply too expensive for the US market, as it was seen as a competitor to minivans (even though it was bigger than minivans), so it didn't sell well enough. What I suspect is happening is, they're gauging interest in the California in the US, to see whether a California version of the ID Buzz (the electric Transporter concept) would sell.