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VW T4 History


The first generation of T4's naturally followed on from the ever popular T3/T25 Transporter range, as the T3/T25 had done from the T2 and so on continuing the VW camper tradition

[Lwb version]

Produced from 1990 until 2002/03 it became the first Transporter without a rear engine, opting for the more usual front engined, front wheel drive combination, they were produced in a vast diversification of models and resulting engine sizes, all engines were transversely mounted with 4, 5 and 6 cylinder options, 1.9, 2.5 and latterly 2.8V6 in diesel and 2.4 in petrol, with mostly manual gearboxes with automatic as a costly option.

[Swb version]

The resulting range of versions is almost endless, but started around 5 basic versions

Panel Van - Delivery van without windows or seats.

Panel Van [High Roof] - Same as above but with much higher roofline.

* Kombi - Delivery van with side windows, and removable rear seating.

Half Panel - Delivery van with only half the cargo area, and only one row of rear seats.

Mini-Bus - Fully windowed in 6-9-12 seater versions

All were available in both LWB [long wheel base] and SWB [short wheel base] versions.

[Swb Hi-top version]  

The T4 was in production for 14 years seconded only to the T2 Transporter in longevity terms, with the direct replacement for the T4 being called the T5, which hit the roads in late 2002, and are still selling well today, although at present [2008] they still demand to much money for your average converter to pay, although they to like the transporters before them will eventually continue the supply of affordable transporters ripe for conversion, as the models before have done so successfully for many years


[Swb pop-top and coach built versions]

There has been a myriad of third party conversions based around bare chassis cabs that include ambulances, refrigerated units, police and rescue service vans and a whole load more besides, the T4 in all it's available forms has proven itself to be a worthwhile investment for trade and industry around the world and is still widely being used today, as a result it will ensure that when these vehicles come off duty with their current users that the T4 camper scene will continue for many more years to come, with many vehicles becoming available ripe for conversion


[Some examples of working T4's from around the world]

One of the main suppliers of used examples in Britain has always been the AA, who regularly auction off their fleet a lot of which go to the camper conversions market as they come already fitted with tailgates and side windows amongst other useful parts to a would be converter.

[An ex-AA van conversion]

Much like the versions prior to the T4, [The T1-T2-T3/T25] the T4 Transporter is destined for the camper community at some point in it's lifetime, popular in self conversion circles as well as with the commercial conversion trade, with loads of examples on our roads today, from simple weekend vans to full blown coach built campers to choose from, or maybe your fancy is for a surf bus or a pure custom classic, whatever your desires there will be a bus out there somewhere to suit you if you do not wish to build one yourself, with many companies now available to supply you every part from top to bottom for you to be able to convert your own van, the truth of the matter being that really if you are a competent diyer you most probably could quite easily complete a very classy home conversion, with full kits available on much the same lines as Ikea build it yourself furniture, cut, shaped and manufactured to fit straight into your van, there really is no major issues to stop anyone from doing one for themselves.

A typical T5 keeping with the traditions set over 60 years ago now, supply a constant stream of vans, or transport options to keep our business communities and industry moving, then afterwards destined to be converted into campers, motor homes and all types of day and surf vans, strange how a good idea goes on and on and on is it not, as far as we at T4 -T5 Club are concerned long may the trend continue, we look forward to seeing what the next version the "T6" will look and be like to own.
 [A typical T5 ]
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