The T3 Atlantic Campervan was introduced by VW in 1988 as its flagship all year round campervan. This superseded the similar spec Club Joker. The internal coachwork was carried out by the very competent Westfalia factory, and finished in a neutral grey with unique upholstery fabric, which has stood the test of time.

The Atlantic production ran in tandem with California of the same era, but this model lacked the night heater and double glazed windows which came as standard on the Atlantic, making the Atlantic a much more comfortable proposition for those that liked camping in the winter months.

As would be expected, the increase in specification had an impact on price in comparison to the California. As a consequence production figures for the Atlantic were much less, and it is estimated that only 1000 were produced during the two years of production. Other defining feature of the Atlantic are big mirrors and a full lower body kit.

Only three colour options were available.

  • Cherry Red (LA3E),
  • Calypso Green (LA6Z)
  • Alpine White (L90E)

Where it all began….

Our love affair with the T3 campervan was cemented on 14th September 2014 during a romantic stroll along the the seafront at Woolacombe on a warm summer’s evening with my wife Mandy. A late T3 Syncro Westy caught my eye, and after a brief chat with the owner the cogs in my head started turning.

2014 Vanagon Syncro (4×4)

Days later my mind was made up and the wheels were in motion to raise the funds to buy a campervan.

2016 parked in the same spot as the Syncro

I wouldn’t say we had been hankering uncontrollably for years to own a VW van, but they have interested and intrigued us much like they do for so many people. The splits and the bays draw attention for their looks and sounds, but this is the case for many classic cars due to the rarity .

But for whatever reason we fell in love with what many consider to be the ugly duckling of the VW campervan family…the T3. That said it had to have Square Headlights. For whatever reason the earlier vans with the round lights just didn’t grab my attention. I really think the Westy Syncro we saw had a massive impact on the route our lives took.

The first photo I saw of my new van was in an advert on the ‘Car and Classic’ website.

Car and Classic Advert
Car and Classic Advert

This was spotted late one Wednesday evening by Mandy. It certainly looked like it ticked the box as far as what we were looking for in a camper. I contacted the owner who lived in Peterborough and ask for some higher resolution images so I could make a more informed decision on it’s condition. I received these on the Friday morning . I called the owner and told him I was interested and would pop over on the Sunday to view. However, he had a potential buyer driving over that morning. So I did what you should never done in that situation…and place a deposit to secure the van without even looking at it . Fortunately, we were happy with the condition when we collected!

Our experience with this van has been truly life changing  and it has been one of the best decision we have ever made. 🙂

Below is a list of the work undertaken on our Atlantic since purchased. Most of this you should be able to find either in the “Upgrades and Modifications” or “General Maintenance” links to the left of the page.

September 2017
• Reconditioned Gearbox (Aidan Talbot) £1600
June 2017
• Mirrors refurbished £120
March 2017
• New brake callipers and hoses £253
April 2017
• Remanufactured Engine (1.9 AAZ) £2100
• Fitted of New Engine by Brickwerks specialist (includes additional components required for install). £2213
• New turbo. £318
• Reconditioned fuel pump. £384
• New Fuel Tank. £78
• New Clutch £89
• New Air Intake Pipe £27
• New Clutch Master Cylinder £47
June 2016
• Aero fuel filler cap. £210
• Fitted Rewire Securety GPS tracker £100
• New WAECO compressor fridge £495
May 2016
• Stainless Steel Coolant Pipes £172
• Power Steering Pipe Kit £132
• Oil Cooler Kit £392
• Repair and replacement of the radius arms & corresponding body mount points and
replacement of wishbone bushes £1200 (Approx as part of a £1470 reciept for other work carried out at the time )
• Replacement of steering rack bushes £40
March 2016
• 200w solar panel installation £300
• New Wheel Bearing and Disk Brakes £213
December 2015
• Terrapod driving lights £200
• Stainless steel exhaust £439
November 2015
• Stainless steel exhaust cover £73
August 2015
• Installation of New diesel night heater (Webasto Airtop 2000st) to replace the old Ebespacher. £400
• Fitted ‘Sherpas Combi Translift’ roof rack and roof list assist kit £294.99
March 2015
• H-Bar Pop top refurbishment £150
• Fiamma Bike Rack £150
• Fiamma Ultrabox boot box storage £700 (Including colour coding to the van)
• Replaced Roof Canvas with new £400

For more in depth information on the Atlantic, see: http://www.westfaliat3.info/html/westfalia_t3_atlantic.html

Mainly VW campervan, but other cool stuff also ;)

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