Volkswagen vans have long held a mystique for being the transportation of choice for bohemians, non-conformists, and counter-cultural types, three attributes also closely associated with the state of California. So what better name to use for its special lower-priced sleeper van models than California?
Not lost on us is the irony that no California model vans were ever actually sold new in the U.S. or the model's namesake state. Plenty of Westfalia camper models were sold in the U.S. and worldwide in both T2 and T3 (Vanagon) configurations. The Westfalia camper originally had the nickname the Joker.
But VW sensed a need for a more affordable recreational package for European travelers. The California is the company's budget-minded sleeper that removed the camper model's refrigerator, stove, and sink. Like the Westfalia campers, the California had a pop-up roof, allowing for as many as four people to sleep in sheltered comfort. The California has been offered in T3, T4 (sold in the U.S. as the Eurovan), and T5 vans, and most recently on the smaller Caddy model.
VW will commemorate the 25-year, 100,000-unit model run of the California at the Techno Classica show, which runs April 10-14 in Essen, Germany.