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Classic VW T4 campervan paint colours

There are literally thousands of Volkswagen vans on UK roads and, believe it or not, they are not all campervans. However, a lot of them are! And sometimes, as we know, a vehicle might start out in life as an ordinary jobbing van and end up as a converted, renovated or restored classic camper.

We recently covered the VW Type 2 - its history and its iconic colours. Here’s the lowdown on one of the ‘other’ VW campers - not the ones you’ll necessarily see with hazy Insta filters, but much loved by thousands of owners, nevertheless. Allow us to introduce the VW Transporter, or T4 for short.

A brief history of the VW Transporter (T4) 

The T4 rolled off the production lines from 1990 through to 2004, when it was succeeded by the T5 (we are now, in 2022, on the T6). Like the original ‘Type 2’ T1 and T2 campervan, they are still changing hands via private sellers and dealerships. 

Some of these sales are rusty restoration projects and many are rebuilt and refurbished - with new classic car paintwork, interiors and occasionally engines. And, while the classic T4 is basically a van (incorporating different styles like the Caravelle, Multivan and Kombi) ready to be converted into the campervan of your dreams, VW did in fact do a camper version, which has a roof bunk high-top.

VW camper style

It might be easy to dismiss the T4 because of its looks. The T1 and T2 are always en vogue as the camper to desire above all others. However, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the more serious and functional style of the T4 is just as distinctive.

The best way to look at which one is best for you was encapsulated on a T4 forum. As one of the posters pointed out, a T4 owners forum was always going to be biased towards the T4s over the T2s. Though, some admitted they loved the T2s as well.

One T4 driver said the T4 had “size, comfort, safety, reliability, drive, speed, economy, and much much more” going for it. Another suggested the T4 was less trouble to maintain and get out and about in than a T2. 

They potentially do have more room too - the T4 has a longer and shorter wheelbase option.

VW camper restoration projects

Classic VW campervans have always been popular as restoration projects and the T4 will undoubtedly give you many years of fun. With a renewed interest in campervans in the last couple of years, especially van conversions, VWs are keeping their value if they’re in good condition and have lower than average mileage.

Classic campers are a brilliant project and the T4 is certainly younger than the T2. This means there will be less damage to bodywork, though you might still have to get out the rust converter, filler and car touch up paint. Check cills, wheel arches and the bottom edges of doors especially for signs of rust.

  • A much appreciated 1992 T4 4-berth high-top camper ‘in sound condition’ that’s been professionally re-fitted out internally to a high standard, 181,000 miles on the clock, Pastel White with original black side stripes - £8,750
  • A neglected 1996 VW Transporter T4 Caravelle conversion that looks better on the inside than out, with 192,000 miles on the clock, in Candy White with blacked-,out rear windows - £2,750
  • A vibrant 1999 T4 Transporter long wheel base ‘ready for refit’ (comes with new interior ready for fitting), some rust spots, Scarab Green with original branded VW side stripes in yellow - £5,000 

Restoring a VW campervan?

If you do a Google search, you’ll see there are plenty of neglected Transporter T4s waiting for some TLC. 

Unlike their T2 siblings, the T4 is liable for road tax - they were launched in 1990 and current UK vehicle tax rules for exemption only apply to classic vehicles  if it was built before 1 January 1982. If it’s not roadworthy, you’ll need to SORN it and store it off the highway - preferably in a garage where you can work on it.

Bear in mind, some of these T4’s will have a lot going on - but if you do the work, you’ll know it’s being done right. Here’s what we noticed while browsing the second hand T4 boards:

  • Some need new engines
  • Many need a complete interior refit
  • Some are left hand drive imports
  • Many have surprisingly low mileage
  • Some hobbyists fit new gadgets to their restored VW campers though - like satnav, heated windscreens, parking sensors and air conditioning. 
  • Many have rust issues that will need filling and repainting with touch-up paint
  • Some bodywork might need a complete respray
  • Occasionally, a camper is clearly an original that is decades old, but the restoration has included a partial rebuild and it has been reregistered with the DVLA.

The 10 best-selling VW paint colours

VW is part of the Volkswagen Automotive Group (VAG) and shares the same colours and paint codes with Audi, Seat, Skoda and Porsche classic cars too. 

We can mix an exact match to any car’s original colour, including a nitro-acrylic car touch up paint that is suitable for classic cars. This mix replaces cellulose car paint - it’s important, because classic car paint isn’t as glossy as modern car paint. Our best-selling colours are below - but we can mix any classic paint colour under the sun. 

  1. Pastel Weiss
  2. Elfenbein
  3. Indian Blue
  4. Savanna beige
  5. China Rot
  6. Sierra Gelb
  7. Elm Green
  8. Leucht Orange
  9. 9. Niagara Blue
  10. Lotus White

Find your classic VW paint code

Unlike modern cars, where we’re able to look up your car colour with your reg, ordering original classic car paint requires a code. You can get the paint code from a car club or other specialist website, a dealership, or the manufacturer. 

Bear in mind, with classic paint colours there can be multiple codes for the same colour. For example, they can have a BLMV or BLVC code which can also have an ICI, Glasurit or PPG equivalent code – all which would create the same colour.

Confused? Don’t be! Just let us have your paint code and we’ll make sure you get the right colour of vintage car paint for your Classic VW camper.

How to order your touch-up paint

Simply enter your paint code, make, year and key (basic) colour into our search tool and follow the instructions. 

As classic car paint suppliers, we’ve also made it easy to order directly from our Classic VW product page.

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