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Walter - The World’s Largest VW Split Screen Bus | VW Camper Van Blog
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Walter - The World’s Largest VW Split Screen Bus

Posted on November 7th, 2009

Walter - The World's Largest VW Split Screen Bus

I recently got chatting to a VW Van enthusiast I met on Facebook called Martha. She started telling me about an amazing project she and her friends were working on. The project was simply to build the world’s largest VW Van.

The idea was conceived after returning from Burning Man 2008, an event that brings together artists, hippies, and cool people of all backgrounds from around the world to celebrate life. Martha explains, ‘Each year artists create “mutant” vehicles that can be driven during the annual Burning Man event.  Kirk Strawn, Rob Larson and their families attended Burning Man in 2008 and witnessed first hand the unbelievable creativity unleashed by the mutant vehicle artists and wondered what they could build to take to the event in 2009′.

Kirk’s longstanding love of VW busses led him to one conclusion, to build the world’s largest VW Bus! Rob then took on the role of Chief Engineer and Martha became the Head Designer. They then recruited Nathan (AKA The Metal Man) to handle the welding and make sure it really was possible to build the van, Dave to look after the mechanics and Martha’s Husband Joel to handle the electrics. Also onboard were Siggy, Dominick, Brian, Shawn, Dave, Charlie, Primo, Manuel, Peter and Chris, each of whom helped towards the completion of the project.

But how do you built the world’s largest VW bus?

The first thing to do was to find a useable chassis to convert in to the oversized camper. The team located a used Crash Truck in the ghost town of the Gold King Mine. It had been driven 50 miles or so to this spot from an old airstrip where he was a Crash Truck.

The Crash Truck that would be soon converted in to the VW Van

The Crash Truck on the way to its new home

So, after sourcing a the truck, the team started work, ‘One of the major challenges was getting the truck in good working order and then relocating the steering platform up approximately 3 feet above it’s original location so that the driver can see out the new windshield. Dave, Our mechanic is truly amazing.’

Stripping the Crash TRuck

‘Our original idea was to build a 23 window, but due to time constraints we opted to start with a single cab which we could later convert to a 23 window.’ says Martha, ‘The original Walter crash tuck was the first all aluminum vehicle so we kept true to Walter’s heritage and used aluminum for as many components as possible in the construction.’ 

‘The skin that you see is all aluminum. An artist gave Walter his final Paint Job. LED lighting donated by OptoLum Inc keeps Walter well illuminated at night and a misting system keeps riders and spectators cool in the day. A sound system rounds out the party bus features. There are sleeping quarters inside which convert into a booth type lounge in the day time. A custom reclaimed wood door with blinking eye window was created by another artist for this space.’

Even the small details that we all love about the classic VW Split Screen Bus were enlarged to make Walter look like the real deal, ‘Siggy our project manager made sure everything came together and all the cool VW details were maintained. He constructed a large VW logo for the front and we event installed oversized safari windows.’

Contruction on the World's Largest VW Split Screen Van

Contruction on the World's Largest VW Split Screen Van

As you can imagine, such a massive project like this takes a lot of time and effort. Walter was completed just hours before the 2009 Burning Man festival where he was loaded onto a semi on the morning of the event ready for the 16 hour journey north to Black Rock City, and from the look of the photos, he was certainly a hit!

Walter the World's Largest VW Split Screen Van at Burning Man

Walter the World's Largest VW Split Screen Van at Burning Man

Walter the World's Largest VW Split Screen Van at Burning Man

So what is next for Walter?

Since returning from Burning Man, work has continued on the large VW to make it in to the desired 23 window bus as originally planned. Martha explains, ‘Walter is definitely evolving. Primo the Fabricator went today in search of pristine examples of Walter’s future state. Miniature as she was (well actually normal sized from a human perspective) there was no doubt that she was gorgeous. Red, shiny and smelled of oil.’

Walter the World's Largest VW Split Screen Van alongside a regular VW Split Screen Van

The team now have some charity gigs planned for Walter in an attempt to raise some money for good causes. Martha wishes to thank everyone involved with building the worlds largest VW Bus, ’The project could never have come to fruition with out the support of our excellent team’.

For more information on Walter and the project, check out the official website at www.worldslargestvwbus.com or the Walter Facebook Group.

What do you think of Walter? Is really the World’s Largest VW Split Screen Bus or have you seen bigger?

Posted by Steve

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Posted on Saturday, November 7th, 2009 at 7:40 pm
Posted In Featured, Split Screen | Tags: ,

10 Responses to “Walter - The World’s Largest VW Split Screen Bus”

  • Kat on November 8th, 2009 said:

    WOW that is amazing, hope to actually see it one day whilst out on my travels. SOme amazing people out there doing things

  • Biddy on December 19th, 2009 said:

    Awesome!!
    I have ridden on Walter. He is the coolest.

  • Rob on December 22nd, 2009 said:
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    Hahaha,

    Thats well funny! I think a single is better that a 23 window as you get a out door area!

    Nice work guys,

    Cheers,

    http://www.oldschoolcamperhire.co.uk

  • canvas guy on January 2nd, 2010 said:

    Give moi the measurements, & I’ll make a tilt for your SC!

    Fabulous work!

    Aloha,

    Canvas guy

  • davevwhotstuff@aol.com on January 2nd, 2010 said:

    is it me?, or is there a guy wearing a tutu, and another guy wearing a kilt in the rendering?

  • Steve on January 31st, 2010 said:
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    Thanks for all your comments!

    Kat - it is truly amazing - would love to drive it!

    Biddy - Lucky you - must have been great to rid it!

    Rob - Definitely agree!

    Canvas Guy - Just had a look on your site - some great work your doing!

    Dave - Yep… a tutu. You should see some of the other outfits worn at Burning Man - http://www.burningman.com

    Thanks

    Steve

  • Todd Kirk on February 18th, 2010 said:

    FYI, Walter has a new website: walterthebus.org

    You can also check out his facebook page: facebook.com/walterthebus

  • fartalot bumburp on June 12th, 2010 said:

    I want them to make more and sell one to me.

  • Rob on August 3rd, 2010 said:
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    Does anyone know if this camper is still kicking around as i’m off traveling around the USA and would love to visit it.

    Cheers,

    Rob

    http://www.oldschoolweddinghire.co.uk

  • Todd Kirk on August 18th, 2010 said:

    Rob, he is still kicking and kicking strong!

    He lives in Scottsdale, Arizona. The address is on his facebook page.

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