More Notes on the Westfalia SO-34 Interior

by Steve Mighetto

I'm not an expert but I do own an S0-34 Westfalia. The cabinets in S0-34's are white laminate. From what I can tell, the laminate material is the German equivalent of white formica.

Westfalia S0-34 and S0-35 interiors are the so called "Flipseat" interiors. They are identical in layout and differ only in the color of the formica laminate. S0-35's are brown wood grain. SO-34's are white.

Flipseats were available from very late 1961 until VW changed the size of the rear window in mid '63. The "flipseat" is the front cab bench seat. Not the rear seat or some form of the bench/bed seat as many people seem to assume.

Flipseats are built on walk through Kombi chassis. The chassis is modified by removing the partition wall that is normally between the cab and cargo area. With this done, a special cab bench seat mechanism is installed. The bench seat mechanism allows the seat back to be flipped over and moved forward. This reforms the front bench seat so that it faces the cargo section of the bus. You are literally sitting in the cab facing the other direction. In this configuration the front bench seat forms one arm of a corner sectional like seating arrangement in the cargo area.

To sleep, the flipseat mechanism is moved to an upright position with the bench back facing up. The bed is formed from the bench seat in the cargo area and the cab bench seat. You sleep with your feet in the cab. On the driver side your feet can be quite literally under the steering wheel.

From the back edge of the rear cargo door to the rear hatch, there are cabinets on both the driver and the passenger side. Flipseats have a window in the closet like other Westy's and a really useless window behind the ice box.

Flipseats do not have a built in sink, stove, or refrigerator. The sink is a washbowl in the door cabinet. The door cabinet is set up as a vanity with a mirror on top and a wash bowl (not a sink) on the bottom. What looks like a refrigerator is an ice chest. The stove is a camp stove.

The cabinet section on the drivers side is unique to this model only. It has the liqueur cabinet, special storage for metal cups, ice chest, and a food preparation cabinet. The food preparation cabinet is hinged so it can swing to face the interior of the bus. The camp stove stores in the food preparation cabinet. Most food prep is done by opening the rear hatch and using the cabinets in "tailgate" fashion.

The closet section on the passenger side looks a lot like the earlier S0-23 and later S0-42's. Some people have told me the flipseat closet is wider. I really don't know.

The cabinet latches changed in late '62. Early models used the same all metal latches found on S0-23's. Late model versions use the push button latches(found on S0-42's?).

There are a lot of other details that make S0-34/35's unusual Westy's. The table can be mounted outside of the car in an adapter plate that mounts in the spare tire. There is a forward facing seat in the rear that can be removed and becomes a chair etc. etc.

Terry's bus on the following web page is an S0-34. (dead link 2007-01-21)

Micahel Heron has pictures of my S0-34 on his web site. They are at the very bottom of the page and are labeled "Steve and Saundra's S0-35" (it's actually an S0-34).

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