Tempted by some cheap Brazilian made metal for your VW Camper

Guide to Rear Aprons – new Brazil or original German part

Our VW Buses are now over 40 years old, and this in the lifetime of steel that can corrode is a long time. Some of the sheetmetal steel can be replaced, for example rocker covers or sills etc, here we take a quick look at a Brazilian made rear apron for a 1966/67 Volkswagen Camper – sometimes also called a rear valence.


Whats different about the 1966/67 apron compared to the more common 1956/65 apron – VW did away with the church key latch mechanism and went towards a Beetle handle introduced around the same time. This meant the apron had to change in accommodate the new trigger latch. Here we show our original apron – a beat up and aged 1966 original vs a new Brazilian apron in black primer;
Volkswagen Rear Apron 1966


A quick look at the end construction reveals some similar folds and details, the stamping is not as sharp or precise and there are plenty of water traps that will need sealing (or not) to help longevity;
VW camper apron comparison


This is the biggest difference, the detail that holds the main seal is in a different location, this makes the seal about 5mm lower than it would be with the German apron. In practical terms the seal still works it just sits a little different.
VW apron seal difference


There are actually two versions of the Braz rear apron – a full height version (c. $130) and a cut down version (c. $70) made to clear an exhaust – here we used the cut down version. This is a pic of the Braz apron on DragBus before it went off to a full primer paint job.
Dragbus vut down apron 66


Would we use one again – German is better made, thicker, more detailed and probably longer lasting. But if you don’t have anything to fit then this will suffice.
Autocraft in the UK also make a replacement (c. £125) – and probably to a high quality too.
Klassicfab also make a 66/67 version (c. £145) in their characteristic funky green primer – they also have a good reputation for high quality parts that fit.