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VW Celebrates 25 Years of California

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Since its introduction in 1988, Volkswagen has built 100,000 California camper vans spanning three generations.

Although the discontinued Routan may have represented the entirety of Volkswagen's van offerings in North America for the past few years, overseas the German automaker has a wide variety of vans in its line-up. Among the most popular is the California, a camper van based on the Transporter. While somewhat ironically not offered in America, the California provided Europeans with a way of getting away from the city and exploring the southern reaches of their continent without requiring flight or lodging.

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Now that model is celebrating its 25th anniversary, over the course of which VW has sold over 100,000 examples. Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles is marking the occasion at the upcoming Techno Classica show in Essen, Germany, where it will display an array of California vans from over the years. The current fifth-generation California is available in a variety of configurations, including two gasoline engines, five diesels, manual or dual-clutch transmissions, front- or all-wheel drive, starting at 38,187.10 euros.