That company is Westfalia Mobil. Since 1951, when this company assembled its first VW van into a home for a British Forces officer stationed in Germany, they’ve been focusing all their attention and energy on camper van conversions.
All this experience is reflected in the vehicle you see here, the 2021 James Cook Classic. Now, like most other vehicles of this type, you’d expect there to be more than one floorplan available. That’s kind of true here. Under the James Cook category, three vehicles area available. However, they are so different, that they cannot be considered variations of the same base and are sold as completely different vehicles.
As for the Classic, a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter with a 314 CDI 2.1-liter and 143 hp (145 PS) is the shell for it all. If you feel that’s not enough horsepower, just opt for a stronger engine, for an extra buck of course. Whichever you use, better know how to drive stick as the gearbox is manual.
Due to the size of vehicles like these, a few safety features are included in the base package to help you get to your destination. Some of those features include adaptive ESP, level two stabilization, vibration dampening, crosswind assist, hill-start assist, and Mercedes-Benz eCall.
Cab features include keyless entry, airbags for both driver and passenger, heated and power-adjustable side mirrors, swivel seats, armrests, and adjustable steering wheel. An acoustics package, noise reduction, electric auxiliary heater, overhead control panels, and heat-insulating glass, all add to the interior comforts. Yes, there are cupholders too.
But the cab isn’t what brings people flocking to camper vans, it’s the living space and its amenities. Because I consider myself a big foodie, the first space I’d like to shine some light on is the kitchen. When I first saw the dining and kitchen setup, I was quickly reminded of RVs that come in nearly twice the size of a Sprinter.
Set to one side of the van, the kitchen includes all the necessary features such as a two-burner gas stove with piezo ignition and a glass cover. To the right is a stainless-steel sink with folding faucet and another glass cover. Side by side, these two covers allow for a new countertop space to be created. Large amount of storage underneath the counter, and a 90-liter (23-gallon) fridge are all you’re going to need for meals.
To enjoy said meals, the dining area is comprised of a booth that sits against the bathroom wall and a removable dining table, accessible by up to up to four guests. Once you’re nice and fed, you’ll probably want to take a nap or simply crash out for the night. To do that, the Classic is equipped with a double bed at the rear that extends on a slide-out in order to offer a larger space.
As for the not so simple bathroom, it’s been rated the “Best in Class,” but it’s not entirely clear by whom. But, upon seeing the interior and the features, the space, and just the overall taste with which it was completed, again, doesn’t remind me at all of a camper van.
For habitat and comfort controls, a diesel operated hot water heating system with boiler will make light work of your 100-liter (26.4-gallon) fresh water supply. A 78-liter (20.6-gallon) gray water tank is hidden under the floor, while a Westfalia control unit regulates all functions of heating, water, and electrical works, even the color and brightness of your light.
Now, please remember that these are just some of the features found on the Classic. Optional features, which include everything from special paint to skylights, tire pressure monitoring system, blind spot assistance, and even AWD, exist as well, including a couple of package options. But be warned, try and stick to the essentials and maybe just a few extras as the Classic version starts off at €77,000 ($90,804 at current exchange rates), meaning you could easily jump into the hundred thousand range.