Widower Gives Newlyweds Cherished Van For Half Price, With One Condition.

Elise and Domenic Cooke are newly married and on the adventure of a lifetime. The young Australian couple started itching to travel and began looking for a vintage VW van to facilitate their lifestyle. Being a young couple, their budget for the van was only $20k. One day, Elise was scrolling though online ads when she found the perfect match.


“Occasionally I would scroll through sale ads online much in the same way one dreams about winning the lottery,” Elise said. “Most of the vintage VW vans for sale in South Australia read along the lines of ‘great family van, starts sometimes’ or ‘moves when in neutral’. While these vans sounded like a great time as soon as I saw the ad for ‘Scout’ I had to calm my racing heart.”

“A Westfalia campervan in beautiful condition, no rust, a V6 Holden engine that has her running like a dream and strong enough to tow a caravan, a completely original interior, and one owner since the year she was made in 1972.”

The van was owned by Peter Von Maltzahn, who after marrying his wife in Germany in 1972, bought the van for the two of them. The duo traveled all over the Europe and eventually settled down in South Australia. Peter’s wife recently died, so with a heavy heart he listed the van for sale at $40k. Well outside the Cooke’s budget.

“We left, grateful to have met Peter and his beautiful van, but unable to put an offer in,” Elise said.

After a few days, the Cooke’s got call from Peter who asked them a very serious question. “He asked us, in all seriousness, what we could afford. While I sat at the table silently, my heart racing, Dom said to Peter that he meant no offence, but the most we could spend was around half of what he was asking.”

“He told us that both the offers were from men who were collectors. His van would sit in a shed, collecting dust, or on display, or perhaps even have some work done to spruce her up.”

“He told us that the idea of the Kombi going to a young married couple, beginning their lives together, just like he and his wife when they bought it together back in ’72, meant so much more to him.”

“With tears in his eyes he told us he would accept our offer, but only on one condition.”

“I told him we would do anything. He said, ‘You have to promise me you’ll have adventures and when you have your own children you have to take them on many, many adventures’.”

And that’s exactly what they did. The Cooke’s have not settled down yet and have no plans of doing so. It’s wonderful to know that the VW van will see many more adventures as the years go by.

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