Ah the Kombi… not just a car, but a lifestyle. The humble Kombi has couriered soldiers, hippies, surfers, bands and families alike. It is an everlasting symbol of counterculture, particularly in the West.
Sadly, Volkswagen has ceased production of the beloved “Type 2” model due to a failure to meet updated safety regulations. However, their team of engineers have been hard at work creating an all new, all-electric concept bus with similar aesthetic features to the classic.
Here are five facts you may not know about the VW Kombi.
Brazil was the last country to stop manufacturing the Kombi in 2013, because of its notoriously lax vehicle safety measures. Brazilians had a wide variety of uses for the Kombi, from postage services using it to carry mail, to funeral directors utilising the space to courier corpses. Many Kombi owners would also convert the space in the back to a food van and turn a profit by parking it outside of busy markets during lunchtime.
The “Type 2” Volkswagen can now sell for a whopping $202,000! Many European Volkswagen enthusiasts travel to Australia to buy top-of-the-line vintage kombis because they’re in better condition than their UK counterparts. This is because the salt thrown on roads in the UK during snowy weather has deteriorated the outside of many UK Kombis, de-valuing their resale price.
Despite what many think, the Volkswagens sold in Australia between 1954 and 1976 were not made in Germany. A factory in Melbourne made and assembled the parts according to VW’s specifications.
If you don’t have the dosh to buy your own Kombi van but are a big fan, why not try embracing the legacy through this lego version? Released in 2011 by this toy giant, it is not the only, and will not be the last homage to this iconic vehicle.
Australia has its very own Kombi Club! With over 12,000 members, the club has an annual ‘Bus Stop’ event which gathers all Kombi owners in Australia. They have a flourishing online community, complete with helpful advice and a shop full of hard-to-find replacement parts for owners’ beloved vehicles.
One of the driving forces for classic car collectors is nostalgia, and this is no different for Kombi owners. Many a baby boomer has continued to hang onto their Kombi as a reminder of their hippie days. For some, the vehicle itself represents freedom.