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The End Of The Line For A Classic Vehicle You Didn’t Know Still Existed

The last Volkswagen "Minibus" will roll off the assembly line in Brazil this December.

by
Chris Queen

Bio

August 30, 2013 - 11:00 am

2vwvan

During my middle school and early high school years, my family owned a Volkswagen Type 2 Camper Van. We used to take it camping in the mountains or at Disney World, and it was as much fun as a conversation piece as it was as a vehicle. I wanted that vehicle for my own so badly, and my dad told me he’d give it to me when I turned 16. I imagined how great it would be to have a cool drink waiting for me in the icebox at the end of the day, and of course I knew it would be the perfect tailgate vehicle on fall Saturdays in Athens. Alas, my dad sold it when I was 15, and I never got to own one.

Volkswagen introduced the Type 2 (call it the Camper Van, Bus, Microbus, or Kombi if you want to) in 1950, and it was a fixture on American roads until 1967. Other countries held on to it longer, including Brazil, the last country to continue producing and selling them. Brazil began making the Kombi in 1957, an astounding record of longevity that, sadly, will end this New Year’s Eve, when the last van rolls off the assembly line.

As FoxNews.com reported last year, the van sold there as the Kombi is finally being discontinued due to upcoming safety regulations that it simply can’t be modified to meet.

To mark the end of its historic run, Volkswagen will build 600 “Last Edition” Kombis featuring retro white and light blue two-tone paint and vinyl upholstery, whitewall tires, white painted hubcaps, a set of curtains and a numbered plaque.

No longer air-cooled, the Kombi is powered by a flex-fuel 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine to accommodate Brazil’s wide use of ethanol, but comes only with an old-school four-speed manual transmission.

The price for the Last Edition Kombi is approximately $36,000, so it’s not exactly the people’s van of old, but with some originals now selling for over $200,000, this limited edition could be a real (as in the Brazillian currency) deal.

Even though rumors abound that VW will introduce a minivan concept with a similar style to the old Type 2 in 2014, it’s sad to know that the last of these funky, kitschy bits of car culture comes off the line this year.

All Chris Queen wanted to be growing up was a game show host, a weather man, or James Bond. But his writing talent won out. By day, Chris is a somewhat mild-mannered office manager for an IT managed services provider, but by night, he keeps his finger on the pulse of pop culture and writes about it. In addition to his Disney obsession (as evidenced by his posts on this website), Chris's interests include college sports -- especially his beloved Georgia Bulldogs -- and a wide variety of music. A native of Marietta, GA, Chris moved with his family as a child to nearby Covington, GA, where he still makes his home. He is an active charter member of Eastridge Community Church and enjoys spending time with family and friends. In addition to his work at PJ Media, Chris spent nearly a year as a contributor to NewsReal Blog. He has also written for Celebrations Magazine and two newspapers in Metro Atlanta. Check out his website, www.chrisqueen.net.

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All Comments   (5)
All Comments   (5)
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Fond memories of camping and a bear climbing in to steal my food.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Orange and white is the classic color too. All it needs is a"FREE CANDY" lettered on the side.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
Good riddance.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
True story. In 1973 my father took my brother and I (8 & 9) cross country from Asmara Ethiopia to Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania and back. Umpteen hundred miles with only one mechanical problem and one flat and the flat occurred in Asmara as we were coming home. Long live the VW Microbus and all it's variants.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
It is not correct that Kombi (Type 2) sales ended in the US after 1967.

The Type 2 was sold in the US until 1979, when it was replaced by the Vanagon, sold here through 1991. The 1967 date is actually the final year for the first generation in most markets and in German production. 1979 was the last year the second generation version was built in Germany. US-spec Kombis and Vanagons came from there.

Variants of the first generation were produced in Brazil until 1996.

The second generation version was similar to the first in most repects. This is the version still produced in Brazil, and is the one in the picture, except that water cooling was added several years ago in a drivetrain upgrade. It is also the version that was still built in Mexico until a few years ago.
32 weeks ago
32 weeks ago Link To Comment
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