Kombi and Cooking with Jamie!

22 02 2014

Over the years we, as a family, have fallen completely in love with Jamie Oliver’s cooking shows. Up to the point where now our two-and-a-half-year-old brings DrJ’s tablet and yells either “Peppa Pig!” or “Jamie, Jamie!”. Jamie in turn seems to have fallen in love with old kombis. Below is the link to the first part of a four-episode Youtube series, “Jamie Cooks Summer”. Throughout all four episodes, an orange-and-white Brazilian bay window campervan gives the beautiful background for summer camping cooking. Towards the end of part-1 and in part-3 a sage green late bay has some brief appearances.

In 2005 Jamie travelled Italy on a cooking pilgrimage and cooked everywhere with the locals. He did that trip in a beautiful blue-and-white early split window samba bus with a matching trailor, made from the lower rear end of a Bay window bus. When I stumbled over the book of this trip, Jamie’s Italy, I had to buy it, if only for the photo of this bus trailor combination. But it is actually also a beautifully written and illustrated cook book, and I have cooked his lasagne recipe many times.

Photo of one of the introduction pages of the cook book "Jamie's italy".

Photo of one of the introduction pages of the cook book “Jamie’s Italy”.

Jamie Oliver's cook book "Jamie's Italy" (Pinguin Books, 2005).

Jamie Oliver’s cook book “Jamie’s Italy” (Pinguin Books, 2005).

P.S.: It seems that various technical problems with the splittie on the long way through Italy and Europe broke his love for this kombi, but as a kombi enthusiast that sounds unlikely to me and I will ignore these rumors. Instead, I will add a link to a cool TopGear Youtube video where the Stig races Jamie’s splittie while Jamie tries to make a salad in the back (the part on the kombi starts at 3:30 min).

The last bus finds a home

2 02 2014

Australian Kombi Commercial

30 01 2014

Another nice kombi commercial, this time with a beautiful Australian surfer bus. The earl bays do grow on me. Just this little bit more of a classic car than the late bays. Below a snapshot and the YouTube video. Thanks to Tony for the link!


Beautiful VW Campervan Ad

28 01 2014

Stumbled over this beautiful new VW ad some days ago. Nicely playing with the glorious past to promote the latest model, the T5 California. I guess it’s from around 2012. For a very informative review on the many pluses and few cons of the California, have a look at this post by Wild About Scotland.

Peppa Pig and the Campervan

24 01 2014

I had never heard of Peppa Pig before our little supergirl introduced me. Very cute british cartoon that explains the world clearly understandable for a two-year-old. And there is even something in it for the kombi nerd – two episodes where Peppa and her family discover the joy of camping in a campervan. Which, only weakly disguised, turned out to be a Volkswagen bus. Girst I was a bit unsure but then the engine in the back clearly gave it away. The side ways-fold up roof would make it a dormobile campervan conversion. Below are some screenshots and the youtube links. Hope you like it as well!



Até amanhã ?

31 12 2013


Re-blog of a great blog post. Brilliant summary, with a fantastic VW unlaunch ad, “unintroducing the Volkswagen Bus…”

Wild about Scotland


[Note: Até amanhã ? = ‘See you tomorrow?’ in Portuguese]

This month the last newly-produced T2 Volkswagen bus is due to roll off the production in Brazil.  It’s the end of an era having been in continuous production for 64 years with 3.5 million sold around the world.  Whether you know it as a camper, bus, kombi or van, it’s a vehicle that has stood the test of time.  It’s cheeky looks, durability, flexibility and simple mechanics mean that they just keep on going … and going …. and going.

The demise of the Bay window T2 bus has been shrouded in some mystery for the last fortnight, however.  VW’s decision to cease production is in response to new regulations requiring ABS brakes and airbags to be fitted to all new vehicles in Brazil.  But the recent suggestion by Brazil’s Finance Minister that the VW bus might be exempt, given that it’s…

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They finally stop making them…

30 12 2013

Sad news for the kombi world: As you may have read already on ZeroToSixty-eventually or in the newspapers, Volkswagen of Brazil will stop the production of the kombi (aka the Bay Window Volkswagen bus or T2) at the end of 2013, so basically today. In Germany, the production of this version of the Volkswagen transporter started in 1967 and ended in 1979 when the wedge-shaped T3/T25 was introduced, which in turn was succeeded by the front-engine T4 in 1990 and the current model, the T5, in 2003. But production went on in Mexico and Brazil, in Mexico until 1994 and in Brazil up until now.
The body of these modern versions showed only minor differences compared to the German kombis of the 1970ies, like a slightly elevated roof, small differences on the lower section of the driver and passenger door and, most prominently, a large radiator grill at the front as these buses were equipped with water-cooled engines since 2005. The German Wikipedia entry on the T2 has a section on the Mexican and Brazilian T2, the “T2c” for which unfortunately no English translation exists yet.
Production now ends because of increased safety and emission standards. From 2014 on all new cars in Brazil need to feature airbag safety systems. Apparently too difficult to introduce such a complex system in a car where the basic design goes back to 1967. Volkswagen Do Brazil commemorates 56 years of production of the Kombi in Brazil with a beautiful final Last Edition – originally limited to 600 buses, then increased to 1200 buses, see the photos below.
Some links if you want to read more: This New York Times article beautifully sums up why the kombi was so successful – because it was, in a modest and unpretentious way, sufficient. There is an informative article from Automotive.com (“The Bus Stops Here”) where also the photos below are taken from. Here is a link to an article in the British newspaper The Indendent. Finally a gallery of photos, some truely beautiful, on the web site of the british newspaper The Guardian.

Photos below from Volkswagen of Brazil.