Barkas B1000 – The East German Kombi

14 04 2018

The Barkas B1000 was the East German answer to the West German Volkswagen bus. It was built from 1961 till 1991, just after the end of the German Democratic Republic, so similarly long as the T1 and T2 kombis (built in West Germany from 1950 to 1979). With the round overall body shape, the sliding door on the right side and the round head lights it comes with a similar face and set up as the T2 bay window bus. In contrast to the VW buses of the time it came with front wheel drive and had the engine in the front which (as the English Wikipedia entry points out) made it easier to load and allowed more body configurations. For most of its production the engine was a 45 horsepower three cylinder, two stroke motor. Amazingly, the overall production numbers over 30 years were just below 180.000, whereas the VW T1 split-window bus was manufactured 1.5 million times (1950-1967), followed by 3.3 million T2 bay window buses (1967-1979). Nowadays, 27 years after the end of production, these Barkas buses have become a rare view on the road. I stumbled over the one below in Berlin in Dec 2017. Good to see that some of them are being kept alive!



East German Split-Window Reproduction

22 12 2012

A 1951 reproduction from East Gemany of the Volkswagen T1 split-window bus, built onto the chassis of a 1943 Kübelwagen. Following Wikipedia, the Kübelwagen was a light military vehicle produced in Germany in World War II which in turn was based heavily on the early beetle prototypes. This microbus reproduction comes with a full-wooden bodywork and an original Volkswagen 1131 ccm air-cooled flat-four rear engine with 24.5 H.P. The front doors seem to be “suicide doors”, with hinges in the back. Strange that it features already front indicators. The original split-window got them only in 1960. Perhaps they were also added later to this bus? The photo was taken in 2007 at the 60-years-of-VW-Bus festival at Hannover in Germany. More background information in English and German on the second photo. Quiet a remarkable van.