1954 Barn Door Kombi

18 01 2016

I found this awesome split-window kombi in April 2014 in Geelong. I had knocked on the door of a shed to ask if I could take a few photos of an old rusty late bay in the backyard. Turned out this was the workshop of a panel beater who loves kombis and has restored quite a few over the years. On that day the hall housed two splitties and a late bay in various stages of restoration. This blue-and-white T1 was about to be completed. It is a VW bus kombi from 1954, so one of the very first kombis ever built, and I was told there may be only a handful of these early ones with right-wheel-steering left in Australia. A lot of panels were rusted trough and had to be made from scratch. All welding was done with the ambition that even an expert from Volkswagen should not be able to recognize which parts were original and which had been replaced later.

The split-window bus or Volkswagen T1 was built in Germany from 1950 till 1967. Over the years, the rear doors of the T1s changed most strongly: the very first models came with a very large door for the engine bay (“big as a barn door”). The photo below shows that the large engine bay also housed the petrol tank (on the left) and the spare wheel (on a shelf above the engine). Over the years the engine bay and its lid became smaller and smaller and a door above was introduced as access to the cargo area. This upper door also changed in size over the various facelifts. The latest splitties (1964 onwards) already feature the same large rear doors which from 1967 onwards were then also used in the T2s or bay window buses.

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The paint job was carried out with normal glossy paint on the inside, but with matt finish on the outside, to avoid the shiny and polished finish of a fully restored van. With a bit of wear and tear this bus will quickly develop some patina. It also comes a bit lowered and with Porsche Fuchs wheels – tribute to modern coolness.

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Two Late Bay Crew Cabs

24 01 2013

Here are some photos of two Late Bay double cabins. The first one is from Geelong, Australia, photos taken in 2012. Painted in a cool matt black, including front and back bumpers and rims around the headlights. Boards around the cargo bay removed and cargo area covered with a wooden deck. Wheels could be Porsche Fuchs wheels. Not the most practical van but a very cool looking one.
The other one is from Hamburg, photos from 2005. Except for the improvised paintings, it is probably relatively close to original condition, just a bit run down. Color could be ivory white (color code L567). This paint was used for vehicles of rescue services like the German Red Cross. Perhaps this van started his life as a transporter with one of them. I guess the metal frame on the cargo area in the back may be original and may have been covered by tarps on each side. Now replaced with wooden panels so that the cargo space is more solidly covered. Nice sticker from a VW bus garage in Hamburg which actually still exists (VW Bus Service Mamèro).

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Cool Rat Look Splittie

22 11 2012

Here is a snapshot from the 60-years-of-kombi anniversary in Hannover in 2007. A split-window from England, with the paint fully sanded off and then protected with clear varnish. A pre-1960 model without indicators on the front. Looks like a Westfalia roof rack in the back, Fuchs wheels and huge bull horns on the roof. What a very cool bus!





T1 Double Cab in Queenstown, NZ

17 02 2012

Here is something unusual: A 1963 Volkswagen T1 double cab featuring as a sales table, but also on sale itself. Seen at Select Actionsports, a shop in Queenstown. Cool rat look, with Porsche Fuchs wheels and many customizations. According to the brief summary (photo below), it is called Lionel, was restored in the eighties by the Bus Boys and is meant to be ready to drive. For a friendly NZ$ 49.990 (approx. € 35.000), this bus could be yours!