Back in Australia!

28 03 2017

We are back in Australia! We made the long trip from Berlin to Melbourne two days ago, this time with a stopover in Abu Dhabi instead of Singapore. Now we are slowly getting over the jetlag. And we have four weeks ahead of us to visit family and friends, in Geelong and Melbourne. Australia gave us a warm welcome, with late summer temperatures in the mid- to high twenties. First time this year that we are all wearing sunscreen, sunnies and T-shirts. And kombi-crazy Australia did not let me down either, with a first T2 Westfalia campervan sighting already on the way from Melbourne airport to Geelong. Looking forward to seeing many Volkswagen buses in the next couple of weeks!

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Late summer day in Geelong.

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First Aussie kombi spotting in 2017 🙂





Taiga Lily’s Fifteen Minutes of Fame

27 06 2015

This weekend, all Volkswagen dealers in Berlin presented the new generation of the VW bus, the T6, to the public. To emphasize Volkswagen’s long history of building the bus, they organized that in each showroom an old kombi, T1 or T2, was present as well. And Taiga Lily was one of the chosen ones! So Thursday I had a long summer evening and night of washing, polishing and vacuum cleaning. Friday morning she went to the VW dealer in Berlin Tegel. I picked her up again this afternoon, together with our eldest daughter, and we had some good father-daughter bonding over kombis. Though our little one was most excited about the large box of chocolate kombis we were given at the very end. We came prepared – check out our kombi T-shirts! What an exciting weekeend!

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Getting all shiny and clean!

Getting all shiny and clean!

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More Flea Market Findings!

28 11 2014

Look what I bought myself! Found these three little buses a while ago on a flea market in Berlin. The blue one is an early bay window Dormobile Volkwagen camper from Matchbox (Series 23, © 1970, Made in England) with an English number plate. I guess there may once have been some kind of canvass attached to the fold up roof. The late bay window police bus says it is a Majorette No. 214 (“Fourgon VW, Made in France”, scale 1:60). Fourgon seems to be French for panel van. The other late bay window from the German Red Cross in Nuremberg is from Schuco (Made in Germany, scale 1:66, Model 817010) and proudly announces 60 PS and a top speed of 125 km/h. Love the scratches and how they turn out in these close-up photos. Original patina from decades of hard playing!

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Official Kombi Farewell Video

12 04 2014

This beautiful video is doing the rounds at the moment. Looks like part of an official farewell campaign from Volkswagen Do Brasil, and comes in a Spanish version as well. Also featured on the Viva Westfalia blog. When you look on YouTube there seems to be a whole series of personal farewell videos from Brasilian kombi drivers in the same Volkswagen Do Brasil format, like this one from a food van owner. Thanks to Markus for sending the link!





Até amanhã ?

31 12 2013

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

Wild about Scotland

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[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.

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Costa Rica Kombi Van

19 09 2013

Here comes another Costa Rica kombi. Looks like a Brazilian bus, a hybrid with the front of the European bay window and side air intake slits in the back as with the older split-window/T1. Bull bar at the front and bike holder at the back. Cool art work on the side. Wedding couple on a trip through South America? Mexican pyramid in the center? The photo was taken in Nuevo Arenal in the Province of Guanacaste. Big thanks to kombi correspondent Siggi for the snapshot!

Costa Rica Tour Herbst 2013