Brazilian T2c Campervan spotted in Ireland

30 05 2015

Here comes a Bay Window Volkswagen campervan spotted a few days ago by friends in the south of Ireland. It is one of the kombis produced in Brazil where production ended only at the end of 2013. Over the decades, Volkswagen Do Brasil produced late bay window buses which, from a European point of view, often looked like hybrids of the different generations of German Volkswagen buses. i.e. the rear of a late T1 split-window mixed with front of a T2 bay window bus, or late bay window buses (T2b, 1972 – 1979) mixed with elements of early bays (T2a, 1967-1972). Plus additional design changes unique to the Brazilian buses. This one here is a late (post 2005) Brazilian model (T2c) which comes already with a water-cooled engine, hence the very large radiator at the front of the car. The front indicators have already moved upwards as with late bay models, but the bumper bars are still round, similar to the early bays. Unique Brazilian features are the elevated roof line (raising above the driver’s cabin and then providing more head room in the back – here slightly masked by the installed pop-up roof in the back) and the lines at the lower edges of the front doors. I have never seen any of the Brazilian T2c buses on the road in Germany, but they are much more common in the UK where they could (and apparently still can) be ordered as new cars from Danbury Motor Caravans who also converted them into campervans. See also this older blog post.

Brazilian T2c bay window camper.

Brazilian T2c bay window camper.

Image_1

For comparison I have added some photos of Taiga Lily, our 1976 late bay bus and two photos of Early Bay Window buses (from Berlin and Geelong). Many thanks to kombi correspondent Bill for the snapshots from Ireland!

Taiga Lily, our late bay window bus (T2b) from 1976.

Taiga Lily, our late bay window bus (T2b) from 1976.

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Beautiful early bay window (T2a) bus spotted 2014 in Geelong, Australian.

Beautiful early bay window (T2a) bus spotted 2014 in Geelong, Australian.

Early bay window (T2a) Westfalia camper from 1971 or 72, spotted 2012 in Berlin.

Early bay window (T2a) Westfalia camper from 1971 or 72, spotted 2012 in Berlin.





Brazilian Bay advertising for Ireland

2 02 2015

Just found this on German television: The Irish tourist authorities (Ireland.com) advertise Ireland’s 2500 km of Atlantic coast with a beautiful blue and white late bay campervan. Which is in fact a Brazilian T2c late bay bus, see the air intakes for the water-cooler at the front and the more T1- or T2a-like front and rear bumpers. Haven’t seen the spare wheel holder on the rear lid yet – cool! Somehow looks like inspired by the T3 syncros, but is probably also original for the Brazilian buses.

2015-02-02 20.42.31

2015-02-02 20.43.35





Rio De Janeiro Box Truck Kombi

25 01 2015

A friend of mine just returned from a four-week-trip through South America. Here is a kombi he spotted in Rio de Janeiro. Interesting mix of very old type of car with what looks like a pretty new box truck conversion. The bull bar seems to be attached only to the front bumper. Looks a bit less stable than the roo bars in Australia which are bolted to the main frame under the van. Also note the vintage VW bug parking directly behind the truck. Thanks to kombi correspondent Horst for sending the photo!

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Sad News from Last Edition Kombi 0222

23 01 2015

I am in pain. Look what my daily Ebay search just found. Number 0222 of the Brazlian Last Limited Edition kombis made it to Germany, but is very badly injured. Looks like someone drove her into an obsticle at head height. How very, very sad! Anyone out there who would want to bring her back to life? Then please go to this Ebay auction and rescue her!

$_57

$_57 (1)

$_57 (2)





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

unintroducing-thevolkswagen-bus2013

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





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.

Volkswagen-Kombi-Last-Edition-Front-Quarter

Volkswagen-Kombi-Last-Edition-Rear

Volkswagen-Kombi-Last-Edition-Badge

Volkswagen-Kombi-Last-Edition-Interior





They still make them

21 11 2011

T2 VW buses were produced in Germany from 1967 to 1979. Taiga Lily is a 1976 model, the Old Lady is from 1978. Volkswagen then moved the factory to Brazil where the same buses are still being made up to this day. Some years ago, the environmental requirements for new cars were tightened in Germany (Euro-5) and these Brazil kombis could not be imported and registered in Germany anymore. According to a note in a German car mag, a dutch importer (www.volkswagencampers.nl) now has found a loop hole. They import new Brazil buses, register them first in the UK where this is apparently still possible, and can then legally sell them in Germany as “used” cars. Not really the same as an original old T2, with a slightly modified roof line & doors, pre-1972 bumpers on a post-1972 body, and plastic side mirrors. But hey, they still look brilliant and you can probably keep the rust easier in check than with the really old ones.

 

Taken from "Auto, Motor und Sport", no. 25, 17.11.2011

These Brazilian VW buses have been available in the UK for about ten years already. If I remember correctly, I saw ads for them already in about 2000, in the monthly newsletter of the British Type Two Owner’s Club. Here is a 2011 ad from the UK – thanks to DrS for the snapshot!

UK ad for Brazilian T2 campers from 2011





Kombis as food vans

14 09 2011

Project Taiga Lily is on-hold as project birth-of-our-first-daughter started 10 days early and is now in full swing. Here is something to bridge the gap: My sources in Barcelona report on an article in today’ issue of the newspaper Vanguardia. The article is about a T2 food van caravan on the fair Feria Mistura de Lima in Peru.
PS, added January 2012: This is an interesting bus: Most likely a T2 built not too long ago in Brazil. These more modern T2s are also called T2c, and differ from the T2a (1967-1972) and T2b (1972-1979) in a number of details, like here the more modern plastic wing mirror and the air intake vents in the back (which are actually still in the position as they were with the much older T1s). These T2c buses are still being build in Brazil and even imported to Europe, see the blog entry from November 21, 2011 (click here).