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.

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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.

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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!

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$_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…”

Wild about Scotland

unintroducing-thevolkswagen-bus2013

[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.

Volkswagen-Kombi-Last-Edition-Front-Quarter

Volkswagen-Kombi-Last-Edition-Rear

Volkswagen-Kombi-Last-Edition-Badge

Volkswagen-Kombi-Last-Edition-Interior