Kombis in the Movies: Rush

30 06 2014

I stumbled over this movie on the flight back from Australia in May: „Rush“ is about the rivalry between the Formula One drivers Niki Lauda and James Hunt in the early and mid-seventies, culminating in Niki Lauda’s gruesome accident at the Nürburgring in 1976, and his come back after that. Most of my life I knew Niki Lauda only from his post-F1 times, as founder of an airline and pilot himself, and later as a F1 commentator. In that year of 1976, I proudly started primary school in August, and our bus Taiga Lily was born in May. The movie is actually pretty exciting, and the mini appearance of an early bay ambulance towards the end also made the kombi spotter happy. Looks like they got this detail quite right – the bus looks a lot like the real Red Cross kombi I saw last year in Berlin. The last of its kind, still in use at the Berlin Red Cross.

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Beautifying Taiga Lily

15 06 2014

Couple of details fixed in mid-May in our 1976 VW microbus Taiga Lily: Worn out inner door handle of the passenger door replaced with an original part found on Ebay (guess they are still being produced in Brazil). Heater tubing system under the dash board finally put back in (never got around to do that after buying the bus in 2010 and replacing a broken windscreen in 2011). Aged black plastic covers for the air vents on the dashboard replaced by new parts (from bus-ok.de, part numbers OK17099 and OK17086). And a pair of in-sets in the warm air channels through the dividing wall behind front seats finally put in. I had re-discovered these parts only after I had already assembled the air channels in 2012.

Worn out door handle.

Worn out door handle.

New original part.

New original part.

Original air vent cover (lower section) and new repro part.

Original air vent cover (lower section) and new repro part.

New air vent cover in place.

New air vent cover in place.

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Taiga Lily on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

Taiga Lily on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

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Geelong Late Bay Camper

13 06 2014

1975 campervan spotted in May in Geelong, Australia. Roo bars back and front. Also a pop-up roof one sees a lot over there, but not sure which conversion (Sunliner, Sopru?). Nice original-looking color with 1970ies stripes on the side. Large roof rack bridging the pop-up roof, with awnings on both sides, and plastic tubes at front and rear for addional storage. Fan pull switch in the dashboard I did not know yet but have seen in many late bays during this visit. What a very cool and down-to-earth camper!

PS, @Zero-to-sixty: Gear shift scheme on this ash tray (and in all late bays on this Australia trip) without the N for Neutral. But all were T2b’s or T2a/b hybrids, no T2a’s. Greetings from Berlin!

PS2 (Jan 2016): It is a Sopru camper, not a Sunliner. See also this Sopru blog post.

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Sage Green Summer Ad

8 06 2014

Almost a bit too much hippie kombi kitsch in one advert – sage green late bay campervan, surf board and man playing guitar. Not sure why there is a shark in the pond. But nice to see random kombi pictures here and there. And probably interesting to look back at this photo in a couple of years and ponder how cheap petrol was in 2014: Super/premium for 1,509 Euro per liter (about 2,20 AU$ per liter or 7,80 US$ per gallone).

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Sage Green Family Meeting

31 05 2014

Nice encounter last weekend at the local DIY market: Taiga Lily met a cousin, a 1977 Westfalia camper in identical Taiga Gruen/Sage Green, freshly restored and in fantastic condition. Beautiful new paint job, fold-up roof also freshly re-sprayed. Also met the owner and learnt about another group of kombi fanatics here in Berlin. Greetings to Ruediger – looking forward to catching up with you guys sometime later this summer!

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Melbourne Late Bay Campervan

29 04 2014

Photos taken last week during a visit to Melbourne. The color is probably marino yellow (VW color code E6E6). Not sure what kind of camper conversion this is, but she looked truly beautiful.

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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!