KOMBI’S LONG HAUL
MARCH, 1950: Volkswagen started building its second ever vehicle, known in the factory as the Type 2 or the “Bulli” but later to be called the Kombi.
VW has released some stunning images of its iconic van that has become so loved in Australia that one recently sold for a whopping $202,000 at a Melbourne auction.
Photos from the Wolfsburg plant in Germany show scores of just-built Kombis lined up.
The Kombi was sold as a passenger van as well as a load hauler, just like the modern day Transporter. The last example was built in Mexico on December 31, 2013.
Volkswagen says the tally for Kombi, and the Transporter it morphed into, has now ticked over to 11 million.
Volkswagen also assembled the Kombi at its Australian factory in the Melbourne suburb of Clayton from 1964 to 1977, on a site that was later used to make Nissans and now hosts Holden Special Vehicles.
Most of these were from CKD (completely knocked down) kits although VW also made Kombis from mostly local parts between 1959 and 1968.
The original design came from Dutch car importer Ben Pon, in 1947, shortly after Beetle production started.
His idea was to create a practical van, taking some visual cues from the Bug.
It had the same simple mechanicals as the Beetle, including a rear-mounted aircooled boxer engine with its unique “dak-dak” sound. The original 1.1-litre four-cylinder produced just 18kW. Eight people could be transported but if three passenger seats were removed up to 750kg of gear could be hauled.
Volkswagen is preparing to launch a new generation of Transporter later this year. It will be produced in Poland at VW’s Poznan plant as well as the Hanover factory.