Kombi’s last rites Farewell to a travel icon CNN com — Volkswagen Kombi

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Volkswagen Kombi

Kombi’s last rites: to a travel icon

STORY

Volkswagen Brazil ceases of classic Kombi van today 63 years

Kombis became the of choice for surfers and hippies in the

Van was cultural icon and way of life, not mode of transportation

(CNN) It’s been in continuous since the 1950s but Volkswagen — the last country the vehicles were still made — ceases of the classic Kombi van today, the day of 2013.

Rolling off the production in Hanover, Germany, until but continuing in Brazil, the VW Transporter, aka the van, is the longest-produced model in history, according to Vokswagen.

3.5 million of the affordable, utilitarian with their classic window curtains, have made.

Motley crew of vans.

Attaching themselves to the on wheels were equally roof racks, surfboards and memories.

On a backpacking trip to back in 1973, a 20-year-old named Gary Garfield out US$700 to set himself up for the months of ahead.

He spent a chunk of that on a 1967 Volkswagen minibus, to combine transportation and accommodation in one rickety but reliable vehicle.

He out the seats, put in a platform bed and installed and cupboards.

Garfield spent the 10 months in this mobile with his wife battling sands in Algeria, food in Tunisia and enduring six-week with no contact with or family.

Similar stories are by countless other travelers.

VW is it quits because the Kombi meet new safety standards set to into force next in Brazil.

After 63 years of the last Kombi will out of its Brazilian factory at the end of 2013.

the van with dual front and anti-lock brakes was ruled too

Come next year, old sluggishly powering their way highways and up mountain passes, overtaken by virtually all other will be all that remain ageing steel bodies a time when people less concerned about somewhere fast.

It’s worth pausing to on what made the Kombi a icon.

Hippies and surfers

The became synonymous in the 1960s and with hippies and surfers, its features — capable of surf boards, musical and various loads inside or on its — combining well its cheap price (secondhand could be picked up for a couple bucks) and easy maintenance.

van required the repair of one flat and a new battery in 10 months of travel.

people named their like iReporter Jason 40, who affectionately called his Kombi D.

I have no desire to own anything an old VW, Kauffman insists.

Vince 32, explains, Cars like the VW van are than just cars, cultural icons.

Those who in one in their youth keep the with them. Others own van (or vans) for decades before them to offspring.

Even without VW lineage, as iReporter Scott calls it, can find bitten by the urge to up and travel in a

Second life online

communities provide space to stories and trade ideas help keep our vans says Moellering.

Australia’s Club is an online forum and sponsored by The Bus Stop, a parts

Roy from The Bus Stop says the supplies Kombi enthusiasts in New Zealand, Singapore, South and Canada and other countries.

you’ve driven a Kombi, hooked for life, he says.

The will be missed by outdoor and camping fans.

But why?

all, these VW vans, at in their original form, are slow, have dodgy and don’t offer much in either heat or cold.

The exemplifies the free spirit of activists, lovers, world campers and families moving together across this says Garfield.

Few vehicles ‘Let’s go exploring!’ the way a VW van does, Moellering.

Modern modification

Volkswagen Kombi

has helped the Kombi remain in a new century. It’s undergone of modifications, but its outward appearance instantly recognizable.

The model produced in Brazil was on the second phase of the Type 2 Type 1 was the Beetle), which was in Germany from 1967—1979.

It from the first phase a larger engine, greater and a bay window, rather than the model’s split-windscreen.

Numerous have brought speed and width increases, automatic and an engine switch from to water-cooled.

It’s not a complicated — handy when goes wrong.

Kombi Bryan Scott says of the VW’s appeal to him was, always heard [they] be fixed anywhere and by anyone.

The does it all: camping, and supplying parts.

Jason says the Kombi’s enduring comes down to versatility: You can in it, sleep in it, it gets decent mileage and it’s very compared to large motor

Vince Moellering applauds the as a jack of all trades, saying used his as a camper, a mountain hauler, a moving van and a construction truck.

German effectiveness

The versatility of a goes right back to its which comes from the Kombinationskraftwagen, a combination of passenger and vehicle.

Its ability to carry passengers and piles of stuff has the Kombi more than a of transport.

The bus is both our home and a of our family, says Bryan We talk to it as we decide a path for day, coax it slowly the next hill and thank it as we at each new destination.

The vehicle is a great conversation starter. VWs are a language understood throughout the says Jason Kauffman.

in each country we visit the bus — they stop to us their stories and ask to hear says Scott.

There’s road ahead for the Kombi.

to the Kombi helps loyalists upbeat about the end of production.

As as enthusiastic owners keep the cars and their spirit the end of active production won’t the end of the vehicle, says Moellering.


When Gary Garfield his 1973 tour in the bus that had him so reliably, he sold it for a $100

Even though the factory have shut, well-preserved will keep rumbling the road and in the recollections of 63 years of

Originally published March updated September 25 and December 3 0 ,

Volkswagen Kombi
Volkswagen Kombi
Volkswagen Kombi

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