The longest standing model in production, the Volkswagen Type 2 Microbus is finally ending its fantastic journey throughout history, after 56 years of production. Volkswagen decided to say a proper “Farewell” by announcing the production of the 600 Blue Volkswagen Kombi Last Edition vans, before the new safety regulations force Volkswagen to cease production in Brazil, its last home.
We know it as Bulli, the Mini-van, the Mini-bus, the Transporter, the Kombi, the Multivan, the Weekender, the Splittie (due to its split windscreen) the Hippie-van, the Westy (the Westfalia Camper edition). The Volkswagen Type 2 Microbus is one of the forerunners of the modern cargo and passenger vans. And it surely is the absolute winner of all tests of time. And we also know that it was built in Germany, Wolfsburg to be exact, until 1979. Production in Mexico continued until 1994, though.
Manufacture of the longest-produced model in the automotive industry, the Volkswagen Type 2, is sadly coming globally to an end, after 56 years in production (in Brazil). Do note, that its production started back in September 1957. So, on December 31, 2013, to be exact, production will be forever ceased – due to the introduction of stricter safety regulations in Brazil. That it could not pass. Sad but true.
How it all beganThe concept for the Type 2 is credited to Dutch Volkswagen importer, Ben Pon. Pon visited Wolfsburg in 1946, intending to purchase Type 1s for import to Holland, when he saw an improvised parts-mover and realized something better was possible, using the stock Type 1 pan. He first sketched the van in a doodle, dated April 23, 1947, proposing a payload of 690 kg and placing the driver at the very front.
And Volkswagen decided to say the proper “Auf Wiedersehen” with the best thinkable way: the blue VW Type 2 Microbus Kombi Last Edition. All 600 pieces of them. The last Brazilian Samurais with German blood.
The Last Edition will be available for purchase only within Brazil for $35,637. And it comes along with a special certificate of authenticity from VW, plus a numbered plaque on the dashboard identifying it as one of the last 600. The VW Type 2 Microbus originally came equipped with an air-cooled 1.2-liter flat-four mounted in the rear (28 horsepower), but by 2005 it wascoming out from the Brazilian factory with a 1.4-liter water-cooled engine. Note this though: the new inline-four delivers 78 hp on gasoline and 80 hp on pure ethanol and puts the power to the rear wheels (which are by the way amazingly wrapped in whitewall tires). This means it now has a four-speed manual transmission.
We fell in love with the specially equipped interior of the Kombi Last Edition. Blue and white vinyl, matching the two-tone exterior paint, it also carries along a modern MP3 sound system with USB inputs.
Gentlemen, don’t hold your horses, just place your orders. Last chance. To actually own a piece of history.