Hotter than lava lamps and cooler than colour TV, for 63 years the Volkswagen Kombi has been the elementary choice for families to escape suburbia, hippies to circumnavigate the globe spreading love, surfers in search of the perfect swell and as a commercial workhorse across countless industries in countless countries delivering parcels, bread, flowers or frozen fish.
If someone living under a rock needs proof that anyone from teenagers to 70-something’s are still awe-struck with the design, concept and capability of the Kombi, tape their eye lids to their eye brows, sit them down and show them the current crop of pop magazine, web and TV adverts enlisting this timeless classics universal appeal to sell the dream.
Companies from soft drink makers to holiday creators and even internet service providers (that was a ”Splitty" in the Big Pond ad) want to be associated with the brand that is “Kombi” and it’s association with freedom, youth culture and the 1960’s slogan “it’s not just a vehicle ... more a way of life”.
Designed in the late 1940’s by an automotive retailer, the birth of the Kombi was one of those uninhibited bar-top-napkin moments as its creator essentially stretched the VW Beetle's virtues of simplicity, reliability and affordability and re-marketed them to a broader audience- Genius.
By keeping its power unit compact, the Kombi had a cavernous load area in its belly with a low floor height for easy access, loading and unloading. It was initially used by postal services, fire departments and airports, and countless small businesses but as time went on models were expanded into an array of offshoots, including campers.
Considered the most collectible Kombi of all, the well-appointed Deluxe Microbus or “Samba” was designed with comfortable Alpine touring in mind, marketed with the slogan, “Every seat is a window seat!” and features 8 famous tinted Plexiglas panoramic windows with a “Safari” style windscreen and 23 windows in total, a retractable cloth sunroof, double chromium-plated ornamental band, chrome bumper, sill and rear-engine vent trim, two pivoting doors in place of a sliding door, bullet indicator lenses, handsome two tone paint, rear internal luggage rack, removable rear and middle seats, dash clock, handy passenger foot-rest for grand touring and seating for 8- the lap of luxury for VW in the 60’s.
Uniquely available here is one of just two Australian complied, 23 Window VW Deluxe Microbus’s (Samba’s) that according to its accompanying birth certificate was sold new to Melbourne on the 9th June, 1960 optioned in Sealing Wax Red.
Painstakingly and professionally restored by a renowned Kombi Specialist based in NSW over a period of two years between 2010-2011, this award winning Samba is something truly special.
A back to bare metal, 100 point restoration, works included the total stripping and sand-blasting of the body with a re-paint in the factory original colors, using a combination of original and OEM parts sourced from the U.S the entire interior was re-trimmed to exacting standards with small details like the acrylic coated steering wheel artfully refurbished, suspension, brakes and steering were also re-built and a turnkey 2.4 litre, 165hp CB performance engine was sourced and installed capable of 95 km/h cruising speeds ideal for grand touring.
Second to none, this exceedingly rare and stunning Samba carries all the hallmarks of a very original car with small details including the correct bullet indicator lenses, chrome trims, Wolfsburg steering wheel centre cap, VDO Australia gauges, tartan door-cards, expertly fitted carpets and even the correct Hella headlamps and Bakelite switch gear are fitted.
To suit the most fastidious collector, this Samba is accompanied by receipts for the entire restoration, the original Birth Certificate from Volkswagen, copies of original 1960’s Samba advertisements, a Retro Sound modern radio and two 1st place trophies from its Concours of Elegance entries.
The epitome of 1960’s freedom in 3 dimensions, full of character, nostalgic trips to the beach, flavors of your favorite ice cream and warm yellow tinged holiday adventure memories this penultimate VW Kombi is a must have addition to any classic car collection.
It’s time to get into a Kombi state of mind, escape monotony and set off on your next adventure.