Volkswagen Cucumber, Samba, Transporter, Bus, Kombi, Hippie Van, T1/T2, or even Camper – this car in different parts of the world, in its different variants was also variously called, but everywhere it attracted an enormous interest and sympathy. After 67 years the production of this vehicle comes to an end.
Not everybody knows, that the car usually called a cucumber (because of its shape) continues to be produced. But even in Brazil, where it still rolls off the assembly line, the end for this iconic car is looming on the horizon.
Symbol of independence
The success, as usual, is the result of many coincidences. Everything started with Volkswagen Beetle, and it’s following, delivery version. On the basis of the enlarged “car for common people” with hardened floor, it was also prepared in a bus version, called Samba.
The car caused quite a sensation, because it was the first vehicle of a fairly small size that could carry even up to eight people. Besides, it’s body, enriched with chrome elements, simply inscribed perfectly in the taste of the time, and even in the lifestyle of young people.
In the West, for many people Volkswagen bus has become easily accessible, economical (fuel consumption of 8 l./100 km) car, which allowed the free movement even of a large group of friends. T1, and then T2 became a symbol of freedom, a sign of the new times and hence, completely new opportunities not available to previous generations.
63 years of history
But the advantages of Volkswagen are not only symbolic. This car allowed for a huge range of adjustment options, thanks to which camping versions of the vehicle produced under the name Kombi are still manufactured. This car, even today is the vehicle for individualists, for whom freedom and ability to express themselves are vital priorities.
The production of the model T1 in Brazil began in September 1957, which was 56 years ago. But in Germany the car has been produced since March 1950, and its passenger version was first presented in 1951.
If we take this into account, it appears that the increased (with regard to Beetle) model of Volkswagen, has been produced for 63 years! It would be hard to find another car that has been manufactured for so long, without any major changes related to the construction, or even the appearance.
This story would probably have its continuation, if it wasn’t for the new rules.
Farewell for collectors
Since the beginning of 2014, regulations in Brazil require equipping each new car with ABS and airbags, and unfortunately, Volkswagen Kombi is deprived of such "luxuries".
In connection with that, on December 31, 2013, after the production of over 10 million cars (1.5 million in Brazil alone), last "cucumber" will roll off the assembly line. Who would like to catch hold of one of the last car, may opt for a version Last Edition, at a price which is an equivalent to approximately 110 000 PLN (26500,00 EUR).
In a special, farewell edition there will be produced only 600 (some sources give the number of 1200) cars of Volkswagen Kombi. What distinguishes it are the details, such as the headlights bordering and the upper radiator grille painted in the color of the body, translucent indicators, white and blue upholstery, special curtains, and white, 14-inch wheels. The interior provides up to 9 seats.
The cars were equipped with a gasoline-powered engine with a capacity of 1.4 78 HP (there is also version with an ethanol-powered engine). The engine is connected to a four-speed gearbox.
The legend remains alive
Popular (much cheaper) versions of Kombi will continue to be heavily exploited in the countries of South America, where they are used to carry the goods to small stores, or distributes mail. They are also used by funeral companies as well as army.
Around the whole world, the Kombi will remain in the memory of people as the first real motorhome, which caused that travelling has become a way of life. That shall not be forgotten.