2015 Shannons Melbourne Spring Classic Auction
Lot
37

1966 Volkswagen 21-Window Samba Wagon (LHD)

$63,000

Sold

Specifications

Engine Flat 4, 1500cc
Gearbox 4-speed manual
Body Work Microbus
Colour Pearl White on Velvet Green
Interior Off White/Green
Trim Vinyl
Wheels Steel disc
Brakes Drums

Description

This lot is no longer available

Arguably best known and most collectible commercial vehicle ever made, Volkswagen's Type 2 Transporter - better known as the Kombi - was introduced in 1949 and soon carved a niche as a reliable, versatile and endearing workhorse. With clever unitary construction designed to give a flat floor and dependable running gear lifted from the Beetle, the Kombi was sold in three basic versions, namely the van, bus or pick-up. Introduced in 1951, the Samba (also known as the Sunroof Deluxe in the United States) was the most luxurious Kombi variant, equipped with three rows of seats and ?barn? doors for better access, combined with a full-length sliding sunroof. Early models are known as 23-window buses thanks to the addition of eight panoramic windows set into the roof, with later versions revised to 21-windows when Volkswagen eliminated the rear corner glass in 1964. With the roof open passengers enjoyed a wonderful open air feel, while two-tone paintwork, additional brightwork and features like the better equipped dash gave the Samba a less utilitarian feel. According to production records some 18,790 Sambas were built in 1966, making it the rarest Transporter variant sold that year (aside from the ambulance) and certainly the most expensive model in the range. The Type 2's mechanical progression mirrored that of the Beetle to a large extent, the original 24 horsepower 1130cc engine upgraded to a 1200cc version in 1953. It took a further decade for Volkswagen to increase the Kombi's engine capacity, with the 1500 model announced in 1963 raising power output to 50 horsepower. Once the preserve of hippies and surfies looking for cheap transport, the charismatic Kombi now enjoys a cult following around the world and 'Split Window' models like the Samba on offer here have become hugely collectible.