1961 Volkswagen Kombi Split Window Ute (RHD)
|Engine||Flat 4, 1500cc|
The Volkswagen Type 2 - better known to Australians as the Kombi - was introduced in 1949 and rapidly established itself as one of the most versatile and popular commercial vehicles ever made. Sharing the same reliable running gear found in the Beetle, the Kombi's unitary construction bodywork was supported by a ladder frame ideally suited for load carrying. The Type 2 was initially sold as a van, bus or pick-up, although as time went on these basic models were expanded into a bewildering array of offshoots, including campers, ambulances and many more derivatives. First seen in Australia in 1953 and sold as Completely Knocked Down vehicles assembled at the Clayton plant in Melbourne from 1954, the Kombi proved hugely successful in this country and for years they were a common sight on our roads. The original Kombi featured a split windscreen body style (retrospectively termed T1) and initially started out with an 1131cc engine, with the motor enlarged to 1192cc in 1953. With higher compression in 1955 the flat four's power output rose from 30 to 34 bhp, while the body also came in for some revisions that year, the resultant T1B having a smaller engine bay cover (previous models are called 'barn doors'), changed roofline and 15-inch wheels. The last major development for the first generation 'Split Window' Kombi was the introduction of a 1500cc engine in 1963, along with the option of a sliding door. Once the preserve of hippies looking for cheap transport, the Kombi now enjoys a cult following around the world and 'Split Window' models like the van on offer here have become hugely collectible.