1958 Volkswagen Kombi Split Window Campervan Conversion (RHD)
|Engine||Flat 4, 1200cc|
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 on the market. 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 original Type 2 featured a split windscreen body style (retrospectively termed T1) and initially used an 1131cc engine, enlarged to 1192cc (with 30 horsepower) in 1953. By raising compression in 1955, output jumped to 34 bhp, while the body also came in for some revisions that year, the so-called T1B distinguishable by its smaller engine bay cover (previous models are called ‘barn doors’), altered roofline and 15-inch wheels. The forward control Type 2 was initially sold as a Commercial (van) or Kombi with a removable rear seat, although as time went on these basic models were expanded into a bewildering array of offshoots, including microbus, campers and ambulances amongst the many derivatives. The pickup was announced in August 1952 and was later joined by a dual-cab model with a second row of seats, both variations featuring drop-down sides and rear giving exceptional access to the carry bed. 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. 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 pickup on offer here have become hugely collectible.