1974 Volkswagen Kombi Type 2 Transporter
|Body Work||Kombi Van|
|Wheels||Steel with hubcaps|
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 between 1954 and 1976, 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 flat-four engine, with mechanical changes mirroring the Beetle. Towards the end of 1967 Volkswagen released a revised Kombi with a one-piece curved glass windscreen and beneath the so-called T2 bodywork lay bigger changes, including new rear suspension that did away with the previous swing axles and constant velocity joints to control the ride height. The second-generation Kombi was powered by a 1600cc version of the Beetle's engine developing 47 horsepower, making it much easier - not to mention safer - to drive. Once the preserve of hippies looking for cheap transport, the Kombi now enjoys a cult following around the world and as values of early 'split window' models continue to skyrocket, these early T2 versions look like something of a bargain.