Kombi Volkswagen Type 2 – A Simple Guide To Identifying different variants & types of VW Aircooled Bus Models

By May 1, 2017 Uncategorized

KOMBI Volkswagen Type 2 – A simple Guide for Aircooled Kombi VW Fans

A design sketch that gave birth to the most iconic Van – The Volkswagen Kombi

The Type 2 Volkswagen kombi was first sketched before 1950 by Dutch Volkswagen importer Sir Ben Pon . Prior to that he was already importing the

Type 1 – Volkswagen Beetle ( which was actually the brainchild of former Nazi Leader Adolf Hitler, contracted , designed & built by Ferdinand Porsche in the 1938 as an Economical mass produced functional Car ) From Wolfsburg, Germany to the Netherlands.

Sir Ben Pon’s submitted design eventually materialized in November 1949 when the first few Kombi and Panel Vans rolled out the factories of Wolfsburg VW Factory, Germany, shortly after in 1950 the Microbus and in 1951 the Deluxe Microbus or ” Samba ” model.

Kombi volkswagen type 2 - T1 Prototype

Prototype T1 Bus / Van Transporter – Whats the difference? ( It’s without the V-line & wind tunnel ) above the splitwindows that made it go faster in later models from 1950s

*** Don’t get confused with Type 1 and T1 , its different. Type 1 VW always refers to Beetle / Bug Cars, whereas T1 is actually the first generation VW kombi / bus models from 1950 to 1967.

Volkswagen Kombi – Now & Then, Bus or Van, Where & When?

Type 2 – Volkswagen Bus / Van  that we are talking about could be referred to as a Baywindow / Splitwindow /Panel Van / Single Cab Pickup / Doublecab Pickup / Highroof /Kombi / Microbus / Deluxe Samba / Barndoor , so many types yeah?? – Don’t worry we’ll get to it soon, keep reading!

*** Type 2 Volkswagens usually referrers to Bus / Vans types that are made between 1950s to 1967 ( T1 ) . 1968 to 1979 ( T2 ) German,

Beyond 1979, production of T2 actually continued in Brazil VW Factory till recently a couple of years ago it was discontinued with the Kombi Volkswagen Type 2 LAST EDITION from Brazil ( water-cooled – check out the radiator black grilles above the bumper which is missing in the aircooled models) in 2013.

Due to stringent safety regulations in Brazil laws stating that all passenger automobiles needed to have Airbags and ABS brakes which the unique design of the kombi could not accommodate, hence effectively ending its 56 years production run.

Kombi volkswagen type 2 Last Edition 2013

Limited Edition Last Production 2013 Volkswagen Kombi Watercooled. Only 600 to 1200 were produced with ID tag for Brazilian and International Collectors.

Lets use this defining moment and work backwords to learn more – watch this emotional video on Kombi’s Last Wishes, before we continue,

*** It some parts of the world, most fans refers it to a kombi as ” Bus ” or actually Microbus, but in other parts, they are refered to as ” Vans ” due to the size VS the actual modern day bus transport sizes. There are many names for a Kombi, including Transporter, Microbus, VW Van, Campervan, Splitty, Hippie-Van, Scooby-doo van etc, so many names – but we are always able to recognise one when we see it. Here’s how you can tell the difference between the models:

Kombi Volkswagen Type 2 & its different Variants

Kombi – Actually a short form German word – Kombinationskraftwagen (combination motor vehicle), always with side windows and removable rear seats, both a passenger and a light cargo vehicle.

Kombi Microbus – The same , but more focused on carrying passengers with usually better finishing and interiors.

Kombi Splitwindow

a late model T1 Splitwindow Kombi in Japan.

Kombi Microbus Deluxe Samba – A premium model back then with extra sunroof & 8 skylights marketed mainly for touring the alps with premium finishing such as open out windows, full sunroof, chrome finishings, quality interiors etc. This model is somehow now the most sought after due to its rarity, beauty & collectors value which bids as high as $300,000 USD  for a well restored original, For a van that actually only cost a couple of 1000s back in those days.


A new world record on Jan 2017 ! $300k USD, beating some new supercar prices , with old school love & classic beauty & nostalgia. You should have kept it.


To be continued…. written by Tobias Peng ( Instagram @tobiaspeng @scoopysandcream )









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