- Exceptionally well preserved
- Highly sought-after first version of the Kombi
- Sold with its service booklet
French registration papers
The birth of the famous VW Kombi dates back to April 1947. While he was visiting the Volkswagen factory at Wolfsburg, a vehicle caught the attention of Ben Pon, VW’s Dutch importer. It had been created by some VW workers who wanted to make the job of transporting heavy pallets easier. Pon took his inspiration from it and sketched out a new type of vehicle with the steering wheel at the front, a rear-mounted engine and a box-like body. Two years later, Heinrich Nordhoff, Volkswagen’s managing director, was attracted to Pon’s idea and had a first prototype built. The definitive version, named the Type 2 (the Beetle being the Type 1), was officially presented at the Geneva Motor Show in 1950. The vehicle used the engine and axle assemblies from the Beetle and had a unitary body. Its engine had a capacity of 1131cc and produced 24bhp at 3300rpm. It could accommodate up to eight passengers; the two rear rows of seats could quickly be removed to allow goods to be carried. Series production began on 8 March, at the rate of ten vehicles per day. In 1954, the 100,000th Type 2 rolled off the lines at Wolfsburg. Fit for every purpose, the incredible VW Kombi already existed at the time in 30 different versions: as a minibus, pick-up truck or panel van … A factory in Hanover was now completely given over to it. In 1962, total production reached a million units. As the years passed, the T1 evolved, but retained its characteristic appearance with its split screen and close family likeness to the popular Beetle. In 1967, by which time 1.8 million units of this version had been built, the T1 made way for the more modern and better-looking T2. Proof of its amazing success, the Kombi – a symbol of the Woodstock generation and then of surfers – continued through changing times and fashions. In 2015, VW introduced the T6 …
The model which we are offering for sale was delivered new by the Volkswagen dealership in Verdun on 4 May 1965. Kept by its first owner until 1997, it remains in exceptional condition today. Its odometer is showing just under 50,000km (31,000 miles), which is almost certainly its original mileage. It has two-tone paintwork in Sealing Wax Red (L53) and Beige Grey (L472), which is again original. Never restored, the Kombi has a few minor bodywork faults which have not been repaired, adding to its charm and ensuring that it remains in its original condition. The interior still has its original Mesh Grey upholstery with the walk-through facility between the front seats, which was a very rare option at the time. The dashboard also remains very well preserved and is fitted with the original radio.
As the options code plate indicates, this Microbus was delivered new without a rear bench seat. It has now been fitted out as a camper van with a folding bed, table, fridge and several storage compartments.
Mechanically speaking, a number of improvements have been made to increase the Kombi’s performance. It is now equipped with a 1600cc engine with dual intake ports, rack-and-pinion steering and disc brakes.
The star of the show at VW meetings, it has received numerous awards at the VW Nationals and the International VW Meeting at Château-d'Oex.
With only three careful owners, the Kombi will be sold with its service booklet, driver’s manuals and original certificate of conformity in their original envelope.
This is a superbly preserved example of the Kombi with perfectly balanced handling. Vehicles such as this very rarely come onto the market, making this a fine opportunity to acquire an automotive icon which will transport you back to the middle of the 1960s!