Archive for the ‘Brazilian Kombis’ category

Kombi Life: Hasta Alaska the Journey Continues

June 29, 2015

If you’re into Volkswagen buses or epic trips, you might have come across Hasta Alaska A.K.A. Kombi Life which is operated by a fellow from Jersey in the Channel Islands. His name is Ben and not only has he been traveling from Chile to Alaska for the past 3 years in a rather unique 1992 Brazilian VW bus, but he’s also found a novel way to make it all the more interesting. Anyone can apply to join the “Kombi Crew” providing there is room. So people have come and gone along the way supplying only their company, food, gas money, and general help, which in some cases has led to engine rebuilds and a nice paint job. One of the most amazing things is the great production quality of the video series, and I mean everything, technically it’s awesome, the editing is superb, and the concise and candid narrative keeps you glued to the screen. Traveling and meeting new friends can have its pitfalls, and in this recent vlog Ben recounts bittersweet memories of Sharne the spirited Australian girl who he ended up falling in love with before she had to return home. They say work is the best tonic, in this case Ben says travel, and he’s right. He got back up on his proverbial horse (read Kombi) and rode on to new adventures. The current version of the Hasta Alaska team led by Ben last heard from in Qualicum Beach Vancouver Island, Canada.

A Year Since the End of Kombi Production

January 10, 2015

It’s been just over a year since Volkswagen Brasil stopped manufacturing the Kombi, but there are still many on the road. In fact, with ever increasing interest in the Type 2 people are going to be taking special care of the ones that remain. Today’s feature video comes from broadcaster Deutsche Welle in Germany. A nicely produced VW bus tribute from February 2014.

La Combi Celeste – Soccer Fan Van

June 19, 2014

A group of five Uruguayan soccer fans has taken to the road in a vintage Combi to cheer on their team at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Named “La Combi Celeste” this is one cool fan van. They had the bus renovated with a blue and white combination in tribute to Uruguay’s flag. This is one of those wonderfully odd South American Volkswagen vans that features a real mix of bus styling from many different incarnations. From the front it looks like a late bay, from the rear mostly a slpitty. I’d  love to have one of these! Here’s an article on the bus and its occupants put through Google translate. Follow them on Twitter! (The video is in Spanish, el vídeo está en Spanis)

lacombiceleste

Kombi Tribute Video – Volkswagen Brazil

April 6, 2014

I don’t think there has ever been so much fanfare for a vehicle ending production, not even the Beetle which deserves its accolades too. I believe this video was produced by Volkswagen Brasil as a tip of the hat to one of the most successful vehicles of all time. So I guess we must accept that the Volkswagen van will not be coming back any time soon, but far from being gone many are still being driven worldwide. Add to that an abundance of affordable parts and I think we’ll be seeing a lot of bullis, buses, and kombis for a long time.

The Last Kombi – Things are quiet

January 27, 2014

Haven’t heard anything new about the faint possibility for the continuation of Kombi production. However, I did see a story that mentions slow sales for the Last Edition Kombi in Brazil, the run of 600 was doubled to 1200 to meet apparent demand. The high price tag for what is an economy vehicle means dealers still have some of the vans on their lots. If you want to work a deal with a salesman reports say you could get one for a little as USD $33,000, still that’s a lot more than the standard models sold for. In other news, Danbury Motor Caravans in England just sent out an email saying that they have received their final shipment of 99 Type 2 vans and that, “There is still a chance to buy one of these!!” Many are already sold. Today’s video was posted by Youtube user Ednéia Silva. Watch the first 12 minutes of this Brazilian TV program hosted by Joana Calmon, it features a very interesting retrospective on the Kombi. It’s in Portuguese, but you can try the caption setting for English subtitles which are not perfect but they get the point across.

99 Type 2 Volkswagen vans at dockside await camper treatment.

99 Type 2 Volkswagen vans at dockside await camper treatment.

Glimmer Of Hope For Kombi

January 11, 2014

After reading through news sites around the world I’m still seeing mention of a possible return for Brazil’s Volkswagen Kombi into production after shutdown in December 2013. Perhaps they are simply aftershocks following Guido Mantega’s hopeful efforts to save the legendary vehicle. One interesting comment I’ve noticed a few times is: “The Kombi’s fate will be decided in the next few weeks” That would be now in the first few weeks of 2014, let’s keep our fingers crossed. Today’s video is from Youtube user rebuli marco and features a 54th anniversary Brazilian Kombi celebration from 2011.

Fate of the Kombi – Update 2014-01-09

January 9, 2014

I’ve been quiet for the past week or so, “Wishin’ And Hopin’”  as Dusty Springfield sang in 1964, waiting for some conclusive news on the fate of the iconic Kombi. Here’s what I’ve found, everything including:

– The final Kombi was produced on December 20th
– The final Kombi was produced on January 3rd
– Finance minister Guido Mantega says he would try to save the Kombi
– Finance minister Guido Mantega makes a case to the save the bus and is denied (Brazilian press)
– Last shipment of 99 Kombis on their way to Danbury Motor Caravans in Britain

There seems to be some variation of the facts, and to be honest the Guido Mantega story appears to be losing steam if it hasn’t fizzled already. In reality we haven’t seen new bay window buses in North America since 1979, I remember my disappointment when I heard the news that the Vanagon would replace the bread loaf. It’s amazing I didn’t realize, until about 10 years ago, that the Type 2 was still being produced in other parts of the world. According to Wikipedia the bay window bus was produced in the following countries between these dates:

Aug 1967–Jul 1979 (Europe and US)
1971–1996 (Mexico)
1976–Dec 2013 (Brazil)[9]
1981–1986 (Argentina)

According to that list some would have been produced in the U.S. though I’m not sure about that. So a holiday through any one of those Latin American countries would certainly be interesting for the VW van enthusiast. Today’s video from a happier day, posted by Youtube user Sidney Gubitoso, is a news story from Brazilian TV celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Kombi in 2007. Some great historical footage.


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