AUCTIONS LURE BUYERS READY TO PAY TOP DOLLAR FOR KOMBIS
Once-humble Volkswagen Kombi vans and commercial vehicles are setting record prices at auctions, and Australia is setting the world pace.
A restored VW 23-window “Samba” Microbus sold for A$202,000 (about $214,000) at Shannons Melbourne Late Summer auction in February, while last year a restored VW Campervan sold at auction for A$74,000 and a “barnfind” Kombi in need of a full restoration made A$30,000.
With this interest, VW “Kombi” enthusiasts and collectors around the world will be following Shannons Sydney Late Autumn Classic Auction on May 18, when two fully-restored 1960s VW commercials go under the gavel.
The model attracting the most interest is a rare, original factory right-hand-drive 1966 Volkswagen De Luxe “21 Window” Samba Microbus mechanically and cosmetically upgraded to show standards.
Making it even more collectible, the nine-seater Microbus has the rare factory right-hand-drive M164 sliding door option.
Volkswagen’s archives show the Deluxe Microbus left the Hannover, Germany, factory in April 1966 in Tiziano red. It has been repainted in white over blue. The interior has been completely re-trimmed in matching full blue leather.
Shannons expect the vehicle to sell in the A$100,000-A$130,000 range.
Just as appealing to serious VW commercial vehicle collectors in the auction is a right-hand drive split-screen 1962 Volkswagen Kombi “windowless” panel van that has been professionally restored and rebuilt with a high degree of authenticity.
Discovered under a tree on a property in Queensland, it is reputed to have been sitting in largely complete and substantially original condition for 25 years.
After its purchase by the current owners four years ago, the Volkswagen underwent a comprehensive restoration during which the bodywork and all mechanical components — including the original 1200cc air-cooled engine and four-speed manual transmission — were stripped and rebuilt as necessary.
Now finished in a period two-tone colour scheme of cream over grey, with contrasting grey and red upholstery, the Kombi looks stunning, and Shannons expects it to find willing bidders in the A$60,000-A$70,000 range.