Celebrating an icon: VW's Type 2 'Kombi' turns 70
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Long before the days of sites like eBay and Bring a Trailer, air-cooled engines weren't used to distinguish the difference between expensive Porsches and uber-expensive ones, but instead was the norm for Volkswagen's vehicles.
With the Type 1 (AKA the Beetle) selling quite well back in the 1940s, VW decided to bring another model into the line-up, and not ones to confuse people with fancy model names, dubbed it the 'Type 2'.
T1 or Split Window: 1950 - 1967
Further down the track, this van came to be known as everything from the Bus, Transporter, Hippie Van, but more prominently — the Kombi. And with more than 13 million sold worldwide, we couldn't help but celebrate its 70th birthday.
The first generation Kombi rolled off Volkswagen's production lines back in 1950, and is known as the T1, or 'Split Window' thanks to the two-piece windscreen up front.
These days, these 'Splitties' are by far the most sought-after Kombis on the market thanks to its iconic looks and classic charm, but the prices certainly reflect this.
You'll be lucky to find a road-going, rust-free example in New Zealand for under $50,000 these days, but if you're willing to battle the rough stuff, there are plenty of unfinished projects around for less.
T2 or Bay Window: 1968 - 1979
As you can see, the Bay Window models were a natural progression from the earlier model, but managed to retain that classic charm thanks to the quirky two-tone colour schemes.
Just like the Beetle's evolution throughout this period, the chassis and engine remained more or less the same, with a four-cylinder air-cooled engine at the rear, and a two-piece, floor pan and body assembly.
These ones are a little cheaper in today's market than their predecessors, but are certainly increasing in value.
T3: 1980 - 1992
The third-generation Transporter got rid of the rounded hippie charm of the previous models and replaced it with space and practicality.
For the first few years, air-cooled engines were used to power these rear-engined vans, but in 1983, VW swapped this powertrain over to a water-cooled example that was fuel injected.
T4: 1993 - 2003
Gone are the days of the rear-mounted, air-cooled engines, as the engine was moved to the front with the introduction of the T4.
The overall design of the van was also extremely modernised, with the Transporter now blending into the busy van segment of the '90s.
T5: 2004 - 2015
The fifth-generation saw the styling updated again and the Transporter was offered with a range of engines and specs to help with industrial duties.
This generation was known for its high-quality interior and looks that slightly mimicked those of Ford's incredibly popular Transit van.
T6: 2016 - Present
It seems that Volkswagen wanted to throw things back to the very start here, as a 'California' variant was released that mimics the iconic two-tone paint schemes of the early Kombis.
It's arguably the best-looking Kombi since the very first one, and is crammed with all the modern tech that you could ever need.