unintroducing-thevolkswagen-bus2013

[Note: Até amanhã ? = ‘See you tomorrow?’ in Portuguese]

This month the last newly-produced T2 Volkswagen bus is due to roll off the production in Brazil.  It’s the end of an era having been in continuous production for 64 years with 3.5 million sold around the world.  Whether you know it as a camper, bus, kombi or van, it’s a vehicle that has stood the test of time.  It’s cheeky looks, durability, flexibility and simple mechanics mean that they just keep on going … and going …. and going.

The demise of the Bay window T2 bus has been shrouded in some mystery for the last fortnight, however.  VW’s decision to cease production is in response to new regulations requiring ABS brakes and airbags to be fitted to all new vehicles in Brazil.  But the recent suggestion by Brazil’s Finance Minister that the VW bus might be exempt, given that it’s unique design might not be suited to such new-fangled features, has cast doubt over whether the bus has actually reached the end of the road.

Whether the Brazilian Government has in fact granted the lovable bus a reprieve isn’t yet known – or whether VW would want to continue production.  (Although, since 25,000 new buses are sold in Brazil each year – and all 1,200 of the ‘Last Edition’ models are being snapped up by eager buyers – there’s clearly a continuing demand).  The fact that 700 workers could be out of a job, and that there are no direct competitors to the Kombi, might suggest there’s a degree of pragmatism at play.  And even if Brazil’s safety legislation might prevent sales of the bus domestically, there’s a buoyant export market in Europe and Africa.

Whatever the outcome, I thought I’d dedicate this post to a celebration of the T2 bus.  Much is inevitably being said about its demise at the moment but one thing is for sure: while new ones might not be being made in future, they’ll certainly live on … and on … and on.

What better way to celebrate the T2 bus than in a selection of great videos from a range of loving owners and fans.

The T2 production line in Brazil …

The trailer for the Bus Movie …”the most sexy sales pitch ever for the American association between motor vehicles and rugged individualism

Do you have the right kind of wife for a VW station wagon ?”  The VW bus advert from 1963 …

The next time you go to the country, stay there“.  A couple of 1960s classic VW van adverts …

A fantastic video of three surfing buddies with their splitties (the precursor to the Bay window van) …

The Cool Flo guys make some deliveries around London in their splitscreen vans …

Further reading:

Tributes to a design classic (but true to form the Guardian has made a mistake in the title of the article.  The VW camper van – the modern VW California –  is still in production in Germany)

Hip vs Hippie

VW bus stories – VW America’s tribute website

 

7 Comments on “Até amanhã ?

  1. Pingback: Volkswagen Bus: The Un-Launch | VW Camper Blog

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