Breathtaking Kombi commands big bucks

Riley Riley

This breathtaking 1959 Kombi is expected to fetch big bucks when its goes under the hammer at Shannons Melbourne Winter Classic Auction on July 15.

The rare 23-window Kombi bus with side barn-doors has been treated to a full, no-expense-spared restoration that began with a chemical strip of the body.

Now finished in a superb white over dark blue, two-tone paint job, it has been lowered with aftermarket independent suspension, fitted with four-wheel disc brakes and EMPI alloys and now sports a hot, twin-carb 2.0-litre flat four mated to a four-speed manual gearbox.

Inside, the Kombi is trimmed in cream and black vinyl with air conditioning integrated into the otherwise standard dashboard, with separate cooling for rear-seat occupants.

There were three variants of the Kombi — van, bus and utility.

Introduced in 1951, the Samba (also known as the Sunroof Deluxe in the United States) was the most luxurious variant.

It was equipped with three rows of seats and “barn” doors for better access, combined with a full-length sliding sunroof.

Early models are known as 23-window buses thanks to the addition of eight panoramic windows set into the roof, but in later versions this was revised to 21-windows with the elimination of the rear corner glass in 1964.

With prices of early Kombis still rising worldwide, Shannons conservatively expect this great restored example to sell with ‘no reserve’ in the $100,000 – $130,000 range.

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