Made in der Black Forest by der Elves

Friday, 02 March 2012 From Issue Vol. XX No. 9 By  Dr. Iain Corness

 

Have you noticed the number of old Beetles on the roads these days, plus a fair smattering of Kombi wagons?  I had previously noted some in Chiang Mai, but not many in Pattaya.  Now it is the other way around.  Go along the Railway Road and there are two VW places around the Naklua areas.

 

I have also seen one genuine Beetle cabriolet (I think they were done by Karmann) and a couple of Karmann Ghia’s.  A couple of years ago I spotted a Kubelwagon and Wiki tells me that the Volkswagen Kübelwagen (short for Kübelsitzwagen, meaning “bucket seat car”) was a military vehicle designed by Ferdinand Porsche and built by Volkswagen during World War II for use by the German military (both Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS).

VW Kombi. VW Kombi.

Based heavily on the Volkswagen Beetle, it was prototyped as the Type 62, but eventually became known internally as the Type 82.  It was to the Germans, what the Jeep was to the Allies.

The Kombi was first produced in 1950 and became an instant success with the hippy movement in the 60’s, and for Australians going to “do Europe” where there were Kombi’s for sale or exchange in the Earls Court suburb of London.  Kombi’s were not known for performance and zero to 100 kph is quoted as being 1 minute 15 seconds.  100 kph was also its top speed.  I’m sure there are lots of Kombi tales out there.

 

Last modified on Wednesday, 29 February 2012 12:42
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