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Paying tribute to the Type 2 Camper

By raccars Published

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After the Type 2's sad demise, Volkswagen has paid tribute to one of its most iconic models by making a short film about the vehicle's history.

Towards the end of 2013 and to universal disappointment, VW announced that production of its Camper model would cease after 63 years. The move was pretty much forced upon the company as a result of new safety legislation in Brazil, where the vehicles were produced, obligating all cars from January 2014 to be fitted with passenger and driver airbags and ABS.

While the vans are officially called Type 2s, they are almost universally known as Campers. Three generations of Type 2 were made in over a dozen body formats. After T1, T2 and T3, the T4 and T5 were officially known as the 'Transporter'.

The first generation Type 2 rolled off the production line in March 1950 with a split front windscreen that earned it the nickname 'Splitties' and an engine mounted in the rear end. These models are now the most collectable of all the Campers. The T1 was produced in Europe until 1968 and until 1975 in Brazil, with nearly two million models built in total in that time.

The T2 appeared in 1967, boasting only a few cosmetic changes from the T1. Brazil took over production of the T2 in 1976 and European production ceased three years later. The Brazilian models remained in production until New Year's Eve 2013 and were called the 'Kombi'.

The T3 took over from the T2 in 1979 and showed a much more angular shaped Kombi until the early 1990s. Its distinctive shape earned it the nickname the 'Wedge' but it failed to capture the public imagination the way the curvier models had. This was the last model to feature an air cooled engine and the rarely found Synchro models demonstrate surprising off-road prowess.

However, it's the earlier T1 and T2 versions of the Type 2 that turned the van into a cultural icon. Since production began, more than four million Type 2s have made hippies and fans of The Who happy worldwide.

Volkswagen's cute tribute film can be found on YouTube, called 'Kombi's Last Wishes', and is narrated by a 'Camper'. It shows clips of various campers being used by the famous and ordinary people, at Woodstock and decorated in some fantastic paint jobs, before the Kombi says goodbye and drives off into the sunset...

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