Volkwagen Microbus to end production

Goodbye, old friend.

Jason Torchinsky at Jalopnik offers a wonderful goodbye to the faithful Volkswagen Microbus. This year marks the end of production, which continued in Brazil. The cab-over design that makes the Bus (and Vanagon) such a pleasure to drive resists meeting current safety standards.

So much of my driving experience has been rear engine, VW boxer designs. The Bus, the Beetle, the Vanagon, Porsche's 356 Speedster and 911. They are truly beautifully designed and a pleasure to drive, each within its limitations (or in the case of a modern 911, lack thereof.)

I've harbored the fantasy of buying a new Brazilian bus for years. I'm sorry to see it go.

Old-School VW Microbus Will Finally End Production This Year via Jalopnik

Notable Replies

  1. Bummer. We still have our '90 Vanagon Multivan, a waterboxer, and it hauls plenty around in it, including grandkids. The sound is distinctive enough that the small units, who call it "The Bus", get excited when they hear us coming. Sic Transit Gloria...Westfalia

  2. Not the first or the last person to toss their salad in a van.

  3. I own a 73 and an 88. When production ends it will definitely make it harder to keep the 73 on the road.

    But please don't call either one a "cab-over". That's a body style used on large trucks where the body flips forward to access the engine. Since the engine in both the type2 and Vanagon are in the back, the cab does not move.

    Call it cab forward, sure. Or even "forward control". But not cab-over. Thanks.

  4. If it weren't for the VW Microbus, it might have been years before I learned the words my dad yelled as he struggled to drive our family over the "Grapevine" section of the I-5.

  5. Who can one contact at VW to propose the abandoned Kombi be released as an Open Source hardware design? There seems to be no useful contact information on any VW web site. We missed this opportunity with VW Bug, which should have been the first de-facto public domain automobile given its ubiquity and the number of third party component manufacturers globally. But there was no open development concept at the time of its abandonment and the third party parts/accessories industry lacked the coherence of the PC industry when it 'appropriated' the IBM PC architecture. The Microbus T2 architecture has some problems from an open design standpoint, since it's still based on antiquated pressed steel welded unibody construction. But there are many benefits in the developing world context to creating the possibility for an open independent production and development with the vehicle that could see it evolved to suit smaller scale industrial process (ie, space frame and modular body panel) and alternative energy use. I think it would be a practical platform for re-imagining the ideals of Tony Howarth's failed Africar.

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