Here, we’ve featured a vintage Volkswagen Kombi (Microbus) from Kerala, which has been skillfully restored to bring its beauty back
Volkswagen Type 2 is an international automotive icon, first introduced back in 1949. The vehicle was sold in different markets under different names – Kombi, Transporter, or Microbus – and it remains in production today internationally. Vintage examples of VW Kombi can sometimes be spotted on Indian roads as well, but only a few examples remain in running condition.
Recently, we came across a beautifully restored VW Kombi, on a Facebook page named Vandibhranthanmar. This is a first-generation (T1) model, reportedly brought to India from Germany back in 1967, just before the second-generation Kombi (T2) was introduced. The vehicle was restored by a Jagadeesh Chirukandath, who picked it up after it had been lying dormant for around two decades! The vehicle has been nicknamed “Fillmore” by Jagadeesh’s elder son, after a character in the Pixar animated movie Cars.
As per the page, this is the only Volkswagen Kombi in Kerala with the original split windscreen design and factory-fitted dual sliding doors. Only a few T1 models with dual sliding doors exist around the world, thus making it highly collectible. The interior features a typical caravan setup, with sliding curtains for all windows in the rear cabin. The front windscreens are hinged, along with the front quarter glass, allowing them to open up, which is not a feature available on modern cars!
At the front, the Microbus gets a large VW logo on the nose, round headlamps, round turn indicators, and a V-shaped groove that extends longitudinally along the shoulderline to the tail of the vehicle. At the sides, we see tiny steel wheels with dome-shaped wheel caps, similar to the ones seen on the original.
At the rear, we see a pair of elliptical taillights, along with two hatches – one for the passenger cabin and one for the engine compartment. VW Kombi first-generation was based on Volkswagen Type 1 (Beetle), and thus it gets an air-cooled engine mounted at the back of the car. Also, metal bumpers have been installed here, the same as were found on the original.
This is perhaps one of the simplest yet prettiest classics we’ve seen, and we’re thoroughly impressed by this restoration job. The charm of the original has been preserved here, and it looks absolutely brilliant. Forgotten classics like Volkswagen Kombi are rare in India, and we’re glad enthusiasts out there are maintaining such beauties.