Restoration From Brazil: 1974 Volkswagen Kombi

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Launched in 1950, the VW Type II was a bus-like vehicle to serve as a companion to the VW Beetle. It was built in multiple markets and known by a variety of names, such as the Transporter, Kombi, Microbus, Camper (UK), and Bulli (Germany). It was a forward-control light commercial vehicle that became all the buzz with the U.S. hippie movement of the 1960s and 1970s. This example came from Brazil and was restored there but is now in Greer, South Carolina. The seller’s family has a rich history with VW in Brazil and has made this beauty available here on Barn Finds Classifieds for $48,000. It might be the nicest one still around!

Like the Beetle, the Type II relied on a rear-mounted, air-cooled engine to get around. The popularity of the van in the U.S. prompted domestic automakers to get on the bandwagon, such as Ford with the Econoline, Dodge with the A100, and Chevy with the Corvair 95 Corvan. Brazil was the last point of manufacture for the T2 series of the Type II, which ceased production in 2013 due to more stringent safety regulations in that country. This marked the end of the era of rear-engine Volkswagens, which originated in 1935 with their Type 1 prototypes.

According to the seller, his/her family has had a connection with Volkswagen in Brazil that goes back 60 years. During this time, the late father assembled quite a collection of cars from all over the world, with VWs being at the cornerstone. Apparently, this Kombi (as they’re called in Brazil) was restored on its home turf before coming to the U.S. where they live part-time in South Carolina. It appears that no expense was spared in sprucing up this bus, including upgrading it from a standard carryall to the luxury edition which brought extra seating (we think).

This Type 2 is powered by a 1.6-liter “Boxer” engine that’s paired with a 4-speed manual transmission. We’re told it drives wonderfully and has new tires all around as well as the restoration work that was performed. While the asking pricing is not modest, think how much you’d have to spend to restore some junk yard find you might come across. We assume this Brazilian VW would be legal in all 50 U.S. states.

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  1. Craig Baloga Craig Baloga

    These have really found their Mojo and rabid niche market (like 356’s and 912’s)….hats off, this is quite beautiful.

    Now, where is that $48k twenty one window……


    Like 11
    • Daymo

      Try this one on eBay in the U.K. later this month. For sale at £55k or USD 66,400
      Item number 304790451742

      Like 0
      • Daymo

        Sorry, meant to say to be auctioned later this month…

        Like 0
  2. bobhess bobhessMember

    Nicest one I’ve ever seen. Wow!

    Like 9
  3. Harvey HarveyMember

    This would be fun to cruise in.

    Like 4
  4. That AMC guy

    I remember driving these back in the day. Although this one is in amazing condition I don’t think I’d spend nearly 50 large to repeat the experience!

    Like 10
  5. Ricardo Ventura

    I believe they used 1500 engines.
    I’m trying to remember if the color is right.
    It’s very beautiful.

    Like 2
  6. Joe shea

    I think here in the US the last year they had the split front windshield was in 1967. And in 1972 they went to the type three engine? 1700 cc.

    Like 1
    • Dr Ron

      The Type 2 “Bread Loaf” “Bay Window” 1972 and up USA buses used a 1700, 1800 and finally 2000 Type 4/914 engine.
      The South American buses soldiered on with the split window original Type II buses with Type I Beetle/Karmann Ghia engines until 1978. The last Brazilian Type II engines were the dual port 1600 engine.
      If you save a “Volkswagen Bus” search on eBay you’ll see a lot of these Brazilian Kombi Type II buses on a regular basis.
      There are a few importers in Florida that are bringing them into the states.

      Like 3
  7. Malcolm Boyes

    Being a 74 its smog exempt in Ca. 75 and earlier are exempt. Nice bus. From what I hear the Brazilian built Type 2s are just as well made as the German ones( I have A 1966 German single cab),

    Like 3
  8. Leslie MartinMember

    What a stunning restoration! I don’t remember seeing one this beautiful for sale in many years! But is it really a ’74 model?

    I grew up in a VW family. I even took my driver’s test in a ’74 VW Westfalia camper. But that bus was a German built second generation model. It had the more squared off design with higher and larger turn signals and bumpers and single piece windshield like the one in this picture.

    Does anyone know if the ones built in Brazil continued on with the first generation design after the newer series were being built in Germany?

    Like 3
    • Dr Ron

      Leslie, see my comments above.

      Like 4
      • Leslie MartinMember

        Thank you, @Dr. Ron . Mystery solved!

        Like 2
    • fatbastard

      The first series body (split windshield) were being built in Brazil using leftover German tooling, which is what you see here. By the mid-80s the Brazilian VW buses had the second series (one-piece windshield) front end and an altered first series rear. They look kind of peculiar to those of used to the German-built buses.

      Like 0
  9. Terry

    I remember well the two-tone ugly green ’63 my parents bought new for, as I recall, about $2700. It had metal trim bars in the rear corner windows, and appears to have been a particularly rare model as I’ve not seen another like it on-line. On long winter trips I would curl up atop the rear deck, next to those beautifully curved windows, as it was the only warm spot in the van. I later spent many miles behind that wheel. The rear view mirror provided entertainment as I would see wide-open eyes in the back seats as I came to a stop just a few feet away from the vehicle ahead. Too bad that central Ohio’s salted roads ate the rockers quickly. Many GREAT memories!

    Like 3
  10. BobinBexley Bob in BexleyMember

    You can run faster than a bus can accelerate. It’s not an ideal situation.

    Like 0
    • Miguel - Mexican Spec

      Bob in Bexley That is not true when it has the water cooled 1.8L inline 4 Golf engine.

      Like 0
      • BobinBexley Bob in BexleyMember

        Laid over like a vanagon diesel ???

        Like 0
    • Terry

      Our ’63 had a whopping 40 hp to carry a crew of six up a freeway incline, only to watch Greyhounds and tractor-trailer rigs pass us as if we were in “reverse.”


      Like 1
  11. Chris

    I am currently building a type two V.W. we started with a 76/77 bus, by time we are finished we will have a bus as nice as those for a fraction of the cost, we are at 18,000 by time we are finished another ten. Everything has been replaced including the engine, trans. I will have to post a photo when I am finished. This is my 5tth Bus god I love these things

    Like 0
  12. Miguel - Mexican Spec

    It amazes me people go all the way to Brazil to buy VW Vans when they are much closer in Mexico.

    Like 0

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