I'll be honest, it brought a lump to my throat when I heard the news that the original VW Camper van is to have production halted. Many people are unaware that you could still buy these from South America. Well, yes you can and I've seen them, they ain't bad buses at all.
Also known as the VW Kombi or T2, this legendary vehicle will be no more. But thousands of old and new examples remain in what has to be the success story of Volkswagen's business career (Beetle owners may put up a fight about this though...).
So why stop production of the T2?
When Europe decided that the original Kombi was no longer worthy, production moved to Brazil. They have been banging out these beauties since early 1979 and even purists say they are not far off the originals. They currently manage builds of more than 200 a day which means they are far from unwanted.
The unfortunate truth is that it's South America's newest safety legislation that has done the most to halt production and VW say it's too costly to re-engineer this venerable platform. Damn shame.
I would like to bet that someone could do these safety adaptations in a third-party workshop and still make it a bargain buy. Apparently, amongst other modifications, there is a need for twin airbags and ABS.
They are currently to be made available from production until the end of 2013. Currently, here in the UK, you can get one for a shade under £25,000 ($37,000 US) which is for the 9 seater. There's also a 12 seater option.
Yes they are basic but they are also iconic and you should even consider buying one just to shrinkwrap (although using it is MUCH better). You'll get 50 percent more in 10 years for it, no problem, and you'll be doing your bit for history. Now where did I put that chequebook?