Volkswagen Type 2 Microbus

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Volkswagen

Volkswagen Type 2 Microbus

1950 - 1967
Country:
Germany
Engine:
Air Cooled Flat 4.
Capacity:
1500 cc
Power:
n/a
Transmission:
4 spd. man
Top Speed:
n/a
Number Built:
362598 (All Type 2 Models)
Collectability:
4 star
Volkswagen Microbus
The Type 2 Volkswagen, or "bus" was born in 1950. It was designed as a spartan vehicle for new businesses starting up after the second world war. The earliest buses didn't even have a rear window or bumper.

Originally, the bus was to be built on the Beetle chassis, but it proved too weak for the larger bus. A new chassis was designed specifically for it.

The buses built before 1956 are called "barndoors" because of their large rear engine lid. Soon after its introduction, there seemed to be a market for a more luxurious, passenger-friendly Type 2, and so the variations began.

The base-model, no frills bus was the panel van, made for businesses. It had no windows down the sides of it, and no upholstery was available for the cargo area. The next bus on the hierarchy was the "Kombi."

This was a bus with three windows down each side. It was designed to carry people and/or cargo, hence the name. Removable, crude rear seats were optional for the back.

The next bus was the Microbus. It usually had the same window configuration as the Kombi, but was a step higher in specification.

It was not designed for cargo transport; nicely upholstered seats throughout the vehicle and matching interior panels and a cloth or vinyl headliner were standard. It also came from the factory with chromed hubcaps and two-tone paint.

Top of the range was the Deluxe Microbus. Here, the number of windows and the variations available were immense. You could get the three windows down each side, four windows down each side, or even five with a curved plexiglass corner window.

Four "skylight" windows on each side above the regular ones were a popular option. The Deluxes usually had sunroofs; infact, it is extremely rare to find one without one. These automobiles also had a fancy chrome strip between the upper and lower sections. The Type 2, or Transporter line was not limited to these busses. A single cab and double cab pickup were made. A special highroof panel van was made for cumbersome loads.

There were many ambulance and firetruck conversions as well. There was a double door bus, with dual loading doors on both sides. All of these variations, plus the differences in window configurations makes for a seemingly infinite number of different busses.

It should be noted that a company called Binz began making double cab Type 2s in 1953, a few years before VW did. Apparently, a single cab didn't fit a certain customer's needs, so he took it to this coachbuilding company to convert it for him.

They thought this was a good idea to market, and thus Binz began producing them. They would do the conversion, upholster their own rear seat, and paint the car (as they got them from VW primed) and sell it for about US$1800, $300 more than a standard single cab.

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