Volkswagen has confirmed that after 63 years, production of the van we know as the iconic Camper will stop at the end of 2013. The news comes after a change in Brazilian regulations for car safety in 2014.
The Type 2 is the van’s official name, so it is easy to frustrate purists by referring to all Type 2s as Campers. Type 2s were available in more than a dozen body styles and spanned three generations, the T1, T2 and T3, with the later T4s and 5s adopting the official ‘Transporter’ nomenclature.
Type 2 production started with the first-generation T1 model in March 1950, complete with its infamous split-screen front window and rear-mounted engine. T1 production continued until as late as 1968 in Europe, but until 1975 in Brazil by which time almost two million had been built.
The Type 2 received its second-generation appearance as the T2 as early as 1967, taking off from where the T1 had ended with only a handful of visual tweeks. In Brazil T2 production started in 1976, three years before European production stopped, and with few visual changes won’t cease until new year's eve 2013. The Brazilian made Type 2s have been given the ‘Kombi’ name.
We tested a brand new Kombi in Sao Paulo recently and although its ability left much to be desired, the though of a world without it is a sad one.
The T3 Type 2 was available as early as 1979 until the early '90s and, having ironed out the T2’s round lines, was often referred to as the 'wedge'. The T3 was the last ‘Type 2’ VW and one of the last VWs to have an air-cooled engine. Rare Synchro models have genuine off-road talent.
The T1s and 2s are the more familiar and arguably more iconic Type 2s, and are among the world’s most recognisable vehicles. A favourite of hippies and The Who, Type 2s have racked up sales of over four million worldwide.