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Kombi legend lives in travel book

2013-02-06 11:13

LEGEND LIVES ON: The book, The Kombi Trail: Across Three Continents in a VW Van, is a tribute to the 63-year-old icon.

Picture David Kramer in his red velskoene, guitar on his back and that gleeful smile... that picture still goes hand-in-hand with the image of a Volksie bus.

The popular local 1983 ad was the epitome of what the VW Kombi was all about: family, drama and crazy adventures through which the Volksie always survived.

Launched locally in 1955, the VW Kombi became a culture that turned in to a way of life for 34 years. Even though the Kombi didn’t come with Kramer, it still meant family drives up the coast, camping in the bush or perhaps even the monthly shopping trip. Whichever way, the 'bus was versatile and durable.

ICONIC STATUS

The Kombi has become a legend and a new book, 'The Kombi Trail: Across Three Continents in a VW Van' reinforces that as a tale of endurance featuring seven students and two kombis duing an epic gap-year trip through the Soviet Union, the Middle East, South Asia and Africa in 1961.

According to NewsPress, authors Robert Cox, Roger Sherwin and Tony Thompson paint a “colourful and fascinating tribute to the Transporter’s longevity and unique status as one of the most iconic vans ever made.” 

It’s a story of experiences, the people they met, the places they saw: often nerve-racking, sometimes bizarre.

TALE OF FRIENDSHIPS

The two Kombis overcome treacherous mountain passes, near-impossible roads, jungle tracks and river crossings on their journey and in the process  become friends to their passengers: always willing, never complaining and often exploited. They functioned as transport, shelter, canteen and home and, inevtiably, turn out to be the main chatacters of the book.

VW’s Mark Hopkins said: “Whether it’s delivering newspapers to Newcastle, honeymooners to Heathrow, or tackling a road trip across Europe, the Transporter has always been, and always will be, the best van for the job.”

The Transporter was launched internationally in 1950 and has been rolling off the production lines for 63 years - more than 10 million units and in its fifth generation.

The Transporter is rated as a best-seller for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles in the UK.  Today’s models include the Transporter, Caravelle people-carrier and California camper van and are all rather durable with lots of comfort features and technology.

The Kombi Trail is available at book retailers or online for R377.

Click here for more info on the latest Kombi/ Caravelle, or to find a local Volkswagen Van Centre.

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