Volkswagen vans are well known for their versatility, desirability and durability by business and leisure customers alike. Proof of this can be found in many places, including a new book, The Kombi Trail: Across Three Continents in a VW Van, which recounts the tale of an endurance test featuring seven students and two Volkswagen vans during an epic gap year trip across the Soviet Union, the Middle East, South Asia and Africa in 1961.
Volkswagen vans are no strangers to travelling long distances, and The Kombi Trail, by Robert Cox, Roger Sherwin and Tony Thompson, is a colourful and fascinating tribute to the Transporter’s longevity and unique status as one of the most iconic vans ever made. This book tells the story of the trip, not just the people they met and the places they saw, but the many experiences – sometimes nerve-wrecking, sometimes bizarre – that they encountered along the way.
The two Kombis doggedly traversed treacherous mountain passes, near-impossible roads, jungle tracks and river crossings on their journey, and in the process the vehicles evolved into near-human friends, always willing, never complaining and often much put upon. Functioning as transport, shelter, canteen and home, the Kombis are as much the characters of the book as the adventurers themselves.
The Transporter has been in production for almost 63 years, with the first people carrier and camping versions introduced shortly after it started production in 1950.
With over 10 million produced, and now in its fifth generation, the Transporter has achieved great success, and is a best-seller for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles in the UK, with Transporter, Caravelle people carrier and California campervan customers enjoying the same durability with all today’s latest comforts and efficient engine technology available wherever they go.
Mark Hopkins, Head of Marketing at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said: ‘Whether it’s delivering newspapers to Newcastle, honeymooners to Heathrow, or tackling a road trip across Europe, the Transporter (and all its derivatives) has always been, and always will be, the best van for the job.’
The Kombi Trail is published by I B Tauris and is now available at book retailers or from www.ibtauris.com, for around £25.