The Kombi, German automaker Volkswagen's legendary "hippie" camper van, is bidding farewell to the automotive market after more than 60 years on the world's roads, with production in Brazil, the last country where the model is still manufactured, slated to end in December.
The Kombi, a cult classic, has an especially strong fan base in Brazil, where it was the only van on roads for more than 30 years.
"The Kombi is the van that built Brazil. It's a sad time for collectors," Sampa Kombi Clube Volkswagen president Eduardo Gedrait told Efe.
The van's "strengths" were its "simple maintenance" and "versatility," Gedrait said.
The Kombi was launched in 1950 in Germany and now, 63 years later, the legendary van is saying goodbye to the auto market due to a new Brazilian automotive safety law that requires, among other equipment, air bags.
Sampa Kombi Clube Volkswagen brings together about 350 lovers of the VW van in Sao Paulo.
The club hosted a Kombi show last week at the Sambodromo del Anhembi, an event that drew even more people following the announcement that the vans would no longer be made, Gedrait said.
Volskwagen plans to shut down the Kombi assembly line on Dec. 31, but the vehicles should still be around on Brazil's streets for decades to come as collectors' items.
"Those of us who have one are going to keep it under lock and key," Gedrait said. EFE