Volkswagen Type 2 T1

Nice to see you at my Volkswagen Type 2 T1 page! As you probably all know, I am a huge fan of the Volkswagen Bus, introduced by German automaker Volkswagen. And I hope that in the near future I can own a VW T1 Van. If you know someone, who is willing to sell his own T1 Van. Think about me and please don't hesitate to contact me

Volkswagen Type 2 T1

Volkswagen Type 2 T1

My obsession with this forerunner of modern cargo and passenger vans, did not came completely by accident. I started to develop this fascination for the Volkswagen T1 a few decades ago, when my friends and I where traveling across Europe. When I drove this amazing vehicle for the first time, it was love at first sight. The Volkswagen Type 2 (also officially known as Transporter or informally as Bus) was the second model introduced by German automaker Volkswagen. It was a panel van introduced in 1950, initially based on VW's first model, the Type 1, also known as the "Beetle".

The first generation of the Volkswagen Type 2 with the split windshield, informally called the Microbus, Splitscreen, or Splittie among modern fans. There were different versions of the T2. Models before 1971 are often called the T2a (or "Early Bay"), while models after 1972 are called the T2b (or "Late Bay"). T2C term is used for the buses in the early 90s, for cars with raised roofs, specially built for U.S. market merchants. From 1950 to 1956, the T1 was built in Wolfsburg; from 1956 it was built at the completely new Volkswagen Transporter T1 factory in Hanover, later in Mexico and finally built in Brazil. The T2 is to this day produced (only for Brazilian market), and is the longest-running Volkswagen model.

History of the Volkswagen bus

Ben Pon's first sketches

The Volkswagen Bus - also called Type 2 - is the second model which was produced by postwar Volkswagen. After the Second World War there was a large demand for commercial vehicles, Volkswagen soon developed itself as the leader in this segment. Under the name, Type 2 they brought 5 variations on the market, from the T1 to T5. The name Type 2 is, in contrary to what sometimes is thought, not synonymous for a T2 bus. During the fifties the Type 2 had no competition. Of course many car manufactures around the world constructed a commercial vehicle, because many retailers were simply dependent on their van, with the introduction of the Volkswagen Bus it was the start of a new era. »

VW Type 2 Restoration

In many countries, VW vans and pick-ups are lovingly restored to their original state, and in such a way that a Car Show easily can be won with it. Always keep in mind that the restoration of a Volkswagen Microbus is not the cheapest hobby a man can choose, but it is economically justified in compare to the price of a new commercial vehicle. Many people experience a joyous feeling of nostalgia when seated in a classic Volkswagen Mini Van that's because of it's friendly character. The VW Bus became part of the family and relatives, how worn, boring or recalcitrant, this car should be cherished. »

Leaving the Heimath Wolfsburg

The Volkswagen Type 2 T1 was the first generation of the split window bus. It is commonly known as the Splittie, Barndoor, Kombi, Bus, and the Microbus. The T1 was built in Wolfsburg, but from 1956 it was built at the completely new Transporter factory in Hanover. And like the Beetle, the first Transporters also used the Volkswagen air cooled engine, a 1.2 L, 25 hp (19 kW), air-cooled four-cylinder boxer engine mounted in the rear. In 1955 the 36 hp (22 kW) version became standard while an unusual early version of the 40 hp (25 kW) engine debuted exclusively on the Type 2 in 1959. This engine proved to be so unreliable and troublesome that Volkswagen recalled all 1959 Transporters and replaced the engines with an updated version of the 40 hp (25 kW) engine. Any 1959 models that retain that early engine today are true survivors. Since the engine was totally discontinued at the outset, no parts were ever made available.

The T1 Barndoor

The T1 Barndoor

The T1 Barndoor

The early versions of the T1 van until 1955 were often called the T1a or "Barndoor", because of the enormous rear engine cover, while the later versions with a slightly modified body (the roofline above the windshield is extended), smaller engine bay, and 15 in (381 mm) wheels instead of the original 16 in (406 mm) ones were called the T1b. From the 1963 model year, when the rear door was made wider (same as on the T2), the vehicle was referred to as the T1c. 1963 also saw the introduction of an optional sliding door for the passenger/cargo area instead of the outwardly hinged doors typical of cargo vans. This change arguably makes the 1963 VW the first true minivan, although the term wouldn't be coined for another three decades.

In 1962, a heavy-duty Transporter was introduced as a factory option. It featured a cargo capacity of one metric ton (1,000 kg) instead of the previous 750 kg, smaller but wider 14 in (356 mm) wheels, and a 1.5 L, 42 DIN hp (31 kW) engine. This was so successful that only a year later, the 750 kg, 1.2 L Transporter was discontinued. When the Beetle received the 1.5 L engine for the 1967 model year, its power was increased to 44 hp DIN (32 kW).

From Germany to Brazil

Volkswagen Type 2 T1

Volkswagen Type 2 T1

The T1 was produced in Germany until 1967, however, the T1 still was made in Brazil until 1975, when it was modified with a 1968-79 T2-style front end and big 1972-vintage taillights into the so-called "T1.5" and produced until 1996. The Brazilian T1s were not identical to the last German models (the T1.5 was locally produced in Brazil using the 1950s and 1960s-era stamping dies to cut down on retooling, alongside the Beetle/Fusca where the pre-1965 body style was retained), though they sported some characteristic features of the T1a, such as the cargo doors and 5-stud (205 mm bolt circle) rims. Brazil production air-cooled vehicles (including the VW Brasilia) are a rare find in the USA and usually sought after by collectors.

A lot of diversity

Among American enthusiasts, it is common to refer to the different models by the number of their windows. The basic Kombi or Bus had 11-windows. Deluxe models had 15-windows, but was not available in Europe. The sunroof deluxe versions had eight skylight windows and is known as the 23-window. A 13-window and 21-window version were produced starting in 1963.

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