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VW Kombi classic centre opens

The "Bulli'' workshop team will undertake any assignment.

VW has put the call out for its boxy Kombi children to return to the vans' birthplace for rejuvenation.

Volkswagen has opened a huge restoration centre at Hannover - the home of the Kombi since the van's origin in 1950 - to cater for the cult-car's burgeoning demand for restoration work.

The company says it's serious about its heritage, changing tack from working on its own heritage cars to taking on private work. The classic centre, called Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Oldtimers, is now headed by a former chief executive and currently classic director of Audi, Bentley and Bugatti,  Franz-Josef Paefgen.

The Oldtimers department of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has 100 buses on show - all bought and restored by the centre - and this year moved into a new 7000sqm facility in Hannover, Germany.

It has 13 staff - from mechanics to a technology historian and an event planner - to restore and preserve the vehicles and its own paint shop. Volkswagen says that no matter whether a full or partial restoration is required, or a bus is simply to be made roadworthy, the "Bulli'' workshop team will undertake any assignment.

"Paint renovation or an inspection is also possible. The staff talk through all personal restoration wishes with the customer before preparing an individually tailored offer,'' the company says in a statement.

"The unique feature is that only here does the customer receive certificated ex-works restoration. In addition, for each customer the team of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Oldtimers provides comprehensive documentation of the restoration of the vehicle, in which every step is photographically documented and described in detail.

"Thus the work performed by the specialists from Hannover is recorded for posterity, and customers can leaf through their folder whenever they wish.'' Volkswagen Classic Parts, which continues to make components for it older models, supports the Oldtimers centre as a partner.

"Some of the replacement parts needed when working on oldtimers are even taken from Volkswagen's original stock,'' Volkswagen says. Volkswagens from all around Australia converge on South Australia this weekend for the annual National Bug-In. The event, first started in 1970, this year focuses on McLaren Vale, Aldinga Beach and Port Willunga.

Neil Dowling
Contributing Journalist
GoAutoMedia Cars have been the corner stone to Neil’s passion, beginning at pre-school age, through school but then pushed sideways while he studied accounting. It was rekindled when he started contributing to magazines including Bushdriver and then when he started a motoring section in Perth’s The Western Mail. He was then appointed as a finance writer for the evening Daily News, supplemented by writing its motoring column. He moved to The Sunday Times as finance editor and after a nine-year term, finally drove back into motoring when in 1998 he was asked to rebrand and restyle the newspaper’s motoring section, expanding it over 12 years from a two-page section to a 36-page lift-out. In 2010 he was selected to join News Ltd’s national motoring group Carsguide and covered national and international events, launches, news conferences and Car of the Year awards until November 2014 when he moved into freelancing, working for GoAuto, The West Australian, Western 4WDriver magazine, Bauer Media and as an online content writer for one of Australia’s biggest car groups. He has involved himself in all aspects including motorsport where he has competed in everything from motocross to motorkhanas and rallies including Targa West and the ARC Forest Rally. He loves all facets of the car industry, from design, manufacture, testing, marketing and even business structures and believes cars are one of the few high-volume consumables to combine a very high degree of engineering enlivened with an even higher degree of emotion from its consumers.
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