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VW Kombi sets world record at auction

A rare 1960 Volkswagen Kombi Samba Microbus has set what it believed to be a world record when it went under the hammer this week for an amazing $202,000.

The price, paid by an unnamed telephone bidder after a relentless battle with several rivals in the auction room, was substantially more than the $135,000 paid for a hero 1969 Falcon XW GT in award-winning unrestored condition.

It was also more than double the price paid for a 1968 Holden HK GTS Monaro 327 Coupe – also in unrestored condition – that sold for $96,000.

The VW Kombi's result brought a standing ovation from the large crowd that had packed into Shannons Cheltenham, Melbourne showroom.

Early Kombis have attracted a cult following around the world

It capped off a night of top prices paid for many of the 39 classics on offer - 21 of them presented for sale with 'no reserve' (an auction trend championed with growing success by Shannons).

Based on the national and even international interest that was shown in the Microbus before the sale, Shannons was quietly confident that the humble VW – fresh from a five year restoration – would top pre-auction expectations of $120,000-$140,000.

Once the preserve of hippies looking for cheap, live-in transport, early Kombis have attracted a cult following around the world, with top examples routinely fetching six figure sums overseas in recent years.

The Volkswagen Type 2 was introduced in 1949 and rapidly established itself as one of the most versatile and popular commercial vehicles ever made.

The Kombi is finished the delightful two-tone period colours of Paprika and White with contrasting tan upholstery

The first examples were seen in Australia in 1953 and were assembled at VW's Clayton plant in Melbourne from 1954.

The 'step-through' T2 Deluxe Microbus with its period 'Golde' folding roof – widely regarded as the most collectible Kombi of all – was completed on December 13, 1960 and first delivered in Melbourne.

Beautiful in every detail, the Kombi is finished the delightful two-tone period colours of Paprika and White with contrasting tan upholstery.

It has been the recipient of several awards, including President's Choice at the Volkswagen Club of Victoria's ‘Day of the Volkswagen' in 2013.

The Kombi's sale near the end of the auction almost took the wind out of the sale, despite excellent results being posted by a number of other lots.

Shannons National Auction Manager, Christophe Boribon said the result set a very positive tone for Classic vehicle sales in 2015.

"This is a spectacular result for our first auction of the year," he said.

Chris Riley
Contributing Journalist
Chris Riley is an automotive expert with decades of experience. He formerly contributed to CarsGuide via News Corp Australia.
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