Grandpas 1971 Lowlight Kombi. Then and Now

I love sharing the story about my 71 Kombi. Thinking about it, it's what got me into all this in the first place. This is probably one if the first cars I remember since my grandpa owned since before I was even thought of. He got it sometime in the late 70's from a good friend of his who purchased it new in 71.

Volkswagens were always in the family. My dad had told me about his pop (my great grandpa) who had owned one of the very early beetles back in the 50's. He had passed away and given it to my dad when he was only about four years old. Sadly it was sold before he learnt to drive, but VW's were still always in the family. My Grandpa had always owned Kombis (Splitties) and Dad's first cars were Splitscreen Kombis which he remembers rebuilding the engines in his driveway. In-fact, Grandpa used to get eh Kombi fixed at old Nymyers when it was owned by their father. So, VW's have always been in the family and this Kombi is the first car I really remember.

My most vivid memories of it were when it had become a farm truck in the 90's on Grandpas property out west. I have memories of it being full of everthing from chickens to hay and even to wild pigs. Me and all my cousins would clamber in the Kombi and Grandpa would drive us all round the property. I distinctly remember the sliding door always being impossible to close both from the inside and out. My fondest memories are being taught to drive in it on the farm when I was only about 12 or 13. I could hardly reach the pedal. I'm sure Grandpa must've had some patience to teach us all.

The Kombi very well could've been lost after my Grandparents moved from the farm in the early 2000's and left the Kombi there on the property. It was sheer luck (or maybe destiny) that I managed to find it. It came up for sale on ebay in 2012 as a very small text add with no pictures which simply read. "White VW Kombi 1971 with Subaru engine. Located: Coonabarabran". As soon as I saw it I knew it must be it. How many white lowlights with Suby engines were there in Coona???

On that topic, I guess Grandpa must've been one of the early pioneers of Suby engines in Kombis. He did that sometime in the late 80's early 90's as he was sick of it overheating. Ironically though, that was always it's biggest issue after the conversion since they had put the radiator in the back and it never got enough air-flow. That hadn't thought of fitting the radiator underneath at that time.

Fast forward to now and I only just managed to finish the restoration last year after having it back for over 10 years. Time does fly and I always seemed to be fixing everyone else's bus that I never got a chance, nor had the funds to do mine. Despite the long process I really couldn't be happier with it. It's exactly the way I imagined it in my mind when it was finished. Sadly I just wish Grandpa would've been able to see it finished.


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