Kombi Love.









Going the extra mile!

Sep 03, 2014


Australia’s blessed with beautifully restored vintage cars that adorn our highways and there’s a car for every taste whether you’re a Kombi fan of Hot Rod enthusiast.

But ever wondered what’s involved in car restoration? Kombi Love decided to restore rather than buy restored to ensure we had the very best and there our journey began. Meeting Michael Reinhardt of Australian VW Performance back in 2008 we presented our vision for Kombi Love and were sent off to find the best original kombi we could find. The notion being that the more original the less time in restoration and as the saying goes, time is money.

George was sourced in Sydney, a one-owner gent who had lived with Doug through his family and retirement years. He had many original parts which is a rarity as over the years parts break, get lost and become damaged. Rubber mats and trim were complete and just in need of some TLC.

Mildred lived in Kew, so a local girl and was the daily drive of Michael, a VW enthusiast who had taken care of her through the senior years. Michael and in turn Mildred were a real find as we became acquainted through a friend of a friend who co-owns the Boat House in Melbourne’s Studley Park – proof that it’s not always what you know but who you know.


Together George & Mildred were welcomed with open toolboxes by Australian VW Performance. Rather than renovate to a custom theme such as Austin Powers with shagadelic carpet (Yeah, baby yeah) we decided authentic was best. Brad Wells at BusnBugs was a great inspiration here and can be credited with the idea. Thanks Brad.

To be authentic requires deep appreciation of the marquee, its model variations, colours, trim and equipment. And these varied globally due to taste and model variations. Comprehensive research ensued via the VW forums and by speaking with Kombi enthusiasts encountered along the way. Virtual Global trotters we became! With a final parts list in hand and PayPal account at the ready part consignments arrived from California, Hawaii, Europe and from across Australia. Slowly but surely George went through body and mechanical restoration, with all parts being cleaned and fully restored. An endless process but the small little things make the big differences in vehicle restoration. Off to BusnBug for his interior refit and George was complete with Mildred following behind.

Being Deluxe Microbus models G&M where to be fully loaded to include parts such as dashboard clocks, a rarity at the time and often in private collections today. In total we sourced three clocks, the most pristine came from a private collection at Big Al’s Auto Services in Hawaii. Big Al also sent a T-shirt for some co-promotion Smile

One of the most notable things found on our global sourcing excursions was the friendliness of people who loved old Volkswagens and would do anything to keep them on the road. These infectious characteristics were also evident among the aftermarket suppliers we dealt with. And fortunately for VW restorers there’s a growing industry to assist. Yet original and New Old Stock (NOS), referring to original parts or accessories that have never been used, are always best yet more difficult to find as they often come from old dealer’ stockpiles, swaps and auctions fetching a premium price.

G&M were fully restored in 2010 making their debut at Day of the Volkswagen. We were so engrossed in the restoration that we never thought of entering them into Best in Class Standard 1968 Bay Window but have entered since winning the last three consecutive years. This pays testament to the authenticity of the Kombis and we’re very proud of these accolades. 

G&M frequently appear in national media and are considered by the VW community to be among the best VW Kombis in Australia. For more about George’s see here.


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