Indonesian mechanic Wahyu Pamungkas, hailing from Semarang, has unveiled his latest automotive creation—a custom-built Volkswagen Kombi van that stretches an astonishing 7.6 meters in length. This extraordinary vehicle, reminiscent of the iconic ‘hippie wagon,’ can accommodate over 20 passengers, making it an ideal choice for communal travel.
Mr. Pamungkas and his dedicated team of 30 skilled craftsmen invested an entire year in bringing this dream vehicle to life. The result is a behemoth on wheels, dwarfing a Smart car at nearly three times its length.
Creating this automotive marvel did not come cheap, with Mr. Pamungkas investing more than £20,000 (approximately 400 million Indonesian Rupiah) into its construction. To achieve this feat, he ingeniously dissected and combined the chassis of two standard Kombi vans, significantly altering the vehicle’s structure. Additionally, he upgraded the engine from a 1,500cc to a robust 2,000cc to handle the added weight and ensure optimal performance.
This isn’t Mr. Pamungkas’s first foray into building unique Kombi vans. In 2009, he crafted a 6.9-meter-long version that found its way to an Australian buyer for £11,200. The Kombi van, which symbolized the ideals of freedom and travel, eventually ceased production after an impressive 63-year run.
Inside this stretch Kombi, passengers are treated to a luxurious interior adorned with cream leather, and there’s even room for a small drinks bar, creating a comfortable and inviting atmosphere for extended journeys. The vehicle’s soft-top section can be retracted, providing a convertible experience akin to a luxury limousine.
The iconic Volkswagen Kombi, first introduced in Germany in 1950, enjoyed a storied production lifespan of 63 years. However, in 2013, environmental legislation in Brazil, the last country manufacturing the Kombi, brought an end to its production. Stringent safety regulations mandating airbags and anti-lock braking systems sealed its fate. In a farewell gesture, Volkswagen offered a limited final edition of the Kombi, with approximately 1,200 units produced, each commanding an estimated £26,000.
Over the course of more than six decades, over 10 million Kombi vans were manufactured worldwide, with production in the UK ceasing in 1967. These vans, dubbed the Type 2, were the second offering from Volkswagen, following the iconic Beetle.
Wahyu Pamungkas’s inventive spirit and dedication to preserving the legacy of the Kombi van are evident in his remarkable creations. With his latest stretch Kombi, he continues to capture the essence of freedom and adventure that this iconic vehicle has represented for generations.