The modern Volkswagen Kombi – the California Beach camper – has sold out in one day despite the $82,990 price, as Australians prepare to holiday at home in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.
And the eager buyers won’t take delivery of their new camper van until later this year due to production delays caused by COVID-19 lockdowns.
In the late 1960s a classic Volkswagen Kombi cost just $2440 brand new; in today’s money that’s equivalent to $32,500 according to the Reserve Bank of Australia’s inflation calculator.
The modern version is two-and-a-half times dearer than the original in real terms, and yet that hasn’t dented its appeal.
Only 30 examples of the 2020 Volkswagen California Beach camper van are coming to Australia, with deliveries expected at the end of the year just in time for summer.
Based on the Volkswagen Multivan people mover, the California Beach is already decked out with a table and chairs and a pop-top roof tent to sleep in.
Volkswagen Australia sold the modern hippie-mobile via an exclusive online ordering system. The bidding went live at 10am on 24 June 2020 and the allocation of 30 cars was sold out nine hours later.
In a media statement, Volkswagen Australia commercial vehicles director Ryan Davies said: “It’s fitting that one of our most iconic heritage models ushers in a new way of selling our vehicles”.
Volkswagen is one of a number of car makers who have expanded their ability to sell new vehicles online during the coronavirus crisis, as buyers adhere to social distancing requirements and restrictions on non-essential travel.
Volkswagen did not disclose further details about the California Beach customers, or which vehicles they had previously owned.
However, they will be among the first to take delivery of the modern Kombis following interruptions to production during global COVID-19 lockdowns.
Volkswagen Australia advises that the Beach California models and the rest of the updated Transporter 6.1 range have been delayed due to factory restrictions.
A statement from Volkswagen said: "Australian vehicle arrivals have been delayed, with van models arriving ... from November. Customers awaiting ordered vehicles have been notified".
Pricing and specification for the updated Volkswagen Transporter 6.1 range will be announced at the end of July, the company said.
California Beach Limited Edition:
2.0-litre turbo diesel four-cylinder
Power: 110kW (TDI340)
Transmission: 7-speed DSG auto, all-wheel-drive
Two-tone paint (3 colours: Candy White/Copper Bronze Metallic, Candy White/Ascot Grey, Candy White/Bay Leaf Green Metallic)
Electro-hydraulic elevating roofSilver AwningPower latching left and right sliding doorPower latching tailgate17" Alloy wheels
5 seater with reclining 3 seater bench seatSwivel Seats front left and rightBed extension with comfort sleeping matInterior blinds
Front Assist with City Emergency BrakeAdaptive Cruise ControlBlind spot monitoring with rear traffic alert and Lane AssistPark Distance Control Front and Rear with Rear View CameraCross wind assist
Second BatteryProgrammable Parking HeaterCamping table and two camping chairs
Digital instrument display
8-inch Discover Media Satellite NavigationWireless App ConnectVoice Control
6 speaker audio