The fully restored 1960 Volkswagen Kombi ’23 window’ Samba bus. Photo: Supplied.
A restored VW Kombi bus was sold for a cool $202,000 in Melbourne on Monday night.
The 1960 Volkswagen Kombi Samba attracted frenzied bidding at the Shannons Auctions in Cheltenham, auction manager Christophe Boribon said.
Believed to be one of just three examples delivered to Australia in this configuration, the 23-window Kombi sparked a wild bidding frenzy at the Shannons Auctions in Cheltenham, nabbing a record price for the vehicle in Australia.
Only a handful of the split-window Sambas made it onto Australian roads, he said. The one sold at auction on Monday had undergone a $100,000 restoration over five years.
Once the preserve of hippies looking for cheap transport, the Kombi now enjoys a more mainstream cult following, with many models becoming highly collectible.
“We had over five phone bidders, several floor bidders and a couple of online bidders,” Mr Boribon said.
Bidding opened at $100,000 before the packed showroom, and climbed to $150,000 within 10 minutes.
“There was quite a lot of commotion in the room once it reached $150,000,” Mr Boribon said.
“The bidding slowed down from there, but it kept going back and forth until it reached $202,000.”
The winning bid was placed by a buyer over the phone, and the new owner wants to remain anonymous.
We believe the van is going to stay in Australia,” Mr Boribon said.
“It definitely is an auction record in Australia for a Kombi.”
Last year a battered old Kombi in need of a full restoration sold at auction for $30,000.
In late December, a restored Kombi camper sold for $74,000 at auction.
“There has certainly been a renewed interest and following in Kombis,” Mr Boribon said.