This 1985 Kombi Safari model belongs to Jośe Alvares and still looks like new, though it’s been all over Brazil. The compact motorhome is such a looker that the police even want a casual glance inside,
Between Caraguatatuba and Ubatuba we were stopped at a São Paulo Highway Police Post. The policeman looked at our documents, noted down the details and said: José, do you know why we stopped you? Because we wanted to see inside your car (laughs).×
José Alvares and his 1985 Kombi.
If you look closely, you’ll notice a Route 66 sticker on the motorhome. Do you see it?
Video tour of a spectactualr 1985 Kombi. (In Portuguese, but English transcript below.)
Transcription and translation:
My name is José Barazal Alvares, my ancestors were Spanish, I am 73 years old and I have been in a motorhome for 26 years.
This is my fourth VW Van, I’ve had two conventional VWs and two the same as this one.
The sight of a VW van in the middle of huge number of vehicles stuck in traffic… it is unique; it stands out. Firstly because the driver’s position; he’s right on the steering column. I think that this is the first sensation that those who drive a VW van feel.
VW vans start a conversation… they start a conversation. Any VW van. Just talking about VW vans makes one appear there.
Between Caraguatatuba and Ubatuba we were stopped at a São Paulo Highway Police Post. The policeman looked at our documents, noted down the details and said: José, do you know why we stopped you? Because we wanted to see inside your car (laughs).
The world is my yard, so the yard is far more important than the inside of the VW van. On leisure trips I imagine that I have done something like 20 thousand kilometres in this vehicle.
Now I will show you the inside. Here we have the television that we watch at night lying down here, and when we eat during the day. Next, we have the bathroom, with a shower, sink and basin, as well as the toilet. Then, the wardrobe with hangers. A small fridge that works with gas or with external electrical power at 110 or 220 volts, and the vehicle’s battery when it’s switched on. Up here we have the other double bed, which is fixed, and is accessed using this ladder. At night we put this ladder up against the bulkhead to protect the children who are sleeping there. Here I have a sink to wash the dishes, a cooker with two burners and an oven.
Once I was stopped in Cabo Frio relaxing. A lady with white hair, no it was more grey in fact, came, looked at me and asked: you’re a happy person, aren’t you? That has stayed with me until this day.
If the VW van were a person, having existed for so many years, from its manufacture and from my experience with the four that I’ve had, I would talk about it in the following way, coping the poet Fernando Pessoa: It was worth it…because its soul wasn’t small.