What Are Some Features of the Volkswagen Samba?


Quick Answer

The Volkswagen Samba is a luxurious derivative of the Volkswagen Type 2 rear-engine, air-cooled van produced during the 1950s and 1960s. It is primarily distinguished from the standard Volkswagen Type 2 by a pair of swing-out doors in place of the sliding cargo door and a fabric sunroof.

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Full Answer

A distinctive two-tone paint scheme of white on the top and windows of the vehicle and a contrasting color on the door panels and fenders was used to visually distinguish the Volkswagen Samba from other Type 2 vans. The Samba also had additional windows in the roof of the vehicle that were not present on standard Type 2 models. However, Sambas were essentially identical to other Type 2 vans from a mechanical perspective and used the same array of 1.1 to 1.5-liter boxer-four engines located at the rear of the vehicle. The 1.1-liter engine in 1950 models produced only 24 horsepower, while the final 1.5-liter engine introduced in 1963 produced up to 52 horsepower.

The Volkswagen Samba was referred to as the Sunroof Deluxe in the U.S. market. The Samba was also only officially produced by Volkswagen during the first generation of Type 2 vans produced from 1950 to 1967. The second-generation Type 2 van introduced in 1968 did not have an official Samba variant, though after-market conversions with similar characteristics remained popular.

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