Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Brazilian VW Kombi

(Reading time: 2 - 4 minutes)

It's the VW Kombi camper van from the 1950's and to say yes it’s still being made today in 2012 in Brazil, and yes manufactured through Volkswagen channels.

VW Kombi Brazilian still made today

To be exact the factory produces 251 units per day which sell throughout the South American car markets, If you were to buy this revamped camper In Brazil, they will bill you 48,150 Real, equating to £14,800, bargain.

However the question beckons, Is it the same VW camper van, the classic Volkswagen bus loved by many surfer a like?

Well, it still looks the same, 9 seats, sliding barn door, bench seat upfront, steel wheels, rear air intakes and left hand drive. There is the addition of a matte black grill, and two fundamental changes, which will either make or break a camper van lover, the aircooled engine has been replace with wait for it, a Polo 1.4 water cooled engine, a variant which allows the van to run on either petrol or ethanol, essential in south American markets. This engine is matched with a 4 speed manual gearbox.

The good news is it hasn't changed an awful lot, still sketchy steering, feels a little top heavy when unladen and the gearbox feels well... different.

Mind you the Camper isn't your normal vehicle, especially 60+ years on, its a cult symbol, an object of desire and most importantly a family member, in a word it's magical.

New additions to the Kombi include well nothing, it still has all it left the factory with meaning no air con, no anti lock braking system (ABS) or ICE it has Lights, vents controlled on a stick, and similar to Henry Ford you can have your Kombi in a colour as it's white.

If you choose to run your VW bus on Ethnaol rather than petrol and you'll receive 2bhp for your trouble, which isn't to be knocked in a 1.4 Polo engine. As you will have most likely gathered this particular Volkswagen isn't at your local dealer, however you could import from Brazil or use one of the importers in the uk, likelihood is you will be paying quite a bit over £14800 though. 

Also be quick if you want due to new legislation being introduced the Kombi is destined to finally go out of production on 31st December 2013. The new legislation prevents cars with no airbags or ABS from being manufactured and sold in Brazil.

The only saving grace for the Kombi would be to fit airbags, in a word creating a" brand new new camper”, thats the word from one of VW’s Brazilian top brasses. A true classic, with many great examples world wide.


VW Kombi Standard 1.4 Specifications based on running on E100 ethanol

Price £14,800;
0-62mph 16.1sec; 
Top speed 80mph; 
Economy na; 
CO2 na; 
Kerb weight 1259kg; 
Engine 4 cylinder, 1390cc, Polo Engine, (petrol and ethanol compatible); 
Power 79bhp at 4800rpm; 
Torque 92lb ft at 3500rpm;
Gearbox 4spd manual;


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TR4 restoration tale

(Reading time: 2 - 3 minutes)

The TR4 Story

This is one of the first cars which arrived in the new garage and has been seen in the background of other articles which have been posted on Planet Auto.

Triumph TR4 being restored

This Triumph TR4 came from Denver, Colorado where it lived since new. In 2010 it was imported to England from America. When the car was imported, there was not only one TR4, but another in the container. 


Now an opportunity like this this doesn't come around very often, and we bought both cars a Green TR4 and TR4A.

We started restoring the TR4. Once we got the vehicle running we started on the large amount of work to be done. A small amount of welding was done on the skirts of the car, the body was taken off the chassis and was sand blasted and repainted. The engine was also rebuilt and the chassis was repainted. 

The car is now coming together again.


Lots of new parts arrived daily including; 5 new Chrome wire wheels, carpet set and Chrome bumpers. The dash board in this car is custom made by out team. It's now time for the final bits including having the TR4s electrics being refitted.

Hopefully by the end of the year the car should be complete and ready to drive. This will be a car that we will take to shows, this is why we have done so much work on this car. the restoration to date has taken three years and is onward going.

There is also the TR4A which we hope to do in the future. First we are going to complete the VW Beetle and some other vehicles in the lockup.

Watch out for updates on the TR4 project in the future.

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Jaguar XK8

(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)

Jaguar XK8 arrival

This classic Jag arrived with our team on Wednesday.

Jaguar XK8 in storage

A Jaguar XK8, we are drying storing it, however it is for sale and we will most likely buy it.

This XK8 is a 4.0 litre V8 1996 model.

The car has been stood for over a year on a road in a London borough under a tree. The car was very dirty and needed a pretty comprehensive valet. We spent 2 days cleaning and polishing the body work, as well as valeting the interior. We hope that it will be driving very soon.

Typically the MOT ended this weekend and has been Sorned while we fix a few minor electrical problems, one being a problem with one of the head lights, likely not much of a problem, frayed or crosssed wire, dodgy relay.

We drove the XK8 all the way from London without an issue, it's a great weekend car we hope to acquire.


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Navman Mio Traffic review

(Reading time: 3 - 5 minutes)

Car Gadget reviews

Car GPS :- Navman Mio Spirit 500 Traffic

In the sptlight today is Navman's mid level Car GPS unit the Navman Mio Spirit 500 Traffic, ok the Names a bit of a mouthful, however the unit is pretty awesome.

A brief overview

I blogged about receiving theMIO Spirit earlier in the week, its looks its feel etc, well after actually testing this GPS on a journey, I thought it deserved it's on review, and yes it's that good.

What a great unit, as soon as I got it out of the box and attached it to the windscreen it already looked the part. The box came with various adapters Cigar lighter adaptor USB etc, as well as a suction cup to mount it upon the windscreen.

Firstly I attached the GPS to the windscreen, easily and it felt strong. I then plugged the usb (universal serial bus) into the unit and it burst into life. The first thing I was faced with was a menu of coloured boxes, Search, My Places meaning favourites, explore, Trafic, Map, Capture, Travel book and another sub menu arrow. I also could see how much battery power the unit had, if it was connected to a satellite and the date and time. Basically, everything you need in a GPS unit.

I clicked find and set my location, I could do this using Postcode, Street, City, Keyword etc I opted for postcode, the Mio Traffic found my address and gave me a list of parameters to set, Tolls, Motorways etc. After the initial setup I hit go and a map appeared with a waypoint and a chequered flag, I zoomed in and then set off - almost immediatley she spoke, she being the Navman Mio, telling me to turn right and then proceed. The voice was very clear and precise, however like all GPS units it did confuse bear a direction and turn a direction.

After various road driving, I ended up heading for the M6, and I could see the GPS showing me which way i was heading realtime, as well as updates of what was coming up and which lane to be in. After 5 or so mins, the car GPS pinged and a Traffic Alert popped up telling me that 5 or so miles ahead traffic was averaging around 30 mph. Now this amazed me as I hadn't set the traffic alerts, this gave me the time to prepare either another route or to be aware there was congestion and I would be delayed.

After getting home I became inquisitive and found that I could have had experienced a simulated drive down my route, meaning I could see where the Navman S500 was going to take me without even starting the car, now thats cool and I didn't have that on my previous Sat Nav. Another cool thing about the car GPS unit was that it could be used as a handheld GPS device, if its internal battery was charged.

The Verdict

Does exactly what you want and need from this type of Global Positioning Satellite car device, and does it well. It's great far more advanced than my previous Car GPS units, easy to use, looks good, lots of options such as Traffic updates, chosen type of route but not too many that it bewilders you.

My only problem now is, I'm now wondering whether or not to upgrade to the version with a TV, hmmm well I love my gadgets.


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Bertie Beetle the VW bug Story

(Reading time: 2 - 4 minutes)

Introducing Bertie Beetle, a 1973 1303 VW Super Beetle.



Michael Snowdon

Bertie Beetle was purchased last month as my first car, I have been wanting a VW for the last 7 years, due to the fact I am such a fan of VWs. Bertie was found on Volks World and was listed for £400 and was exactly what we were looking for.

The bug was complete and in addition came with many more parts included. We picked him up from Pershore where we met the previous owner who had owned Bertie since 1994. Like myself she got Bertie on her 18th birthday, and she had driven the car till about 2009, however the work had got too much, this included large amounts of body work repair and a range of electrical problems. Bertie's previous owners biggest concern was that Bertie was going to a home where he would be restored. We knew first hand that people were buying Volkswagon bugs like Bertie and the immediately being stripped down for parts and sold on eBay within weeks. Bertie came with many other Beetle parts from her sister beetle, same year and model. The parts included two new doors.

Once we got Bertie back home he refused to start. After fixing some electrical problems and an issue with the fuel line, whilst doing this the fuel tank was removed, cleaned up and repainted as well as the fuel tank mounting brackets being replaced on the rear of the vehicle. We believe the parts had been taken off when the left heater channel was replaced.


Bertie is now running, and runs like a dream. We put this down to the engine being rebuilt 10 years ago, the same story as the Planet Auto MK2 Golf GTI 16V. Bertie has been driven on 3 test drives.

Currently Bertie is undergoing bodywork work.

The project starts

The colour scheme will be staying the same inside.

We want to replace lots of body work panels including new wings, doors, bumpers, hood and what ever weneed.

There are also plans to have him fully resprayed in a dark powder blue. Despite this not being a original colour for a beetle we do think it will look awesome also we expect to add some custom electrical features, all mods will be tastefully done, this way Bertie will maintain his original iconic look, which is really important to me.

As of today that is as far as we have got with Bertie Super Beetle.

more updates soon...

Michael Snowdon, Planet Auto Car Reviewer and owner


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2013 Range Rover review by WHATCAR?

(Reading time: 1 - 2 minutes)

New 2013 Range rover sport review video

The Range Rover Sport 2013 is a more sleeker and efficient vehicle tha the current version, and surprisingly considerably more affordable than the standard Range Rover even with the engine and specs available.

  • Range Rover Sport reviewed on video
  • Retails for £59,995
  • Three trims; V6 diesel and V8 petrol engines from 288bhp, the 3.0 SDV6, 255bhp, the TDV6 and a supercar powered engine 5.0 V8, which comes in at 503bhp, also expect a Hybrid version early next year.


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Golf R latest spy shots

(Reading time: 2 - 3 minutes)

Image courtesy of Auto Car Golf R spy shots


Volkswagen is putting its foot down on dev with its 286bhp R version of the latest Golf the Mk7, the most horses ever put in a production VW Golf since its launch in 1974. The Golf R has been clocked at the Nürburgring, and also like a scene out of 'Forza 4', the Swiss Alps.

The Golf R is expected to be the last of the so-far confirmed new Golf models to appear in the showroom. An on-sale date of early 2014 has been mooted after a launch at the Frankfurt motor show in September.

The Golf R will be the cream followed by the GTI. The R packs a 2.0-litre TSI engine producing a healthy 286bhp with 280lb ft of torque, a 6 speed auto box with dual clutch, a new version of awd Haldex 5 carrying it from 0-62mph in just 5.0sec and limited top speed of 155mph, not bad considering it weighs only 1200kg.

It will be tuned, and still capable of around 40 mpg.

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