volkswagen t2
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VW T2: Much more than a van - Part 2

The T2 that we show you belongs to Ignacio González Sabariegos, a Madrid collector of classic motorcycles and a passionate about Transporter. It has been in his garage for fifteen years now and he is delighted with it. Apart from the rigorous maintenance, he has hardly had to do any extraordinary work, just a review of the interior, with new curtains and some tuning of the carburetion and ignition.

This is a 1976 unit, specifically a Microbus 2000 Executive, the best equipped version of the VW van catalog. It is not that it is an Asian luxury, especially if we compare it with any current minivan, but it is more than enough to move with a good level of comfort seven passengers plus the driver and their luggage. There was even a 10-seater version.

We must remember that this type of vehicle, in the sixties and seventies, more than a family use, as it is currently given, had a practical and professional sense. They were used for school transport, for workers to their work centers, for tourists from hotels to airports, for public service in the police and fire brigade, or for taxis in some countries. Always before they passed into the hands of second or third owners, who already gave them a much more playful life, as we have related at the beginning.

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Its extraordinary equipment, which differentiates it from normal Kombi, consists of being completely covered on the inside: floor, side panels and roof. In addition, it has a windshield with anti-glare treatment, chrome bumpers with rubber protectors and a black trim that runs along the sides under the windows. In theory it should also have a retractable footboard under the sliding side door, but for some reason this unit does not incorporate it.

As for the mechanics, It has the highest motorization of all those manufactured, the classic air-cooled 4-cylinder opposed-cylinder engine with 1.970 cc and 68 hp. With this new engine, the power hardly increased compared to the 1.795 cc but, instead, the maximum torque went from 132 Nm at 3.000 rpm to 143 Nm at just 2.800, thus improving the thrust and recoveries of a vehicle that never stood out. precisely because of its benefits.

Nacho's "van", with its brand new and "discreet" pistachio color, is in very good condition for almost 40 years. It certainly shows us the robustness and manufacturing quality of VW products, which with a little care and good maintenance can last forever. You just have to see the number of Beetles that continue to wage war.

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You only notice the passing of the years in some details of the interior; nothing that cannot be restored or replaced, as both old cars and utility cars of the brand have all kinds of spare parts in shops and specialized websites. Engine is in perfect condition and ready to continue traveling many more kilometers, yes, at its own pace.

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At the wheel, with joy

The classic VW vans, discarding their professional use and although they have an absolutely calm and not sporty character I assure you that they can be a lot of fun. It seems obvious that when driving them there is nothing to prove: you simply have to relax, choose a good company, a beautiful route, withdraw from everyday life and handle its controls with certainty and without haste. That is the way to take advantage of them and enjoy them.

When we get going, the first thing that strikes us is the agility with which it operates in low gears in current traffic; It is well resolved in that sense, its direction and the developments of the gearbox do their part to give it a certain urban flair.

volkswagen t2
The minibus in motion (Photo: Anchoafoto)

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Once we reach a fast track and we are picking up speed we realize that we cannot ask much more of it. T2 is a real tragamillas, but the dual carriageways and motorways are not its natural habitat. Although it is capable of reaching almost 130 km / h, its cruising speed is between 100 and 110 depending on the weight we carry. If we circulate with eight occupants on board and the road begins to take an upward slope, we will see how the speedometer needle begins to fall. Its aerodynamics don't help you keep up, either.

The test was carried out in the Hoyo de Manzanares area, about 35 km from Madrid, most of the route being by conventional road. It is on this type of road, circulating at legal speed, where it is most comfortable, but when it comes to overtaking it will be necessary to look for the right moment, because it will not allow us frills, lightning accelerations are not among its virtues.

When curves arrive again pleasantly surprised us again: they trade much better than you might expect. In a first contact we took them much slower than we could, because the fact of driving so close to the nose and its considerable height does not provide any confidence, but it is a totally subjective assessment. When its owner, who has already passed that stage of learning and feedback, takes the wheel, he does so with much greater joy and with enough confidence. So the van is very stable for the type of car it is.

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volkswagen transporter
Negotiating curves is very stable (Photo: Anchoafoto)

Regarding the comfort it provides to passengers, the level is quite acceptable. The suspensions absorb the irregularities of the asphalt well, they are sufficiently comfortable and soft, they balance a little in curves but without exaggeration, although they provide a bit of a spring effect on the bumps of the urban areas where we travel. The soundproofing is not very successful, the engine can be heard a lot, probably because the interior of the vans makes a perfect resonance box; it is also true that the exhaust pipe of this unit is not at its best and produces more decibels than normal.

In the brakes chapter it is simply necessary to point out that they honorably fulfill their mission, effectively stop the vehicle for the available benefits and its considerable weight. The front discs help in the work; On the day of the contact we did not put them under great effort to check if they could get fatigued, but in the tests of the time, no negative comments were made about it.

Finally, we can make an observation about fuel consumption. I know that it is unfair to criticize a car from the seventies in this section and that it is not the most important thing to choose a classic, but, without being crazy, they seem a bit exaggerated to me. It was a vehicle for supposedly professional use at a time when manufacturers had already put the batteries after the first oil crisis, and it housed a very relaxed engine that did not exceed 4.400 rpm. Thus, the data is what it is: 8 lts. at 60 Km / h and 11 lts. at 100 km / h.

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Conclusion

The T2 is one of those vehicles that, even without being particularly beautiful and without having outstanding dynamic qualities, has the great virtue of pleasing everyone. I don't know anyone, be it man or woman, young or old, car fan or not, who you ask about this van and they say they don't like it. Of course I will not be the one to say otherwise.

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It could be said that the T2 is adorable (Photo: Anchoafoto)

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I have to admit that the Volkswagen T2 has captivated me, it is one of those classics that has something that escapes logic and that is very difficult to describe; It is not pretty but it is enormously attractive; It is not useful but we would all like to have one in the garage; It doesn't have brilliant mechanics but you have a great time driving it. It is absolutely irrational.

It is a special car that brings out the best thoughts in each one of us, when it crosses our path it is inevitable to start our imagination and see ourselves at its controls enjoying wonderful mountain landscapes, spectacular beaches full of surfers, concerts of music from the 60s and 70s, or incredible starry skies surrounded by good people, all with a smile from ear to ear.

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[su_spoiler title = »AROUND PABLO ARANGO» style = »fancy»]

Due to those vagaries of fate, it has been the sad coincidence that Pablo Arango, of whom we spoke in the first part, has left us a few days ago cruelly prematurely.

Pablo was a great lover of classics in general, but especially of the cars manufactured in Villaverde by Barreiros. He has been one of the people who knew Spanish Dodge best and who has done the most to keep the legacy of Don Eduardo Barreiros alive.

Those of us who had the opportunity and the privilege of meeting him will miss his lectures and his funny and peculiar way of transmitting his knowledge.

A big hug to his girlfriend, his family, his friends and all those who miss him. D.E.P.

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[su_spoiler title = »TECHNICAL DATA» style = »fancy»]

Data taken from the book: «Volkswagen Bus - Camper - Van (1968-1979)» Brooklands road test books.

Engine

• Type: 4 opposed horizontal cylinders.
• Construction: cast iron block, light alloy cylinder heads.
• Distribution: 2 valves per cylinder.
• Power: 2 twin Solex carburettors.
• Cooling: by air.
• Displacement: 1.970 cc
• Bore • stroke: 94 x 71 mm
• Compression ratio: 7,3: 1
• Maximum power: 68 hp at 4.200 rpm.
• Maximum torque: 143 Nm at 2.800 rpm.

Transfer

• Traction: propulsion.
• Gearbox: 4-speed manual.
• Gear ratios: 1st 3,78: 1 • 2nd 2,06: 1 • 3rd 1,26: 1 • 4th 0,88: 1

Frame

• Chassis: double beam with platform.
• Direction: worm gear.
• Turning diameter: 10 mts.
• Front suspension: independent with torsion bar and stabilizer.
• Rear suspension: independent with torsion bar and articulated axle shafts.
• Braking system: front discs and rear drums, with servo assistance.
• Rims: steel.
• Tires: 185/70 R14.

Cotas

• Length: 4.545 mm.
• Width: 1.670 mm.
• Height: 1.955 mm.
• Battle: 2.400 mm.
• Tracks: front 1.395 mm; rear 1.455 mm.
• Fuel tank: 56 lts.
• Trunk: 1.000 lts; 5.000 liters without seats.
• Weight: 1290 Kgs.

Benefits

• Maximum speed: 128 Km / h.
• 0 to 100 km / h: 21 seconds
• Consumption: 8 lts. at 60 km / h; 9 lts. at 80 km / h; 11 lts. at 100 Km / h

Business life

• Years of production:

From 1968 to 1979 in Germany.
From 1970 to 1994 in Mexico.
From 1968 to 2013 in Brazil.

• Total production: about 4.000.000 units
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Read the 1st Part ...

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Carlos Sanz placeholder image

Written by Carlos Sanz placeholder image

I was born in Madrid in 1964, the wrong time and place for a car enthusiast. It is well known that at that time, despite coinciding with the Spanish economic expansion and the car fleet increased considerably, the supply of models was ... View all

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