From the time a vehicle first enters a family, stories will be told about it. People talk about their road trips, or a special bumper sticker or some random memory that their vehicle was involved in. As the years go on, the memories and stories that people have with their cars grows, and eventually, it turns into a cult following. Spend enough time traipsing around the world's roads, and the stories and memories turn a vehicle into an icon.
Brazil: the country of carnivals, indescribable beauty adjacent to abject poverty, Ayrton Senna and old Volkswagen models. Only they're not old – they're new, they're just based on old designs. The original Beetle continued production there long after it had been phased out elsewhere, but the original Kombi van has lasted much longer. That ends today, however, with the iconic VW Microbus ambling out of production on the last day of 2013.
Manufacture of the longest-produced model in the global automotive industry, the Volkswagen Type 2 Microbus, is finally coming to an end in Brazil after 56 years in production, which started in September 1957. The blue VW Kombi Last Edition you see here (click on the image above to enlarge) is one of 600 that will be produced before new safety regulations in the country force Volkswagen to phase it out.
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