Brazil is the last place in the world still producing the iconic vehicle, or "bus" as it's known by aficionados, but VW says production will end Dec. 31. In Brazil it's known as the "Kombi," an abbreviation for the German "Kombinationsfahrzeug" that loosely translates as "cargo-passenger van."
Read more: Long strange trip ending for VW's hippie van
Serpa's 2007 VW van is meant to have a 1960s American hippie feel. He painted it in bright green, yellow, blue and red colors with cartoon-like drawings of his wife, daughters, and himself, surfboard in hand.
Serpa said the bus evokes "a spirit of playfulness and happiness," causing people to pause and smile when he drives it down Sao Paulo's chaotic streets.
"There may be safer and more modern cars around, but for me the Kombi is the best vehicle to transport my stall and products to the six open air markets I visit each week," the 77-year-old Hanashiro said. "It is economical, rugged and easy to repair."
In Brazil the VW van is known as the "Kombi," an abbreviation for the German "Kombinationsfahrzeug" that loosely translates as "cargo-passenger van."
It's used in Brazil by the postal service to haul mail, by the army to transport soldiers, and by morticians to carry corpses. It serves as a school bus for kids, operates as a group taxi, and delivers construction materials to work sites, but VW says production will end Dec. 31.
In this photo, Electrical engineer David Schriner explains how he was able to convert a Volkswagen camper bus into a portable radio frequency weapon, May 1, 2001, at the Aberdeen Testing Facility in Maryland.
Visitors of the German capital may take part in an "Oldie Kaefer Tour," either driving themselves in a vintage VW beetle or getting a ride in a vintage VW bus.
Nakombi, which translates from Portuguese as, "In the Kombi," is a Japanese restaurant inspired in the design of the Volkswagen van, known as the "Kombi," in Brazil, an abbreviation for the German "Kombinationsfahrzeug" that loosely translates as "cargo-passenger van."
Guarnieri, who keeps his blue and white van or Kombi in his cluttered garage, bought the vehicle a year ago to stoke childhood memories.
When he was 10, his father taught him to drive a Kombi. "Driving a Kombi with your face up against the windshield is a thrilling adventure, there is no other van like it," he said. "There is no other van that is so easy and inexpensive to maintain. Anyone with a minimum amount of knowledge about engines and a few tools can fix a Kombi."