1955 Barndoor Fire Kombi

1955 Barndoor Fire Kombi, 6,753 Original Miles, Ambulance Hatch, Westfalia Utility Trailer, Vintage Photographs, Superb Museum Piece Survivor!

Here's one to get you early Bus enthusiast's blood pumping, a super original 1955 Barndoor Fire Kombi that was originally built as a "delivered in primer" Kombi with an optional rear Ambulance "oven door" hatch by Volkswagen and was sent to the famous German Fire Truck Conversion Company of Albert Ziegler in Giengen au Brenz.  While it was there it was prepped as a fire service Bus and was outfitted with the bench seating for the firemen, the wooden storage cabinets, hoses, firefighting equipment, emergency lights, sirens, roof rack, and the exterior was painted Fire Red with the company logos of Kuhnle, Kopp, and Kausch, a turbo charger and steam turbine manufacturer in West Germany.  The Bus was in service from March 1955 and retired from duty in 1987.  In the 25 years since it has been garaged in private collections.  It was virtually never driven and now at 57 years young it has an unbelievable 10,868 original kilometers which translates to just 6,753 original miles!  Myself and my Bus pervert friends cannot think of a lower mileage Barndoor Bus than this!

Some of the many incredible features include vintage photographs from 1958 showing this very Bus with the fire crew standing in front of it, the rare original 1954 Westfalia Utility Trailer with 36hp'ed Magirus Fire Pump Engine, roof rack, super original and correct 36hp engine, all 5 16 inch wheels, all correct sheet metal including doors, bumpers, mega rare Barndoor era small decklid, original Barndoor Bubble Taillights with stamped bezels, correct fluted headlights, original big diamond reflectors, all original large logo SEKURIT glass including windshields, Bosch "Nee-Ner" horns, world class original interior including all primer, front seat cover, door panels, mint front Barndoor floor mat, as good as NOS steering wheel, and the icing on the cake, it's got a set of SWF ribbed clacker semaphores, too!

The body is in excellent condition with all of the proper sheet metal throughout including Barndoor bumpers, all doors, seamed doglegs, rare Fire Bus and Ambulance short decklid, rare Ambulance rear hatch, and superb original floors in the factory grey primer, too!  Have a long look at this one, the sheet metal is incredible and original!  The factory primer on the interior really tells you how gentle and dry a life this Bus has led over the last 6 decades!  It is highly likely that this Bus never spent a single season without the protection of a garage!  The exterior paint was refreshed years back around the time it was retired from service and there are a few small blisters coming through on the passenger's dogleg triangle in the typical fashion.  Other than that the Bus presents very well and is as solid of an original Barndoor Bus body as you will ever see.

The interior is phenomenal, shows almost no wear whatsoever for a Bus of this era, and is as original as can be.  The factory grey primer is clean, dry, and unmolested.  The cab panels are world class, the front floor mat and steering wheel are mint and likely wouldn't be much nicer if they were NOS.  Believe it or not the front seat is original upholstery and doesn't even show much of a dent where the driver would sit.  The cargo area features the original wooden bench seats as well as some cabinets for the fire fighting equipment.  Also note the typically missing fire hoses which are still present and on the rear deck.  Other details to note are the correct Bakelite domelights, rare original Barndoor locking steering column with key, and the original modified bulkhead wall that creates a home for the spare wheel. 

Mechanically the Bus is fully turnkey but might need a hair of general servicing to be truly highway ready.  Think about it, it has been parked indoors more than anything so isn't that what you'd expect after nearly 60 years of standing still?  The engine is the original 36hp 1192cc unit and is as correct of a Barndoor engine as I've ever seen.  All of the small parts are correct from the wingnut aircleaner, thin lip crank pulley, thick lipped generator pulley with fat nut, thin slot generator, round regulator, removable oil filler, wavy topped fuel pump, VW logo stamped muffler, centrifugal advance distributor, screw connector oil pressure switch, original early Bosch coil and bracket, just as it would have left Volkswagen.  All 5 wheels are the correct Barndoor 16 type and have a set of old German Dunlop bias ply tires on them with very cool looking mud and snow style knobbies on the rear.  They are a bit age checked though so I'd suggest getting some new rubber on it if you want to take this Bus out on the highway.  The transaxle is the correct Barndoor split case unit with non synchronized first gear as well. 

Without a doubt this is one of the most spectacular Fire Buses I've ever seen and at the same time it is at the very least a contender on the list of the lowest original mileage Barndoor Buses in existence.  Don't miss your chance!  Thanks!


Please note that this awesome Fire Kombi is located in Dallas, Texas. 

Please visit my website at to see the full album of pics of this Fire Kombi, more interesting Vintage VWs, Classic Cars, Holy Grail Garage Gear, and Parts for sale.
Brendan Finn (858)366-2549

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