A storm in Rio Negrinho, in the North of Santa Catarina, Brazil, brought down a good number of trees. One of those trees came right down on a Volkswagen Kombi, smacking it right in the middle, the result looking like what would happen if you dropped a small barbell onto a loaf of bread. The difference, though, is that a loaf of bread won’t keep driving like this determined, broken bus does.

Here’s what the bus looked like right after the tree nearly bisected it:


It turns out, though, that there’s some advantages to being essentially an empty box, with all of your mechanical bits shoved into the very back: even though this post-2005 water-cooled Type 2 bus was effectively destroyed, it’s still drivable:

Not just drivable, but it’s burning some rubber, too! Though that may be from partially-crimped clutch cables or what must be a very weird driving position now that the bus has been all origami’d.

If we look at a cutaway of a VW Type 2, we can see why this works:


This diagram is of an air-cooled one, but aside from some plumbing to get the water from that front-mounted radiator to the engine, it’s the same. The fuel tank and engine are all in a little unit back there, so the only things in the middle are control cables for clutch, accelerator, hydraulic brake lines, some wires, and, in the Kombi’s case here, those water lines. All pretty flexible, mostly.

So, a little bend in everything isn’t going to stop a determined driver, really.

I sort of hope they just make sure everything is safe, put in some new window glass, maybe rotate the seat, and drive this thing around just like it is.


It’ll be a big hit at car shows, I’m sure, and still useful for carrying, um, maybe oversized novelty boomerangs.

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus • Not-so-running: 1973 Reliant Scimitar, 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!)

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