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The VW Samba or Sondermodel (Special Model) was the top of the range Splitscreen Microbus de luxe. The Microbus was a no-frills people carrier whereas the de luxe Microbus was an up market version giving panoramic views in ultimate comfort and sophistication.
The first ever Samba was produced on 1st June 1951 and came with 4 side windows on each side instead of the standard 3. 8 skylight windows were installed in the roof which were either side of a large Golde Sunroof. On pre August 1963 models two rear corner windows were also a feature.
Another major feature of the Barndoor (Pre March 1955) Samba was that it included as standard a full width dashboard. This was an optional extra on the standard Microbus and all lesser models were fitted with a small, single instrument pod behind the steering wheel.
The Samba dashboard included a cut-out for the speedometer behind the steering wheel, on the passenger side there was another cut-out for the clock (although the clock was an optional extra). Centrally positioned was a third cut out for a radio. This cut out was given a blanking plate as standard.
The Pre August 1963 model was known as a 23 window and the post August 1963 models were known as 21 windows (the two corner windows were dropped from production in favour of a larger rear window).
All VW Samba’s were fitted with chrome hubcaps, a chrome VW Badge on the front panel and a polished aluminium trim around the central swage line. This trim separated the upper and lower body colour and included a body moulding trim insert in the centre of the trim which was matched to the lower body colour.
The Samba was also produced with M130 specification. This specification was produced without the roof windows or sunroof. Therefore creating the 15 Window (pre August 1963) or 13 Window (Post August 1963).