Tucked away in a row of old shophouses opposite Serangoon Stadium, is a retro diner named Kombi Rocks which makes me feel like stepping into a time machine back to the sixties everytime I visit. It’s also a good excuse to put on my pretty vintage dresses and let the 60s hippie child in me loose.
The allure and fascination of a Kombi infused me after my first visit to Kombi Rocks – why its popularity? Why the cult following? Why would someone name his business after a vehicle? Why why why?
The Kombi was first introduced by German automaker Volkswagen in 1950. Officially known by a very unsexy name of “Volkswagen Type 2,” it’s also known as a Kombi, Transporter, Microbus or Camper. It attained its iconic status as a symbol of hippy and surf culture that grew in the mid-to-late 1960s due to its utilitarian features – capable of carrying surf boards, musical equipment and various loads inside or on its roof – combining well with its cheap price (2nd-hand Kombis could be picked up for a few hundred dollars) and easy maintenance (it never really breaks down anyway).
More importantly, the Kombi exemplified the free spirit of peace activists, lovers, world travellers, campers and families moving about together across the world, and it was probably the only vehicle that transcended age, economic and social strata. The only other thing which came close to this is probably the iPhone.
Vintage cars and live music? Kombi Rocks support up-and-coming Singapore bands through Kombi Sessions, an online video series that capture them in an unique live acoustic setting – the backseat of vintage Kombi.
Sadly, all production of Kombis will end in Dec 2013. Volkswagen is calling it quits because the vehicle won’t meet new safety standards set to come into force in 2014 in Brazil – the only country where the model is manufactured. Upgrading it with dual front airbags and anti-lock brakes was ruled too costly. For now, around 250 Kombis continue to be produced at a lone plant in Sao Bernardo do Campo daily. Will that mark the end of an era? Maybe, maybe not.
With the Kombi die-hards around, I am sure they are now even more committed to maintaining and restoring these babies, and I am sure we will still continue to see the Kombis for a long time to come. I will treasure each Kombi sighting more now; perhaps I should give them a kiss everytime I see one. I just hope I don’t corrode the paint :p
66 Yio Chu Kang Road
(Opposite Serangoon Stadium)
Tel: +65 9008 6918
Mon – Tue: 12:00PM – 3:00PM, 6:00PM – 10:00PM
Thu – Fri: 12:00PM – 3:00PM, 6:00PM – 10:00PM
Sat: 11:00AM – 11:00PM; Sun: 10:00AM – 10:00PM
Serangoon Swimming Complex stop – 136
Serangoon Sports Complex stop – 43, 70, 70M, 103, 109, 147, 156, 317, 534, NR6
Nam Peng Center stop – 80, 81, 82, 101, 107, 107M, 153
Serangoon Stadium stop – 24, 76, 81, 82, 103, 317
Public car parking available at Serangoon Stadium
This post was written as a themed challenge for the Singapore Blog Awards, Best Individual Blog category. If you like what you read, I would be most grateful if you could head over here and give me a vote: http://sgblogawards.omy.sg/2013/category/?cat=individual You will need to do a simple one-time registration, and then you can vote once a day until 23 June 2013. There are prizes to be won for 5 lucky voters too (JBL Charge Stereo Speaker worth S$249 or JBL Flip Stereo Speaker worth S$195)! Thank you very much for your kind support :)