Over the weekend, my father-in-law (FIL) informed me that his old ute that gets thrashed about as his surf wagon and dump-run machine is on its last legs. The mechanic had given it its last rites by stamping a big old ‘fail’ on the WOF sheet last week, with the ute having succumbed to the dreaded cancer that tends to eat cars alive living near the coast.

Of course when your FIL says “jump’, we sons-in-law must say “how high?”. And when he tasks you with finding him a new old ute, well, it brings a tear to your eye. Unfortunately, my father-in-law isn't one for sentimentality so the job must get done with efficiency and as little arsing about as possible. His parameters? Diesel, single-cab chassis with a tray big enough to fit several surfboards, reliable, and under $5000. Too easy for someone who knows how to work within parameters and takes instruction well.

Unfortunately for him, I’m no good at either of these things.

And that's why I'm recommending he buy this ...

A 1975 Volkswagen Kombi split-window ute in excellent condition with a potentially genuine 9000km on the clock! And almost within budget too (only about 10 times over).

This rare Kombi ute has been brought into the country by South African national Chris Middlewick, from his home country. Chris spotted this extremely tidy Kombi and saw an opportunity to bring the rarity to New Zealand. He intended to hold onto the Kombi, but has recently bought Tyretech on Auckland's North Shore, so no longer has the time to enjoy it.

The Kombi has had one owner its entire life, and lived 600km inland from the ocean at high altitude ensuring that the dreaded rust hasn't become an issue.

There surely can't be many examples of split-window Kombis in New Zealand, let alone in this condition.

Lachlan Jones

Lives life a quarter mile at a time which is very inconvenient when travelling. Has an unhealthy interest in high KM, high horsepower German muscle.