The Volkswagen Samba, in the United States also known as Sunroof Deluxe, was the most luxurious version of the Volkswagen Transporter T1.
Volkswagen started producing Sambas in 1951. In the sixties this version became popular as a Hippie bus.
Originally Volkswagen Vans were classified according to the number of windows they had. This particular model had 23 windows including eight panoramic windows in the roof. To distinguish it from the normal 23-window Volkswagen van the name Samba was coined.
Instead of a sliding door at the side the Samba had two pivot doors. In addition the Samba had a fabric sunroof. At that time Volkswagen advertised with the idea of using the Samba to make tourist trips through the Alps.
Sambas were standard painted in two colours. Usually, the upper part was coloured white. A decorative strip separated the two coloured sections. Further the bus had a so-called “hat”: at the front of the van the roof was just a little longer than the car itself to block the sun for the driver. The windows had chrome tables and the van had a more comprehensive dashboard than the normal T1.
When Volkswagen started producing the successor of the T1 (the T2) the company also stopped producing the Samba so there are no Sambas in later versions of the Volkswagen Transporter. As a Deluxe model, it came equipped with chrome hubcaps, a polished VW emblem, two-tone paint (split by chrome trim) and an upgraded interior.