Wait, the VW bus was still being made? Yep, in Brazil, for just a little while longer: Volkswagen has announced a final run of 600 VW Kombis (as the bus is called in Brazil), ending 56 years of production in that country. The Kombi moves on as Brazil institutes tougher safety regulations—which apparently look askance at vehicles that protect front-seat occupants with little more than thin sheets of steel and glass.

Photograph by Getty Images

Wait, the VW bus was still being made? Yep, in Brazil, for just a little while longer: Volkswagen has announced a final run of 600 VW Kombis (as the bus is called in Brazil), ending 56 years of production in that country. The Kombi moves on as Brazil institutes tougher safety regulations—which apparently look askance at vehicles that protect front-seat occupants with little more than thin sheets of steel and glass.

Photograph by Getty Images

The VW Microbus and 8 Other Cars That Just Wouldn't Die

Volkswagen Kombi, 1950-2013
Volkswagen Kombi, 1950-2013

Wait, the VW bus was still being made? Yep, in Brazil, for just a little while longer: Volkswagen has announced a final run of 600 VW Kombis (as the bus is called in Brazil), ending 56 years of production in that country. The Kombi moves on as Brazil institutes tougher safety regulations—which apparently look askance at vehicles that protect front-seat occupants with little more than thin sheets of steel and glass.

Photograph by Getty Images
Volkswagen Beetle, 1938-2003
Volkswagen Beetle, 1938-2003

Maybe there's something in the motor oil in Wolfsburg, but VW sure does like making the same car for a really long time. The Beetle got its start in the mid-1930s, when Adolf Hitler decided Germany needed a small, basic car. Designed by Ferdinand Porsche (yes, that Porsche), the Beetle first rolled off the assembly line in 1938. About 65 years later, the last Beetle was made at VW's plant in Puebla, Mexico.

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Citroën 2CV, 1948-1990
Citroën 2CV, 1948-1990

France's most famous car started with a very specific brief: Create "an umbrella on four wheels" that would be able to ferry four farmers and 110 lbs. of food at 31 mph for 62 miles on no more than three liters of gasoline. Also, since much of France was rural and many roads were unpaved, the car would have to be able to carry eggs without any of them breaking.

Photograph by Dorling Kindersley
BMC Mini, 1959-2000
BMC Mini, 1959-2000

Fans of the Mini owe a debt of gratitude to former Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser. The Suez Crisis of 1956, started in part by Nasser's nationalization of the Suez Canal, led to global fuel shortages. Fuel shortages led to demands for more fuel-efficient cars. The British Motor Corp. responded with the Mini, which remained a low-cost mode of basic transportation until it was remade by BMW in 2001 as a bigger, more expensive compact car.

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Morgan 4/4 Series 2, 1955-present
Morgan 4/4 Series 2, 1955-present

Morgan is a small, independent British carmaker that has improbably survived in an era of massive consolidation. Making things even quirkier, the design of the 4/4 Series 2 is unchanged from 1955—it's still made on a frame of ash wood. Engines and other components have gotten upgrades over the years, but the overall design and construction is the same as it was when Anthony Eden was prime minister.

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Hindustan Ambassador, 1958-present
Hindustan Ambassador, 1958-present

The question you should be asking isn't "Why do they still make the Ambassador?" The question should be "Why don't I own seven of these?" A quick trip to Hindustan Motor's website should get you excited: The 2013 Ambassador is laying down nearly 36 horsepower! That'll get the Ambassador from zero to 60 mph in 55 seconds! One interesting sign of the times: power steering and air conditioning are still optional, but a mobile charging port is standard.

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Mercedes-Benz G-Class, 1979-present
Mercedes-Benz G-Class, 1979-present

Back in the 1970s the Shah of Iran had some extra cash lying around. So he calls up the gang at Daimler-Benz, the parent company of Mercedes-Benz and says: "Listen, what if you made a killer 4x4 that my troops and I could use over here in Iran? I'll even invest in your company to help you build it." And Daimler-Benz said, "That sounds awesome, Shah. Let's do it." And the G-Class was born: a wildly overengineered SUV that, 34 years later, is more commonly found in Bel Air and Bridgehampton than Tehran.

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Volkswagen Santana, 1981-2013
Volkswagen Santana, 1981-2013
Sadly, Volkswagen never teamed up with Carlos Santana to sell its midsize sedan. Maybe that's because the Santana soldiered on primarily in China, where it was sold for 32 years before production was shut down. Starting in 1982, the Santana was sold in this country as the Quantum, back when Olivia Newton-John was getting physical and E.T. was phoning home.
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Fiat Uno, 1983-present
Fiat Uno, 1983-present

As VW has its Golf, so did Fiat have its Uno compact hatchback that became the go-to small car in Europe the way Honda's Civic and Toyota's Corolla did in the U.S. But unlike those other models, the original, first-generation Uno is still being made in Brazil, where it's called the Mille Economy. With its updated, 1-liter "Fire Flex" engine under the hood, the Brazilian Uno has 69 lb.-ft. of torque, so stay out of the left lane when this bad boy comes screaming down the rodovia.

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