Car enthusiasts. People who love everything that has to do with cars and can talk about this topic for hours on end without getting the least bit tired. Although theirs is a somewhat small and discreet community, especially here in the Subic Bay Freeport, they are a passionate and lively bunch.

Daniel Todd’s cool Kombi fleet
Daniel Todd’s cool Kombi fleet

While some like to merely talk about their rides, there are others who like to get their hands greasy – dedicating their energy, money and time to car projects which upon completion, they are then more than happy to share with the community. There are also others who just enjoy getting in their cars and being lost in thought while driving for miles, enjoying the vehicle for what it can do under their hands.

Any and all of these imageries would perfectly fit Daniel Todd.

A German expatriate in Subic Bay, Daniel has been recognized multiple times for his skill and knack in restoring Volkswagen Kombis. To say that he is a big fan of Kombis would be the understatement of the century. With his exceptional talent for restoration and upholstery, he has brought back to life several Kombis – some of which have won him not only the admiration and respect of his fellow enthusiasts but actual awards as well.

The mastermind Daniel Todd in his office - his avidness for the VW Kombi quite evident with the numerous illustrations of the classic car behind him
The mastermind Daniel Todd in his office – his avidness for the VW Kombi quite evident with the numerous illustrations of the classic car behind him

A man of multiple aptitudes and interests, Daniel is also an avid fisher and is in fact a practitioner of drone-fishing – an activity he might very well be pioneering in the Freeport. In addition, he is also a tinkerer of sorts; reworking steel barrels which would normally be disposed of into functional couches or display shelves.

According to him, the Kombi is well-regarded in the car community because it brings to mind the days of yore – when cars were of much simpler make and when interior climate-controls and advanced circuitries simply didn’t exist.

The Volkswagen Kombi, also known as the Volkswagen Type 2, is a forward control panel van introduced in 1950 by the German automaker Volkswagen as its second car model. Short for the German word Kombinationkraftwagen, the Kombi is the precursor to the modern cargo and passenger vans that are common sights across the world today.

Daniel’s fleet of them is quite a sight to behold.

The first (from left to right) is an orange drop-side Kombi. Installed with a modified cooling system, the interior of this vehicle can be cooled for a couple of hours with only a single bag of ice.

Daniel's orange dropside T2 Volkswagen Type 2
Daniel’s orange dropside T2 Volkswagen Type 2

The second is a T2 VW Type 2 sporting a rugged exterior. Installed with the same cooling system as the previous one, the ruggedness of this vehicle was achieved by scraping off the external paint and then treating the exposed surface to a Coca-Cola bath overnight before finally coating it with layer of lacquer afterwards.

Daniel's rugged VW Kombi achieved witha combination of coke & lacquer
Daniel’s rugged VW Kombi achieved witha combination of coke & lacquer
The Kombikini without its canopy
The Kombikini without its canopy

The third is a sleek T1 VW Type 2, or more popularly called the Kombi bikini – Kombikini, if you will. It is particularly named so for the façade of the popular beachwear that the car’s frontage evokes.

The T1 Volkswagen Type 2 with its canopy installed
The T1 Volkswagen Type 2 with its canopy installed
The VW Engine
The VW Engine
Rear RV Kombi
The rear side of the RV Kombi where the docked electric-engine powered mini-Kombi can be seen

The last among his fleet is a fully customized motorhome kombi. Designed for camping and long-term out-of-town trips, this recreational Kombi also has a docked miniaturized VW Kombi in its rear. Built entirely by Daniel from scratch, the mini Kombi runs on an electric engine and is yet another testament to his love for the model.

The fully-customized motorhome Kombi
The fully-customized motorhome Kombi

Yet he is not a man so easily satisfied. In fact, he is currently working on yet another Kombi which he plans to unveil in a major car show sometime soon.

Asked about his other plans in the future, he disclosed that he intends to put up a business that utilizes his existing Kombis. His idea is to convert his vehicles into food trucks, a type of business that is surprisingly yet-unseen in the Freeport. Selling products that range from pretzels, to European dried meats, to meat pies and burgers and even the quintessential ice cream; he says that these are what he himself would like to be able to buy from a roaming food truck. It can even be a roving fruit stand or a mobile dentist, he added.

Daniel's two Kombis in the sun 01 Daniel's two Kombis in the sun 02
Two of Daniel Todd’s Kombi fleet out in the in front of the bay, soaking in the Subic sun

From his statements, it is apparent that Daniel is a man of vision. And yet his is a vision that is not solely for himself. Despite having only moved to Subic Bay recently, he proudly declares that the Freeport is his home now. Of all the places he has been around the world, Subic Bay and its unique charm has completely won him over.

Subsequently, he is an ardent advocate of environmental cleanliness in Subic Bay. He has made it a personal mission to always keep an eye out for areas in need of improvement in that particular regard. He has also made a habit of reminding the people around him to do the same for everyone’s benefit.

Daniel's drop-side Kombikini 01 Daniel's drop-side Kombikini 02 Daniel's drop-side Kombikini 03
The T1 Volkswagen Type 2 or more commonly called the Kombikini showing off its wooden-panel drop-side

Moreover, Daniel is also a firm believer in traffic discipline. He emphasized that adherence to the rules and regulation not only ensures everyone’s safety but is essential in promoting unity within the multi-cultural Freeport community.

With such a positive outlook, Daniel has proved himself as an asset to the Freeport. With his passion for Kombis that he generously shares with the community and across other aspects of his life, he is a positive force. It is thanks to people like him that the Subic Bay Freeport Zone has been and still remains as a world-renowned model for sustainable development.

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