Florence headlining winter exhibit

14th March 2024

A 1959 Volkswagen Kombi, the restored ambulance named Florence, has been a labour of love for the Transport World workshop team.

The workshop team have spent the past three years restoring Florence, which has included sourcing a limited-production 1959 engine, known in the Volkswagen community as an intermediate engine. This particular engine was only made for a nine-month period, as it was understood to have a major mechanical fault resulting in crankshaft failure. 

Sourcing the engine was an adventure in itself, as workshop manager Darren Robbie rang nearly every Volkswagen contact he had, until finally, out of the blue he received an email from a man who had not one but eight of the engines he had been searching for. The decision was made to purchase all of the engines, in case parts were needed for the original rebuild. It turned out to be a very wise decision, with parts from nearly all of the engines being required to complete the rebuild.

One part of the restoration that has been incredibly memorable is the unearthing of the engine case which is used in Florence; it is only three numbers away from the original engine case.

Authentic parts have been sourced all the way from all over the world, including Belgium and America for the restoration and exhibit, and what the workshop team could not source, has been made.

Florence will be on display in our Honouring the Driving Forces of our Emergency Services exhibit opening on Friday, March 29.

See the exhibit for yourself and grab your tickets here.