Peace, Love, & the VW Bus

The story of a boxy legend.

It started out life as a drawing so humble it could have come from the notebook of kid in elementary school. Sometimes simple is smart.

In 1949, Ben Pon was a Volkswagen importer was bringing the first VW Beetles to the United States, but something besides the Bug captured his imagination. Pon saw and fell in love with the utilitarian work trucklets the company used around the factory, which were based on the same rear-engined chassis configuration as the Beetle. He sketched a van version on a piece of paper. It looked like an overgrown loaf of bread, but VW executives were impressed by what they saw and created the microbus, building it on Beetle mechanicals including the rear-mounted air-cooled flat four-cylinder engine. In 1950, it officially greeted the world as the Type 2 Transporter (the VW Beetle was Type 1).

The microbus was so new and so original when it burst upon the scene that more than a decade would pass before any real competitor showed up. This was the original minivan, a dedicated people-mover, but the bus was much more than a pedestrian family hauler, of course. It was embraced by surfers, hippies, campers and anyone that appreciated simplicity, efficiency, and adventure.

Much more about the VW Bus at the SOURCE

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