The Ultimate Guide to the Iconic Volkswagen Van Hippie

Hey there, fellow free spirit! Are you curious about the iconic Volkswagen Van Hippie? Well, you’ve come to the right place. This ultimate guide will take you on a journey through the history, features, and culture surrounding this symbol of the counterculture movement.

Volkswagen Van Hippie

As you may already know, the Volkswagen Van Hippie, also known as the Type 2 or Transporter, was first introduced in 1950 and quickly became popular among artists, musicians, and activists who were seeking an alternative way of living. Its compact size, practicality, and unique design made it the perfect vehicle for long journeys and outdoor adventures, as well as a cozy and inspiring living space.

The Volkswagen Van Hippie: A Unique Piece of History

The Volkswagen Van Hippie, also known as the Type 2 Bus, is an iconic symbol of the hippie way of life and a unique piece of automotive history. The story behind its creation is both interesting and unique, and the mid-1960s cultural revolution that led to its rise as a cultural icon has left a lasting legacy.

The Birth of a Cultural Icon

The story of the Volkswagen Van Hippie begins in the early 1950s, when Dutch businessman Ben Pon Sr. traveled to Germany to sell Porsche cars. While there, he saw a makeshift wagon built from a Volkswagen Beetle chassis and was struck with an idea: to create a small van that could transport goods and people. The idea got a green light, and a prototype was on the road by 1949. The van remained in production for over six decades, leaving an indelible mark on the automotive industry.

Hippie Culture: A Way of Life

The Volkswagen Van Hippie owes much of its iconic status to the hippie movement of the mid-1960s. The hippie culture was marked by peaceful protests, anti-war activism, and a unique way of life. Hippies viewed the world through a lens of peace and love, rejecting the status quo in favor of a simpler, more meaningful way of existence. The Volkswagen Van Hippie perfectly embodied the hippie spirit and quickly became a symbol of the movement, plastered with peace signs and painted in vibrant colors.

The Features of the Volkswagen Van Hippie

One of the features that set the Volkswagen Van Hippie apart from other vehicles of its time was its pop-up roof. The roof allowed passengers to stand up inside the van, creating more headroom and a more convenient camping space. The vehicle’s cargo capacity was another selling point, with plenty of room for tools, camping gear, and other necessities.

The Volkswagen Van Hippie was well-loved by its drivers and passengers for its comfortable and cozy interior, reliable engine, and quirky design. Its shape, with its rounded corners and flat front, made it an easily recognizable symbol of the hippie generation.


The Volkswagen Van Hippie is, without a doubt, a unique piece of automotive history and a cultural icon of the hippie movement. Whether it was used as a mode of transportation, a mobile home, or simply a symbol of rebellion and peace, the Volkswagen Van Hippie left an indelible mark on its era.

The Evolution of the Volkswagen Van Hippie

The Volkswagen Van Hippie has gone through several changes over the years, from its original design in 1949 to its discontinuation in 2013. Let’s take a closer look at the different generations of this beloved vehicle and how it evolved throughout history.

The First Generation

The first generation of the Volkswagen Van Hippie, also known as the T1 or “split-screen” model, was introduced in 1949 and remained in production until 1967. This model was popular among the hippie subculture of the 1960s, who appreciated its spacious interior, fuel efficiency, and overall practicality.

The T1 model underwent several changes throughout its production run, including the addition of larger windows, a more powerful engine, and more comfortable seating. Despite its popularity, the T1 model was eventually replaced by the T2 or “bay-window” model in 1967.

The Second Generation and Beyond

The second generation of the Volkswagen Van Hippie, the T2 or “bay-window” model, was introduced in 1967 and was in production until 1979. This model featured a larger and more practical design, with a larger engine and more amenities such as air conditioning and power steering.

In the 1980s, the Volkswagen Van Hippie was discontinued in North America due to stricter emissions regulations. However, it continued to be produced in other parts of the world such as Europe and South America.

After a hiatus, the Volkswagen Van Hippie was reintroduced in the 1990s with updated features and a sleeker design that still paid homage to its hippie roots. The T3 or “Vanagon” model was in production from 1980 to 1991, followed by the T4 model from 1991 to 2003.

The T4 model featured a more modern and streamlined design, with improved safety features and a more powerful engine. It also became available in a variety of configurations, such as a camper van or a commercial vehicle.

The final generation of the Volkswagen Van Hippie, the T5 or “Transporter,” was produced from 2003 to 2015. This model featured an even more modern and practical design, with a larger engine and improved fuel efficiency. It also included advanced safety features such as electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes.

The Volkswagen Van Hippie Today

Today, the Volkswagen Van Hippie continues to be a beloved symbol of a bygone era, with many enthusiasts restoring and customizing these unique vehicles. Some have even converted them into eco-friendly campers, complete with solar panels and composting toilets.

Despite its discontinuation in 2015, the Volkswagen Van Hippie remains a cultural icon and a testament to the values of the hippie era. Its legacy lives on in popular media such as movies, music, and television shows. It also serves as a reminder of the importance of individualism, creativity, and freedom of expression.

In conclusion, the Volkswagen Van Hippie has come a long way since its introduction in 1949. It has undergone numerous changes over the years, from its original split-screen design to its final Transporter model in 2015. Despite its discontinuation, it remains an enduring symbol of a time and a culture that continues to inspire and influence the world today.

The Impact of the Volkswagen Van Hippie on Pop Culture

The Volkswagen Van Hippie, also known as the Type 2 or Transporter, has left a lasting impression on pop culture. The van, which first hit the market in 1950, quickly became a symbol of freedom and adventure, appealing to a generation of young people who embraced the counterculture movement. Here’s a look at how the Volkswagen Van Hippie has impacted pop culture.

Movies and TV Shows

From the animated series “Scooby Doo” to the Oscar-winning film “Little Miss Sunshine,” the Volkswagen Van Hippie has made numerous appearances in movies and television shows over the years. Its recognizable design and association with the hippie movement have made it a popular choice for filmmakers who want to evoke a sense of nostalgia or rebellion.

In the 1960s, the Volkswagen Van Hippie became a staple in many films about the counterculture movement. Movies like “Easy Rider” and “National Lampoon’s Vacation” featured the van as a symbol of free-spiritedness and non-conformity. More recently, the van has appeared in the Netflix series “Love” and the hit movie “Zombieland: Double Tap,” proving that it still resonates with audiences today.

Art and Music

The Volkswagen Van Hippie has also inspired countless artists and musicians over the years. Its distinctive shape and colorful designs have appeared on album covers, concert posters, and even in paintings. The van’s association with the hippie movement and its values of peace and love have made it a powerful symbol of freedom and expression.

In the world of music, the Volkswagen Van Hippie has been referenced in countless songs. The Grateful Dead famously decorated their van with psychedelic designs and used it as a mobile stage for their concerts. The song “Magic Bus” by The Who is about a psychedelic bus that takes people on a trip, but many fans have interpreted it as being about a Volkswagen Van Hippie. Other bands that have referenced the van in their music include The Beach Boys, Jefferson Airplane, and Phish.

The Volkswagen Van Hippie’s Legacy

The Volkswagen Van Hippie’s impact on pop culture is undeniable. Its association with the counterculture movement of the 1960s and 70s has made it a symbol of freedom, rebellion, and individuality. Its distinctive design and colorful graphics have influenced art, music, and fashion, inspiring generations of artists, designers, and musicians. Its enduring appeal has made it a popular choice for collectors, and a well-maintained van can still fetch a high price today.

While the last Volkswagen Van Hippie rolled off the production line in 2013, its legacy lives on. Groups of enthusiasts gather at festivals and rallies to celebrate the van, and online communities share stories and photos of their beloved vehicles. The Volkswagen Van Hippie may have started as a simple utility vehicle, but it has become so much more than that – it’s a cultural icon that has left an indelible mark on pop culture.

Interesting Facts About the Volkswagen Van Hippie

The Type 2 Bus Has Many Nicknames

The Volkswagen Van Hippie is known by many different nicknames worldwide. The most common of them is “VW Bus” or “Bus” in short. In Australia and New Zealand, it is called the “Kombi” or “Combi” due to its versatility as a passenger and cargo vehicle. In South Africa, it is known as the “Volksie” while in Germany it goes by “Bulli” which translates to Bull in English. Other popular nicknames include, “Hippie Van,” “Panel Van,” “Microbus,” “Transporter,” and “Campervan.”

The Volkswagen Van Hippie Was Almost Never Made

Surprisingly, the Volkswagen Van Hippie was never meant to be mass-produced. In the late 1940s, Dutch importer Ben Pon sketched the initial design of a vehicle that could transport heavy goods. The idea was to create a vehicle that was modified from the Beetle to be used for commercial purposes. However, in 1949, Volkswagen’s chief engineer, Heinrich Nordhoff, saw the potential of the design and decided to turn it into a full-fledged production vehicle. The Type 2 debuted in 1950, and the rest is history.

The Volkswagen Van Hippie Is Still Popular Today

Even though the production of the Volkswagen Van Hippie stopped in 2013, there is still an active fan base. The vehicle’s unique design, spacious cabin, and customizable features continue to attract enthusiasts and collectors worldwide. In fact, there is still a thriving market for used Volkswagen Van Hippies, often selling for tens of thousands of dollars. The vehicle has since been revived as an electric vehicle in the form of the VW ID Buzz, set to launch in 2022, but the charm and character of the original Type 2 Bus are hard to replicate.

A Ride to Remember

Thanks for taking a ride with us on this ultimate guide to the iconic Volkswagen Van Hippie. We hope this article gave you an insight into the history, design, and lifestyle that this van represents. Whether you’re a nostalgic fan or a curious reader, we aimed to make this experience as lifelike as possible.

If you find yourself dreaming about hitting the road with the wind in your hair and the sun on your face in a vintage van, keep exploring and learning about the VW Van Hippie. Keep on reading, discovering, and appreciating it as a classic ride. Thanks for joining us, and we hope to see you soon.


1. What are the unique features of the Volkswagen Van Hippie?

The iconic Volkswagen Van Hippie stands out for its size, shape, and overall design. It has a distinctive appearance thanks to its solid rounded body and a flat front with two round headlights. It also boasts huge windows and the recognizable Volkswagen logo on the oversized front grille.

2. What was the main purpose of the Volkswagen Van Hippie?

The Volkswagen Van Hippie was originally created as a family vehicle, but it later became a symbol of individualism and freedom. It was popularized by hippies and surfers in the 1960s and 1970s, who used it to travel across the country and embrace an alternative lifestyle.

3. What was the interior of the Volkswagen Van Hippie like?

The interior of the Volkswagen Van Hippie was simple but functional. It had a driver’s seat, a bench seat in the back that could convert into a bed, and storage cabinets. Some models also had a small kitchenette and a pop-top roof that could be raised to create more headroom.

4. What made the Volkswagen Van Hippie so popular?

The Volkswagen Van Hippie became popular for its association with a counterculture movement that valued peace, love, and freedom. It was also affordable and practical, making it a practical choice for those seeking a cheap mode of transportation to explore the world around them.

5. How did the Volkswagen Van Hippie influence pop culture?

The Volkswagen Van Hippie has appeared in movies, TV shows, and music videos over the years, cementing its place in popular culture. It is often associated with the hippie movement and has become a symbol of freedom, adventure, and rebellion.

6. Is the Volkswagen Van Hippie still in production?

The Volkswagen Van Hippie is no longer in production. The last model was produced in Brazil in 2013. However, there are still plenty of vintage Volkswagen Vans Hippies on the road today, cherished by collectors and fans around the world.

7. What are some of the challenges of owning a Volkswagen Van Hippie?

Owning a Volkswagen Van Hippie is not without its challenges. The vans are known for their mechanical issues, and finding parts can be challenging. Additionally, they are not particularly fuel-efficient, so they can be expensive to run.

8. Where can I find out more information about the Volkswagen Van Hippie?

You can find more information about the Volkswagen Van Hippie by researching on the internet, reading books about the subject, or joining fan groups and online communities. There is a wealth of information available to anyone interested in the iconic ride.

9. Can I rent a Volkswagen Van Hippie?

Yes, you can rent a Volkswagen Van Hippie from various rental companies. They are popular with those seeking a unique and nostalgic rental experience, whether for a road trip or a special event.

10. What’s the best way to take care of a Volkswagen Van Hippie?

The best way to take care of a Volkswagen Van Hippie is to follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and keep up with regular repairs and tune-ups. Additionally, it is a good idea to store the vehicle in a dry, secure location when not in use to prevent rust and other damage.