VW Van, AKA The Hippie Busby Tyler Woods on Sep. 09, 2013, under Life
As I reached for my coffee cup grabbing the pot to pour a cup of java to wake me up, I heard on the news this morning that the Volkswagen bus was rolling its last vehicle off the line today. The newscasters called it the hippy bus, for me I called it the VW bus and there was a sense of sadness when I heard the news that they will no longer make these. Though I am unsure if I was sad, or just feeling my age, it got me thinking…
The 60s was designed by music, fashion and causes. We forget one important factor with the 60s and that was what people drove. In comes the VW bus, or known as the hippie van or bus. It was the icon of travel for young hippies with a cause.
I recall being a young kid and telling my parents I had to have a VW bus for my car. They laughed that I would get car that was a “sex machine” on wheels. I was heartbroken. Poor me, I never knew that is what these vans were sex machines and not part of a movement. I was a young musician and a hippie want to be and I thought it would be great to tour the world, fight a cause and play rock and roll, I did not know it was a sexual calling card.
The first VW bus rolled off the line in 1950. It was called the Volkswagen Type 2. My parents told me that I needed a reliable car so no one would come by and kidnap me if my car broke at the side of the road. Not that they were rich, not that the kidnapper would make tons of money, it was just what they said to spook me away from getting a van, however, if they would have done their research, they would have realized, these vehicles were designed to be mechanically simple thus rather reliable.
These reliable vans also made a great canvass to speak out what you feel, and soon people were seeing painted VW vans with peace symbols and sayings on them. Equally as important, these reliable vans could be made into a home and could provide a roof over your head. Many “hippies” of the 60s lived in their VW bus either going from cause to cause, or in some cases, concert to concert. It became an icon, these painted VW vans of the 60s and early 70s.
Perhaps my parents knew that many people used these vans for camping. In fact, many of the VW vans were designed to be camping vehicles and came equipped to do so. Lord knows a young lady such as myself should never have a camping vehicle perhaps because of all the kidnappers were after young campers.
I never had a VW van however, millions of Americans did and some, still own their original VW still in great working condition. So today, I am sad to see the end of production of such a vehicle that had so many uses and was an icon of the 60s and 70s.