Today is the 60th anniversary, again, of one of the most recognizable and beloved vehicles to ever clatter down the road.
The exact anniversary of the Volkswagen Type 2, known affectionately as the Microbus or just the Bus, is open to interpretation. Volkswagen says it’s 1947, when Dutch VW importer Ben Pon first sketched the design. You could argue it was 1949, when CEO Heinz Nordhoff approved production. Or you could say today is day because the Bus as we know and love it — split windshield, rounded front bumper that hugged the body, woefully underpowered engine — was produced from March 8, 1950 until 1967.
Since we’re the ones publishing the blog and we’ve got a cool pic of a vintage van, that’s the date we’re using. It’s also the date Life magazine is using, and it’s published a gallery of photos of Buses through the years.
VW built the first-gen Bus until 1967. The second-gen traded the vee’d split windshield for a flat windshield and a boxier body. The Bus hit the end of the line in Europe and the United States in 1979. Volkswagen sold a few gazillion of them over the years, and the hippies and surfers made ‘em famous. Our favorite is the top-of-the-line Samba-Bus, also known as the Deluxe (pictured). Gotta love the polished aluminum side trim, that huge fabric sunroof and 23 — count ‘em, 23 — windows.
The only thing that made it any cooler was the optional the safari windows that put hinges on the windshield glass so it opened out.
Read More http://www.wired.com/autopia/#ixzz0hd6lG2nf