Volkswagen Bus T2 Clear Blue – (G040):
The Volkswagen Type 2 is a forward control light commercial vehicle, and was introduced in 1950. It has had many monikers throughout its lifespan, namely the Camper Van. It followed, and derived from, Volkswagen’s first model, the Type 1 Beetle, and so was given the factory designation of Type 2.
Volkswagen took the modern cargo and passenger market by storm with the release of the Type 2, and it gave rise to forward control competitors in the United States throughout and after the 1960s. Some notable contenders were the Ford Econoline, the Dodge A100 and the Chevrolet Corvair 95 Corvan. A standard yet reliable 1.6-litre engine was fitted to the T2, and was capable of putting out 47 brake horsepower.
Like the Beetle, the van has been given a plethora of nicknames, as previously mentioned. The most iconic of all, however, is probably the ‘Hippie Van,’ due to its popularity during the counterculture movement of the 1960s. The American Dream, women’s rights, traditional authority being tested and revamped, experimentation with psychoactive drugs and redrawing the stigmas surrounding human sexuality; the T2 stood for all of this and encapsulated its spirit.
It was also cheap and extremely low maintenance, yet could still transport a large number of people. The T2 was of simple design, yet it was still spacious and surprisingly elegant. The rear-mounted engine allowed for balance and sufficient weight distribution. It greatly contrasted with the bog-standard large, low sedans at the time. The van symbolised rebellion and something alternative for consumers. They were coated in brightly coloured paints and liveries, and so stood out on the road even more.
To this day, the T2 remains iconic, thanks to being featured on albums of musicians such as Bob Dylan and the Beach Boys, and was also used by fans of the Grateful Dead while following the band on tour. Most iconic was probably the Woodstock music festival in the summer of 1969.