VW Hippie Bus, was it really called that?
After the Second World War there was a large demand for commercial vehicles. Volkswagen soon developed to become the leader in this market. Under the name, Type 2, they brought 5 variations to the market; the T1 to T5.
The name Type 2 is, in contrary to what sometimes is thought, not synonymous with a T2 bus. During the fifties, the Type 2 had no competition. Of course, many car manufacturers around the world produced a commercial vehicle, because many retailers were very dependent on their van, but with the introduction of the Volkswagen Bus, it was the start of a new era.
So what made the VW Bus so attractive to the Hippie Counterculture movement? Good question. Is it because of the characteristics and appearance of a cozy, happy, smiling car – something the competitors at that time could not match? It’s the same feeling of friendship we also experience with the Volkswagen Beetle.
So what was this movement really all about that made this type of vehicle so attractive? The 1960’s hippie counter culture movement involved a variety of social concerns and beliefs. The hippies’ primary tenet was that life was about being happy, not about materialism or what others thought you should be.
Their “if it feels good, do it” attitudes included little forethought, nor concern for the consequences of their actions. Hippies were dissatisfied with what their parents had built for them, a rather strange belief given that their parents had built the greatest booming economy the world had ever seen.
Hippies rejected established institutions, calling them “The Establishment,” “Big Brother,” and “The Man.” Hippies believed the dominant mainstream culture was corrupt and inherently flawed and sought to replace it with a Utopian society.
Hippies rejected middle class values, opposed nuclear weapons, and the Vietnam War. They embraced aspects of Eastern philosophy, and sought to find new meaning in life. So did they really all drive a VW Bus? No, not really, Hippies drove anything they could get their hands on that was cheap, and during that era, VW buses were just that.
You could pack a lot of people into this VW bus. The mileage was above average and the engine was air cooled, keeping the maintenance down to a minimum. Having a so called party bus was very inviting. These VW Buses are still popular today. Check out your local car shows and see who still owns them.
There are many opinions out there as to what type of vehicle was popular during this counter culture era, but in the past, many have labeled it the Hippie Bus for a reason.