The Long, Strange Trip
of the VW Bus
The 60-year-old Volkswagen Bus has gone from hippie taxi to DeLorean opponent to cultural icon. Sadly, the last one ever made is about roll off the line.
By JL Scott
GETTING ON THE BUS
Volkswagen started production on its second car model — and the predecessor of today’s Bus — on March 8, 1950. (The company’s first car was the Beetle.) The Microbus, as it was called, had turn signals that flipped out when engaged, occasionally smacking unlucky pedestrians in the face. Which would have been hilarious to watch.
Sadly, features like that were engineered out, and as the Bus gained popularity in the 1960s, it collected nicknames like “Combi” (combined-use vehicle) and “Splittie” (because it has a split windshield). Looking back on it, those are actually pretty normal names considering typical occupants were likely named Astral Plane and Moon Song. Production of the Type 2 Microbus ceased at the end of 1967 model year.