The Microbus first went into production in 1950 and was the second car released by Volkswagen after its iconic Beetle. One of the first passenger vans, the “Bus”, as it’s often affectionately called, became a symbol of the Free Love movement in the 60’s and they were often seen painted with peace signs and other colorful, psychedelic artwork. There were several models of the Microbus available including a fully outfitted camper, a panel van, and a pick up truck. An ambulance model was even introduced in 1951. The iconic Type 2 bus ceased production in the U.S. and Europe in 1979 but it is still being made in Brazil. The original Microbus is a sought after item by collectors and restorers.
In 2001, Volkswagen first announced its intention of bringing a revamped Microbus back onto the auto market. The company hoped to appeal to the same sense of consumer nostalgia that had made their relaunch of the Bug a success in 1998. Unfortunately, the new Bus design had little in common with the original and the concept was scrapped in favor of bringing the Routan minivan to the market.
After years of waiting, is it finally time for the Volkswagen Microbus to make a comeback? If it bears some resemblance to the original vehicle but is packed full of innovative features that meet the demands of today’s consumers, it just might have appeal for aging baby boomers and a new generation of fans.