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The Hippie Van That Started A Revolution

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Topics:  Volkswagen Type 2

The Hippie Van That Started A Revolution

William Jason
March 22, 2011

For once, it would be nice to break away from the conventional connotations behind a classic car. When many people hear classic car, they immediately think of a rare, high-end vehicle designed only for the rich. If you feel terrible because you cannot buy a classic car, cheer up and smile. By its very meaning, a classic car is simply a car that was made a few decades back and isn't in production anymore. It doesn't have to be owned by a king or a billionaire for a car to be called classic. An example of this car is the Volkswagen Type 2 (T1), also known as the Transporter.

This model marks a significant milestone for the German auto manufacturer because it was their second auto model, after the historic Beetle (Type 1). This is an iconic vehicle which was also known as the Splittie, Microbus, and Splitscreen because the front windscreen was divided into two. Essentially, the Type 2 is the first mini-van in history, but the term did not come up until a few decades after.

The downside of the Volkswagen Type 2 is its engine. It was originally the 1100 Volkswagen air-cooled engine that was used. It was later upgraded to a 1,182. The engine wasn't as efficient as it was expected to be. This is why Type 2 (T1) units that still function up to this day are truly valuable because a long lifespan was never expected of them. It also has limited top speed because of its low gearing.

Now initially it had outwardly hinged doors but units with sliding doors were available later on. Wheels for this type were originally at 16 but were soon reduced to 15, then down to 14. It also has a small engine bay.

The Volkswagen Type 2 is every car collector's dream van. It has been featured in many pop culture forms. For instance, you will see a Type 2 van in Scooby-Doo. It was the gang's Mystery Van. Also, during the 60s, this was a popular van among hippies and surfers. It provided them enough room for fold-out beds, fridge, cooker, and other stuff they needed for their nomadic lifestyle. They usually had colorful and psychedelic designs painted all over the van. Even if it's a low-powered van compared to the modern vans, it still remains to be a symbol of the 60s, the glorious decade of hippies and the Sexual Revolution.

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Source: http://www.submityourarticle.com

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