Story of a legend : The VW campervan

3 February 2016 Motorhome

Story of a legend : The VW campervan

What if we retraced chronological events in the story of the most famous campervan of all times ? We are talking about the VW campervan of course ! Here is a little retrospect.

Until 1948, Volkswagen has only produced on car model, the type 1, best known as the beetle. They decided then to build an utility vehicle that targeted a popular audience : the type 2. Commercialized since the early 50’s, he soon became the second legend of the brand, associated to the hippie generation and its desire of freedom.

The VW is built on the same platform as the Beetle. It copied their symbolic rounds headlights but also the rear-engine design. The aesthetic of the vehicle simple yet efficient. The first version,, named T1 is commercialized until 1968. We distinguish it at first sight because of its bi color V-shaped front body., its “butterfly” windshield and its double lateral door that opens up like a wardrobe.

In addition to its low cost and its reduced size, the VW has been a great success due to on particular innovation : It is the first true mini van, and its glazed declinations allowed it to welcome up to 9 people.

The VW T1 addressed to the families who were dreaming of evasion and willing to make the most of their holidays. It brought them the modern comfort in mobile situations. Soon adopted by the beat generation and the hippies, this campervan became the symbol of freedom.

Inside, the VW only offers what is essential. The dashboard is reduced to its minimal form and the steering column is located between the legs. Once on the pedals, the feet almost touch the body of the vehicle. However, the back offers a fabulous space that has charmed worldwide collectors along the years.

Inherited from the Beetle, the flat-four engine do not provide a great power, but it is a combact and liable vehicle.

In  1967,  Volkswagen refurbishes their old VW and commercialize the T2. If the platform remains the same, the new model benefits from more than 20 years of technical evolution, and the design is revisited. The big V on the front and the butterfly windshield disappear and a sliding door is added on the side.

Sporting its spare wheel, an additional trunk and the VW logo, the T2 emphasizes the travel symbolic.

The T3, built from 1979, keeps the rear-engine and a classic VW design. However, the models that followed became really different. Since the T4 that appeared in the early 90s, the rear-wheel drive has been replaced with a front-wheel drive, and the engine has been replaced by a front one. Besides, the vehicle design has lost its curves. The transporter has chosen to promote modernity and comfort.

If you are interested in driving a T1, T2, T3, T4 or T5, you can hire one on

If you are nostalgic for this good old VW; idol of a generation, share your experiences with us !