When you think of the minivan the thoughts of the Dodge Grand Caravan or the Pontiac Transport may come to mind as early models, but there was an earlier model that was the most iconic minivan to ever make its way to the market. In fact, this minivan is about to make a comeback in a new form which allows us the time to look back and think about what was given to us as the original model and how it was brought to the market for us to enjoy for more year than any other minivan since.
The original minivan was the Volkswagen Microbus and it was and still is a legendary vehicle that we’ve admired for more years than you would imagine. After World War II Volkswagen began to build the Beetle but the designer of the Beetle admired the shuttle vehicles that were used around the company and eventually designed a vehicle based off the same rear mounted air cooled flat four-cylinder engine that was in the Beetle. This vehicle became known as the Type 2 Transporter (the Beetle was Type 1) and in 1950 the first Microbus made its way to the US only a year after the Beetle began being sold in America.
While the original microbus, and every one after it, looked like an overgrown loaf of bread, this vehicle was an instant hit on the market. This vehicle was the original minivan and it offered us the versatility to be perfect for a large number of crowds and the fuel efficiency to be a vehicle that everyone wanted to drive on their road trips. This minivan was so popular and singular at the time that an actual competitor didn’t show up on the scene until at least a decade after the microbus made its debut.
For 41 years we loved the microbus through three generations. This was the vehicle associated easily with surfers, hippies, campers and any other group that appreciated the benefits of simplicity, efficiency and has a thirst for the adventure the open road offered In the early days the front windshield was a split-widescreen look which lasted from 1950 until 1967 and the final version of the vehicle was the Vanagon which was a water cooled version of this vehicle. This was a vehicle that offered us the ability to imagine what it could be and the purpose it could serve us as the one we wanted to drive.
Right now the new version of the VW microbus has been shown as some of the different auto shows around the world as the new EV model of the ID Buzz which is expected to become a production model and possibly the first EV model on this new platform that’s been built. This is a new way to see this cab-over configuration work and be built to make sure you can enjoy the ride that continues in a different way to give you what you’ve been searching for.
Whether you’re been a staunch admirer of the older VW microbus that spent 41 years on the market with several that survive today as vehicles that offer us the nostalgia we want or you like the look and idea of a new EV model that will work great for you if it’s ever built as a production model this is a vehicle that offers us the purpose build we still love. The fact that this style has come from the early days of VW that started just after World War II and still brings us the simple design that will continue to wok great if it heads to production is a nod to the perfection that simplicity in design brings to the market.