You know VWs: well-made, reliable, economical, good to drive. Take all of this and add a top quality campervan conversion and you have a superb formula That’s us.
And then there is the whole heritage thing. VWs launched the Type 2 or ‘Kombi’ van back in 1950. Since then it has become an icon. Embraced by the 1960s counter culture and now a true design classic, the Kombi was the starting point, but a child of the Sixties would be blown away by the T series.
2014 marked a significant milestone in the history of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles: sixty years ago, the first ever right-hand drive Transporter arrived in the UK. Simple, cleverly engineered and more practical than anything else on the road at the time, the T1 marked the start of a revolution in the commercial vehicle industry. Today, celebrating its diamond anniversary, the jewel in the commercial vehicles’ crown is one of the world’s biggest-selling light commercial vehicles, with variants such as the camper enjoying cult status across generations of owners.
The Transporter’s appeal remains unique. Over the years, the Transporter has helped millions of owners build businesses and fulfil dreams. From globetrotters to gardeners, beatniks to builders, the Transporter has become the default choice for many generations. And while the Transporter has evolved dramatically during that time – through five generations – the philosophy and vision that created the original still holds true.
In addition to mobilising a nation, the Transporter has also been the backbone of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles for the past six decades. From humble beginnings – just 786 were sold in its first year in the UK – the Transporter has been a driving force for Volkswagen. In 2013, UK sales of the Transporter reached 18,350 – a record figure that demonstrates the vehicle’s appeal is continuing to grow.
1949: The first ever Volkswagen Transporter van is launched at the Geneva Motor Show, with its distinctive smiling face.
1951: The Volkswagen Transporter is developed into the iconic Volkswagen camper van.
1960s: The camper van is adopted by the hippie generation, becoming a cult symbol of an alternative lifestyle.
1967: Second generation Transporter, known as the T2, does away with the classic, ‘splittie’ (split windscreen) design and introduces panoramic vision, gaining the nickname ‘Bay’.
1969: A Volkswagen camper van becomes the ‘Mystery Machine’ in hit cartoon series ‘Scooby Doo’.
1979: The T2 becomes the T3, boasting a more angular design.
1990: The Transporter turns 40 and the fourth generation, T4, Transporter is launched.
2003: The fifth generation T5 Transporter launches to critical acclaim and provides the basis for the latest Volkswagen California camper van.
2013: Volkswagen California celebrates its 25th anniversary, with around 100,000 California camper vans rolling off the production line since the start of production.