Volkswagen Camper: A Counterculture Icon to Remember
The Summer of Love is turning 50 years old in 2017, and this means that there is no time like the present to analyze the importance of the counterculture movement and its impact on society around the world. To this effect, car historians are not amazed to learn that original VW Camper vans are currently fetching more than $100,000 on the collectors’ market.
As an endearing image of the 1960s and the 1970s, VW campers are still being used by individuals who practice the counterculture principles of choosing lifestyles that do not align with the establishment. For example, surfers, musicians who take their shows on the road and adventurous American families will often choose VW campers even though there are quite few options from other automakers.
The Type 2 VW camper was initially envisioned by a Dutch vehicle importer in the wake of World War II. It became a counterculture icon for various reasons. First of all, it was a marvel of smart German engineering, which meant that hippies disenchanted with the American establishment could relish on purchasing imported vehicles. Second, the idea of a reliable vehicle that could be easily maintained by smart owners who took the time to learn from the technical manuals published by German mechanics appealed to the emerging do-it-yourself philosophy also embraced by surfers and hippies who lived alternative lifestyles.
According to a recent article published by news media and commentary website The Conversation, VW is aware of the significance of the Type 2 camper and why it should be properly honored; to this effect, the automaker is working on the ID Buzz project, which was unveiled in early 2017. The ID Buzz resembles a VW camper, but it is an electric vehicle with self-driving capabilities and enough seats to accommodate six passengers plus the driver. VW plans to design a marketing campaign that will remind drivers about how the original Type 2 became an icon of the counterculture movement.