What do you have when you take the most economical and sensible van on the market and paint it with polka dots and daisies? Maybe add a bit of marijuana smoke too. You have the VW T2 Hippie Van.
The Volkswagen Type 2, commonly referred to as the VW T2 van or microbus, was a panel van produced by the German automaker Volkswagen (VW) from 1950 to 1979. It was a popular vehicle among the hippie counterculture in the 1960s and 1970s, and that’s why it was nicknamed “the hippie van.”
One reason why the VW T2 was so popular among the hippies was due to its affordable price and compact size. That made it perfect for road trips and traveling across the country. Or, just for a place to live for a while. Hippies were known for their nomadic lifestyle, and the T2 provided a convenient and cost-effective way to explore new places and meet like-minded individuals.
A new VW Van in 1965 went for about $1800. That’s the equivalent of about $1,600 today which would still put it on the lower end of car prices. But hippies didn’t buy new cars.
VW Van As A Symbol
The T2 was seen as a symbol of non-conformity and individuality, which aligned with the values of the hippie movement. Its distinctive shape and colorful paint jobs made it stand out on the road. Its versatility as a campervan, cargo van, or even a ambulance made it a practical choice for those looking to live a more alternative lifestyle.
Furthermore, the VW T2 was associated with the countercultural movement of the 1960s and 1970s. It was frequently used to transport groups of young people to music festivals and protests. Its role in the cultural revolution of the time cemented its place in popular culture as a symbol of the hippie era.
Despite the decades that have passed since its production, the VW T2 remains an iconic vehicle and a beloved symbol of the hippie era.