The end of an era

London to Scotland in a VW Camper Van

The end of an era

It’s a time to say goodbye… a time to mourn and grieve for the original classic VW campervan.

There have been more than 10 million Transporters over six decades, but Volkswagen has announced that the iconic campervan ‘bus’ will be no more.

Brazil, the last place still producing these Transporter vans, is to stop production on 31st December 2013.

But… why?

It’s not so much that Brazil doesn’t want the camper. New laws around air bags and anti-lock braking systems mean that the company are unable to carry on manufacturing VW campers past 2013.

The same thing happened back in 1979 when Germany could no longer meet the European safety requirements.

Popular culture

Damon Ristau, director of The Bus, a documentary following fan of VW campervans, said, “It has a magic and charm lacking in other vehicles. It’s about the open road, about bringing smiles to people’s faces when they see an old VW van rolling along.”

We couldn’t agree more.

Who cares whether the VW van has a reputation for being somewhat unreliable, they are so much more than a method of transport. They’re embedded into the Western culture so far that even toddlers can identify the bus as a VW.

VW Transporters have appeared on everything from album covers, remember Bob Dylan and the Beach Boys, to blah blah.

Even the technology legend, Steve Jobs, once owned a van. He sold it in the ‘70s to buy a circuit board for the Apple computer. Who knows, without the iconic camper, iPads and iPhones might never have happened.

Other common uses

However, the VW bus isn’t all about glitz and glamour. It has many different uses, particularly in other parts of the world.

For example, in Brazil, the only country where it is still being produced, the van is used to transport everyone from soldiers at war to children at school. While we might convert campers into Rockinvans, the Brazilians are more likely to turn them into food carts.

What next?

Volkswagen unveiled a concept van, the Bulli, at the Geneva Motor Show in 2011. Due to its retro styling it was pitched as the successor to the Transporter. There are rumours that it might now go into production in 2014.

Even so, it won’t be the same as the original.