The Volkswagen Hippie Combi has long been deemed the most recognizable and best loved van on the planet. Unfortunately, if you don't reside in the UK or the US, you're probably wondering how such an ugly, noisy 'tin box' could be so widely popular. The car was devised and produced by the dutch VW distributor and commenced production all the way back in 1950. By 1955, the power has been increased from 19kW to 25kW - which goes to show how much of an impact this model made right from the word go. Australia was the first country to see the van during the mid 1950s. Upon release, they quickly gained popularity as appliance delivery vehicles. From delivering pizzas to carrying out plumbing work, they were known as the number one van for industry related work. During the 1960s, the Postmaster General's Department placed an order for hundreds of the VW Combi's which helped to reach their current popularity.
Volkswagen Improve Kombi Design & Performance In 1967.
In 1967, Volkswagen decided to completely rehaul the van and improve upon it's design and performance specifications. Their first model featured first-generation 'split-window' models with a much larger 'bay window'. In addition, the 1967 Type 2 models could carry up to a total of nine passengers, and featured a bigger engine. The engine had now been upgraded to a 2.0 litre model - as opposed to the 1.5 litre model back in the 1950s. As the years continued to go by, the Combi begun finding worldwide popularity and Volkswagen were always looking for ways to improve upon their model. BY 1978, they had redesigned the van all over again. Their 1978 model produced 51kW of power and featured a three-speed automatic transmission system. Top speed has been increased from 112km/h to 130km/h. Acceleration was also increased. In fact, Volkswagen managed to improve the overall acceleration of the Combi by roughly 60%.
Surfers, Adventurers, Hippies Make Type 2 Kombi Famous.
By the 1990s, the car was being used for other non-commercial needs. Surfers, adventurers and international tourists began using the car, and they effectively helped the Combi's to become an icon of the 'flower power' period. Even in our current times, there are thousands and thousands of VW Combi's still on our roads. A short trip to Northern NSW in Australia will show you that veterans of the model are still using the van today. And, funnily enough, they refuse to give in and let go. They stick by their Combi's and they probably will for the rest of their lives.
Type 2 Become Icon Of Hippie Culture.
While in our current times, the van is most famous with the hippie culture, industry-related business owners do still use the van. It serves as a cheap, affordable and reliable solution for today's modern van's. Think of the VW Combi as a status symbol - similar to the Nissan Micra. You either love the car or you hate it, it's really that simple. Unfortunately, some people absolutely love the VW Combi and treat is as their children. They can't let go of it. Each time it breaks down, they spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars fixing it. God forbid when the day comes that VW Combi's just simply break down and stop working.
For now though, the tradition and popularity continues to rise. As the hippie culture continues to grow and expand, more and more children are being born into the Combi. Only time will tell if a new car can come out and capture the industry. But, for now, the VW Combi holds a special place in some people's hearts.
If you are fan of hippie culture and greatest hippie icon - Volkswagen combi check this beautiful hippie vans gallery.