Wednesday 8th March 1950
Volkswagen, maker of the Beetle automobile, expanded its product offerings to include a microbus. Known officially as the Volkswagen Type 2 (the Beetle was the Type 1) or the Transporter, the bus was a favourite mode of transportation for hippies in the U.S. during the 1960’s and became an icon of the American counterculture movement. The VW bus was reportedly the brainchild of Dutch businessman Ben Pon, an importer of Beetles to the Netherlands, who saw a market for a small bus and in 1947 sketched out his concept. Volkswagen engineers further developed the idea and on this day, the vehicle, with its boxy, utilitarian shape and rear engine, went into production.