With festival season soon approaching, our thoughts at Motors HQ have turned to iconic cars that we immediately associate with those hazy, lazy days of summer: motoring to Glastonbury, bombing down to Newquay, and exploring the whole of Britain (and further afield) in a vehicle that acts as your car, home, and party pad for the next two months. There’s only one motor that could really live up to that particular combination of sun, sea, sand and summer holidays: the Volkswagen Camper Van.
This iconic vehicle is officially titled the Volkswagen Type 2, also known as the Transporter. Introduced in 1950 as the bigger brother of the Type 1 Volkswagen – the Beetle – the camper van has come to be associated with everything rock and roll about driving. Whether it’s hippies off to Stonehenge or a family driving to their holiday home, the Volkswagen Camper Van is spacious, gorgeous, and just downright cool.
One of the reasons the Volkswagen Type 2 has become such an iconic car is down to its looks. The instantly recognised VW logo; the curving two-tone bodywork; the tiny windows with retro curtains; and the big-eyed headlights all add to the charm and coolness of the Camper Van. Plus it’s appeared in numerous films as the vehicle of choice for rock ‘n’ rollers and road trips, including in the fantastic recent production Little Miss Sunshine.
Pimped out Volkswagen Camper Vans are incredibly popular too, thanks to the seemingly endless options available to customise the interior. Like many iconic cars, a culture has built up around this car of DIY customisation, with many owners building and fitting Camper interiors themselves. Floor plans, circuit diagrams and dimensions for all number of VW makes and models are available online, and if you don’t fancy getting the hacksaw out, there are plenty of companies who’ll do the hard slog for you.
So what’s the Volkswagen Type 2 Camper Van actually like as an everyday motor? The general consensus seems to be that it’s fantastic for those that like the open road, the outdoors, and getting away from it all – but it can be a difficult motor to run and drive. Older models can be tough to drive if you’re used to the ease of power steering, and it can cost a lot to renovate. However, for those people who enjoy getting out and about, and who love the freedom of the countryside, then a Volkswagen Camper Van is ideal.