Introduced in 1950 and sharing running gear with the legendary Beetle, these Volkswagen vans are beloved the world over. Officially designated the Type 2, as they were the next VW produced after the Type 1 Beetle, these forward control vehicles were produced in massive numbers across the globe.
As a result, the Type 2 is known as the Transporter, Kombi, Microbus, Bus and more names depending on body type and country. A forerunner to modern cargo and passenger vans, the Type was configured for all manner of uses including pickups, ambulances, and campers.
Period VW marketing materials talk about a “vehicle that offers incomparable utility for absolute minimum cost”. That cost was $3,160 in 1956 dollars, and that utility involved daily use appointments like the table and rear seats capable of quick conversion to overnight sleeping accommodations.
Volkswagen created these vans with the intention that they be customized by owners to suit their needs and style. Today’s 1956 Type 2 was built as a panel van with the hard-to-find dual barn door setup and then modified with a reproduction Westfalia camping kit, just as VW intended.