In certain crowds, mention of the Volkswagen Type 2 results in fond memories of a wild, but lost, youth.
To others, dropping “Type 2” in casual conversation results in nothing but blank stares. Call it a VW Microbus, though, and people know in an instant exactly what you’re talking about. Whatever it’s known as, there’s no denying VW created an icon that played a part in defining an entire generation in the 1960s.
Introduced in 1950, the panel van was Volkswagen’s second model. (Thus Type 2. The Beetle, of course, was Type 1.)
Although the Microbus hasn’t been available in the U.S. in decades, it never has ended production. That’s right, in some places, it’s still possible to take home a brand-new VW Type 2. Could it re-enter the U.S. market?
South Americans have been enjoying uninterrupted playtime with the Type 2 in recent decades, while North Americans and Europeans have been left to chase classic models. Now, word is the Type 2’s presence will grow, as it is slated for the streets of Holland. Yup, Volkswagen buyers in the Netherlands will soon have the opportunity to get their hands on a brand-new 2012 Volkswagen Type 2 Microbus. Well, sort of all-new. Our friends at Car and Driver sum it up nicely:
Dutch Volkswagen dealership Volkswagen Campercentrum in Amersfoort, Netherlands, is offering brand-new T2 models for a whopping €45,000 or so. How is it legal? The trick is to bring the T2 into Continental Europe through Danbury Vans in the U.K., which has imported the T2 for several years. “There is no other way to get these vehicles legal except through the U.K.,” admits Martijn Siegers of the Campercentrum. “Technically, we sell them as used cars, but they are just briefly registered in the U.K. and have zero kilometers.”
Built in Brazil, the Type 2 hasn’t changed much visually in 60 years. However, the van’s characteristic air-cooled flat 4-cylinder engine has been replaced with a more modern 1.4-liter inline four.
Even with the new motor, there’s no hope of seeing new T2 models sputtering up and down U.S. streets. The VW Bulli concept, though, remains a distinct possibility.
Would you be interested in a new Volkswagen Microbus, or is it better off left in the past? I’d take a Microbus over a Routan any day!