Whether you called it a Kombi, Samba, Transporter or simple a Bus, the Volkswagen Transporter Van has been an iconic vehicle for travelers and wanderers for more than sixty three years. Now it’s finally happened—Volkswagen is killing off the Bus for good. On December 31, 2013 the last van will roll off the assembly line in Brazil and a golden era will end.
I’m taking the news personally because I spent a youthful summer living and traveling in a VW Bus. The ugly red and white van belonged to my brother, but evolved into a rolling home for both of us one summer long ago. It was uncomfortable, poorly appointed and prone to inopportune breakdowns, but it was fantastic.
If you share my nostalgia for the Bus or just want to understand why the homely, unprepossessing vehicles have a place in so many hearts around the world, check-out director Damon Ristau’s documentary “The Bus”. Here’s a peek: