A Fond Farewell to the VW Camper Van

The last VW Camper Van rolled off the production line on December 31st, marking the end of a 63-year motoring and cultural legacy.

Ever since its debut in 1957, the Volkswagen Type 2 Kombi van (VW Camper Van) has been the defining image of nomadic hippydom, surfing, not to mention the vehicle of choice for Shaggy and Scooby-Doo. The phrase "free spirit" is indelibly linked with the German car manufacturer”s sequel to the successful VW Beetle. And though it has been described as no more than a “multipurpose shed on wheels”, the VW Camper Van has clearly transcended the category of vehicle to becoming a symbol of an holistic lifestyle choice.

So it”s fittingly ironic that the reason for ceasing the production of VW Camper Vans is because it can”t be fitted with an airbag. This failure to comply with European safety requirements was the reason production in German was halted in 1979. And even though Brazil is the last remaining country where VW Camper Vans are being produced, new health and safety laws being introduced in 2014 requiring every vehicle to have airbags and anti-lock braking, mean the VW Camper Van is no longer compliant.

Still, the curvaceous minivan will live on in the hearts and minds of those who have fond memories forged behind the wheel of a VW Camper Van.

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