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March 8, 1950 – VW Type 2 goes on sale

Ben Pon may not not a familiar name, but he earns credit for the introduction of the Volkswagen Type 2, first offered for sale this day in 1950. Pon visited Wolfsburg in 1946 intending to import the Beetle to the Netherlands after production restarted following WWII. Realizing a need for a larger vehicle, Pon sketched a small bus that used the same pan as the Beetle. He brought his idea to leadership at Volkswagen, sparking intrigue. VW engineers further developed the idea and the Type 2 was born.

Ben Pon sketch of what would become the Type 2.

The Type 2 ended up on its own pan, but it would host numerous body styles, including panel vans and trucks. The Type 2, also known as the Transporter, affectionately became known as the VW Bus, Camper and a myriad of other names. The final Type 2 left a Brazil production facility on December 13, 2013. Watch a video of the last VW Bus, one of 300 labeled as a 2014 final edition, going down the assembly line. The history of the VW Bus isn’t totally over, as Volkswagen has plans to release a retro electric van that pays homage to the Type 2.

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