The Volkswagen Type 2 was the second automotive line introduced by German automaker Volkswagen. It was a van introduced in 1950, initially based on Volkswagen's first model, the Type 1 - the "Beetle".
The idea for the Type 2 is credited to Dutch Volkswagen importer Ben Pon, who drew the first sketches of the van in 1947. Three years later, under the direction of Volkswagen's new CEO Heinz Nordhoff, the first production model left the factory at Wolfsburg.
Unlike other rear-engine Volkswagens, which evolved constantly over time but never saw the introduction of all-new models, the Type 2 not only evolved, but was completely revised periodically with variations referred to as versions "T1" to "T5," although only generations T1 to T3 (or T25 as it is called in Ireland and Great Britain) can be seen as directly related to the Beetle.
During the hippie era in the United States, the Type 2 became a major counterculture symbol. There were several reasons: The van could carry a number of people plus camping gear and cooking supplies, extra clothing, do-it-yourself carpenter's tools, etc. As a "statement", its boxy, utilitarian shape made the Type 2 everything the American cars of the day were not. Used models were incredibly cheap to buy and many were hand-painted. Some Type 2 owners who were antiwar activists would replace the VW logo with a painted peace symbol up front.
Since that time, however, the original 1950–1967 Type 2 (primarily the pre-1956 barn-doors) has become a highly sought after collector's item.