Top 10: Classic Volkswagen Transporters

It's 60 years since the Volkswagen Transporter was launched in the UK after making its debut at the Earl's Court Commercial Vehicle Show. What came out of the ruins of Germany after the Second World War has become one of the most iconic vehicles of all time with an almost cult following.

To celebrate its Diamond Anniversary we're looking back at some classic Volkswagen Transporter vans from the archive, tracing its history back from the original T1 up the current T5. Next year will see the launch of the all-new T6 Transporter and we're looking forward to the next chapter of the Transporter story.

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Volkswagen T1 (1954-1967)

Back where it all started. The Transporter owes its creation to a Yorkshire-born British Army soldier, Major Ivan Hirst. As part of the REME (Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers) he helped lay the foundations for the Volkswagen brand as we know it today.

Major Hirst designed a flat-bed truck to move parts around the Volkswagen factory site. Known as the Plattenwagen - or flat car - the vehicle caught the eye of visiting Dutch importer Ben Pon in the mid-1940s, who proposed the idea of a panel van version. The Plattenwagen was actually used at the Wolfsburg factory into the 1970s.


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DarylDixon    on 23 October 2023

The history behind the Volkswagen T1 is truly fascinating! It's amazing to think that the iconic Transporter started as a flat-bed truck designed by Major Ivan Hirst to move parts around the Volkswagen factory. The evolution of this vehicle over the years is a testament to its timeless design and functionality. On a side note, I've been working on a programming research paper exploring the impact of classic vehicles on modern automotive design. I've been contemplating using for some guidance. Has anyone here tried their services? And for fellow car enthusiasts, any other classic vehicles you'd recommend diving into for research?

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