From a simple sketch of a box-shaped delivery vehicle to one of the most recognisable silhouettes in motoring, the first-generation VW Transporter formed the genesis of what was to become the best-selling van in history. Unveiled in November 1949, the quirky VW Transporter would soon find demand for its services throughout the world, thanks to its cab-forward layout, ingenuity and adaptability. The initial Panel Van gave rise to a flexible Pick-up, revolutionary Kombi, adventurous camper and and an endless catalogue of inspired conversions and variations. There were ambulances, mobile shops, school buses, fire tenders, high-roofed vans, double-cab pick-ups, police vans, mobile milking machines, and so many more. This book charts the progress of the innovative Transporter as its initial weaknesses were improved and eventually perfected to exploit the Beetle-based rear-engined layout. Much like the Beetle, the Transporter gained a cult following around the globe, with its attributes as a commercial vehicle equalled by its status as s hippie bus and stalwart of the surfing community. There was barely a nation on Earth where the Transporter hadnt become engrained in its culture or everyday life. Its no wonder that the first-generation Transporter is so well-loved today, and why its incredible story can be told here in such beautifully-presented and expertly-researched detail. From the first drawings and prototypes of the late-1940s to the final split-screen Transporters of 1967 and South American derivatives of the 1970s, Volkswagen author Richard Copping guides us through an unmissable volume where each model, all variants and every option of the first-generation Transporter is lavishly accompanied by sumptuous period photography and stunning brochure illustrations.
Richard Copping was born in Yorkshire in 1954 and attended Batley Boys Grammar school. One of the masters alternated his mode of transport between a Bentley and a VW Beetle. After completing his education in York where he studied history, Richard acquired his first car. Richards ownership slowly developed into enthusiasm for the marque and he became a regular on the merry-go-round of each summers Volkswagen shows where he amassed a modest collection of trophies for his efforts with a polishing cloth. Graduating at a snails pace from competitor to worshipful judge, a task he still undertakes today, Richard volunteered his services as editor of a club magazine in 1994, a post he held for the next seven years. Over the years he has written for Herridge, Veloce, The Crowood Press, Haynes Publishing, Shire Publications, and Crecy Publications.