The birth of the myth
Bernardus Marinus Pon, known as Ben Pon, is the person considered to be the “father” of the T1. It was a Dutch trader, importer of Volkswagen in the town of Amersfoort and exporter of popular Beetle to the U.S. market.
During one of his visits to the Wolfsburg factory he saw a strange vehicle that caught his attention. It was just a transformation of a car done by the workers of the assembly line used to transport parts inside the factory. It was this encounter with that device that would later become the embryo or starting point of T1, now nicknamed and known worldwide as Bulli. Ben Pon made drawings in his agenda of a rear wheel drive and light vehicle capable of carrying up to 750 kg. In his original sketches he also provided the vehicle with smooth bodywork to protect the merchandise from the elements. Without knowing it, the myth of Volkswagen was beginning, which would go even far beyond than the not-less popular beetle.
Just three years later, Volkswagen converted those first drawings in what later became not just a symbol in the transport of people, but also of the objects required by the industry and trade in the main European capitals.
Ben Pon’s draft would become the icon of nonconformity and turbulence of the 60´s, a symbol of the Californian hippie culture, of the proposals sponsored by Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, a new way of life that broke ties with the conservative society of those times.
Subsequently VW has produced up to four generations of the model up to the current T5. None of them has broken with tradition and philosophy of the previous model, with the purpose with which the first of them was born. The success has become bigger with every new generation, so much so much the in themid fifties, Volkswagen started building a huge factory in Hanover dedicated exclusively to manufacturing this model, and making it independent from the main factory in Wolfsburg.
Nowadays they produce over four different versions of the T5 model, which continues its nonstop race, as years ago, with the changes and demanded by a society to wich it has always been commited, and nowadays it is also considered as the icon of a free and easy lifestyle. Something that no other car in the motor history has been able to transmit to the public and the user. Freedom in all aspects of daily life, in the city, when camping with family or friends, or just enjoying another way of traveling, safer and more comfortable.