VW - In the beginning ...

April 17, 2017

VW - In the beginning ...

In the beginning, there was the T1 “Beetle”. Easy to manufacture, sleek, and ready for anything. That was 1949; this is now.

[Image on Shirt]

Today, there’s a Westy for everyone, though not all are alike. Some prefer adaptability while others enjoy being able to depend on the staple features they have come to rely on. Maybe you’ve only known one model, or are interested in the limitless lifestyle and curious where to begin. Read on fellow riders, let’s take a look at our lineup.

(Sketches and pictures of referenced models throughout)

The Transporter (1949): This model was borne from the mind of Ben Pon, a Dutch importer of Volkswagen vehicles, who sketched out a doodle in 1947 that proved to be one of the most iconic designs of the 20th century. Based on the Volkswagen Beetle, the bodacious van had removable seating so riders could carry anything from a family to camping gear (often both!). The splitting of the windshield and “veed” roofline are emblematic of the hippie generation that paired closely with this groovy mode of transportation.

Double Cab / Doka (1960): An oddity not often found on this side of the Atlantic is the Double Cab Pick Up, or Doka (configured from the German Doppelkabine, for ‘Crew Cab’). A Type 2 with the heaving power to eclipse the Transporters’ more versatile chassis, hinged sides allowed it to transform into a flat-bed with enough room to hold a few passengers behind the driver's seat. You may not think of the Doka as a traditional Westfalia due to a straining of relations between Germany and the United States later in the 60’s and the so-called “Chicken Tax”. At the time, Doka was a farm-house name for hauling, and there are still some die-hard fans trying to stop them from staying cooped up.

Microbus (1966): The popularly known Volkswagen Van was part of the first generation of Type 2’s that kept the bohemian lifestyle design intact. The bus opened up on the side with Kombi cargo doors exposing an interior built primarily for the camp-minded. Many adventure enthusiasts customized their Micro’s with fold-out tables, functional storage compartments, and cozy beds for overnight trips or sunny afternoons spent listening to the radio somewhere off the map. The Microbus has captured the hearts of many with it’s infamous beaked bumper and variety of sleek and flavourful colour schemes and remains a favourite amongst modern day explorers bent on reviving the classic adage of cruising in style.

The Bay Window (1967-1979): Rolling off the assembly line and onto the roadways, the Bay took a twist on the well-known features of previous models. The single pane windshield meant a clear vision forward and this Westy didn’t look back. Nearly every piece of the body was upgraded or swapped out to improve the performance and feel of this tried and tested vehicle. Disc brakes, wrap-around bumpers, flared wheel arches, a bolstered engine up to 2000cc, and much, much more saw a reliable voyager transformed into a high-powered automobile with its sights on efficiency.

Vanagon (1986-1990): Now fully committed to peak engineering, Westfalias in the following years took on the cutting edge in both execution and style. The Vanagon turned heads with it’s then-impressive 95 horsepower engine with a state-of-the-art electronic fuel injection system and remodeled luxurious interior. Birch paneling was replaced with leatherette padding and velour seat upholstery, and the outside cut no corners switching out its rounded bodywork for a more rectangular appeal. Moving into the 90’s, the T25 Vanagon brought the Westfalia brand out of long-distance journeys and towards a more urban friendly “Weekender” approach. Found equally on suburban driveways and downtown lots, this vagabond remains ready to escape the bustle of city life.


While vastly different from where it began, Westfalia has endured as the iconic choice of explorers everywhere. Each model has, in some way, contributed not only to the evolution of a cultural history, but also a revolutionary mindset that strives for a bedouin return to travel. This shirt showcases that innovative timeline encompassing generations of fashion and improvements. The question is; where will you fit in?