The annual Amelia Island Concours D’Elegance is widely regarded as one of the top tier car shows on the planet, drawing in a fleet of bespoke luxury cars, vintage race cars, and other uber-rare rides.
For 2023 however, an unlikely hero emerged from the mix of high-dollar classics: the iconic Volkswagen Type II Transporter van.
…But you may know it better as the humble Hippie Bus.
In case you’re wondering, the VW “Type 1” is the instantly recognizable Beetle.
Yup, the classic VW T2 Microbus got its own judging class for the 2023 Amelia Island Concours D’Elegance, and the Transporter field was filled with pristine chalk-mark restorations, famous celebrity busses, and rare one-off modified models.
The whole special class thing isn’t anything new to the Amelia Island Concours D’Elegance, and VW’s own Beetle has enjoyed the same distinction in previous years.
Still though, it must’ve been quite a sight to see the legendry Spicoli Bus roll up next to all those Duesenbergs, Ferraris, and Rolls Royces. (We hope it brought some pizza too.)
But Spicoli’s ride wasn’t the only notable celebrity attendee. Jerry Garcia’s personal VW bus was there, along with a replica of the Light Bus that attended the original Woodstock Festival.
Into Transporters? You may dig this too: Inside Ken Prather’s Mid-Engine V8-Powered 1962 VW Microbus
But this was a judged class after all, so there had to be a winner.
The well-deserved Best in Class honor fell to a meticulously restored 1951 Deluxe 15-Window Transporter owned by Joe Mond of Dubuque, Iowa.
Contrasted against, say a race-bred V12 from a vintage Formula 1 car, out back in the winning Transporter is a trusty 25 horsepower VW air-cooled four, derived from the earlier Type 1 Beetle. Mond’s Type 2 wears a striking Sealing Wax Red and Chestnut Brown color combo to complement its white roof. Inside, a a black interior completes the delightfully vintage aesthetic.
The trailer hitch out back is just icing on the cake here. *Chef’s Kiss*
The special Transporter class was part of a publicity campaign for the heralded arrival of Volkswagen’s ID.BUZZ, the all-electric revival of the Type 2’s silhouette.
Regardless of the marketing subtext here, we’re just happy any time a familiar, obtainable classic crashes the big-buck Concours party.
I love the old bus! Had 3 of them in the past and wish I could afford the new buzz. So I do paintings of them in the meantime.