The following article has been supplied & re-produced with the permision of Truck & Driver Magazine Editor Will Shiers & RBI.
The article can be found in the October edition of Truck & Driver Magazine.
Production of the Volkswagen Transporter van officially started in March 1950 and since then, with more than 10 million examples produced, it has become one of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles' best-selling models globally, as well as one of the most iconic and popular vans in the world.
The first T1 split-screen model (top, far right) was powered by a four-cylinder, air-cooled, 1.1-litre petrol engine mounted at the rear of the vehicle. It produced just 25hp and had a top speed of about 60mph.
By comparison, the new Transporter (left) enjoys the refinement of VW's latest 2.0-litre, common-rail, turbocharged diesel engine, available with power outputs ranging from 84hp to 180hp and a top speed of up to 119mph. It also has the latest stability control systems and braking technology that would have sounded like something from a science fiction novel 60 years ago.
The first Transporter was imported into the UK in 1955. The latest version of the van, as well.as today's people-carrying and campervan versions, the Caravelle and California (bottom, left, pictured alongside a T1 campervan)., arrived here in the UK in January 201 0, some 55 years later.