It may have passed you by – it certainly passed me by – but last December, the last ever Volkswagen Type 2 Kombi vans were made in a Brazilian factory, after 64 years of continuous production had made it the longest-running car model in history.
Type 2s went to Woodstock, took surfers up and down the Californian coast, and appeared on everything from Scooby Doo to Bob Dylan album covers. They represented not just a hippie dream, but a form of freewheeling, countercultural California soul.
Photographer Kwaku Alston has spent the past decade photographing VW Kombi vans around his home in Venice Beach, LA’s original hippie haven, and posting the results on his Volkslivin’ blog. ‘What I love about them is that each one has a story; it’s a little treasure,’ he says. ‘There’s this whole cultural identity around the vans, but most of all they tell a story about the owner; it’s like they are characters themselves, whether they’re rusted-up or pristine.’
You can see more pics and read more about Alston and his vans in the forthcoming March issue of N by Norwegian, available from all the best outbound Oslo flights every month. (Posted by AndrewH)