An official event to celebrate 60 years of Volkswagen vans was held in Hanover, Germany, last weekend (5-7 October). It attracted 71000 visitors with an amazing selection of over 5000 Transporter vans and campers - from the original 'split-screen' T1 to today's fifth-generation T5 models. The event also included the highlight of an exclusive concert by British rock legends, The Who.
Volkswagen van fans traveled from as far away as Australia, Portugal, Russia, The Ukraine, Denmark, Poland, the UK, France, Holland and we were there from the USA. They came in Volkswagen vans from every decade since the 1950s. When gathered, these vans covered a total area of 255000 square metres - the equivalent of 35 football pitches.
The celebrations started with a special convoy through Hanover from the Volkswagen van factory to the showground. At the venue was a covered stage to honor vehicles nominated for special prizes, plus a display of 100 historic and unusual models, as well as exhibits from the Volkswagen museum, including the original design sketch from 1947.
The weekend generated some impressive figures: 11500 visitors camped overnight in 3724 Volkswagen vans, while 6000 sausages and 100 barrels of beer were consumed at the food stalls!
The exclusive, open-air concert by The Who on Saturday night was enjoyed by 44000 people. The crowd was pleased to hear Pete Townshend owns a Volkswagen van and particularly enjoyed the performance of the song 'Magic Bus' which was played against a backdrop of footage of the iconic 'split-screen' Volkswagen Transporter from the 1950s.We were at the event and will have our full report in a future issue.