The VW Bus, also known as the Volkswagen Type 2 or Transporter, is an iconic vehicle. Introduced in the late 1940s, it gained popularity as a versatile and practical vehicle for both personal and commercial use. But while it was a symbol of freedom in the 60s, this particular Bus has been held captive in a forest in New Hampshire, where it's slowly becoming one with nature.
At first glance, this 1960 Volkswagen Bus looks like a small weathered storage shed because the wheels and bumpers are completely buried in leaves and loose soil. Before digging it out, the crew must trim branches from the trees that have grown up around it. Sitting since 1971, it's a wonder the encroaching foliage hasn't sprouted up through holes in the floorboards.
Eventually, the tree branches are cleared, and thanks to some serious digging, one wheel is finally exposed. The job is more like excavating a lost tomb than a barn find rescue. After copious amounts of digging, the passenger side of the Bus is exposed, allowing the crew to partially slide a floor jack underneath the vehicle, where they encounter another problem.
The VW Type 2 Transporter was built on a modified VW Beetle platform. As such, structural rigidity was never its strong suit. Even in the best condition, the frame could charitably be described as "flexible." After sitting buried and rusting away for 52 years, this Bus has all of the rigidity of a styrofoam cup and is just as likely to crumble if you apply pressure to the wrong area.
More digging ensues, followed by more jacking, then more digging, and more jacking. Progress is slow but steady until finally, the underside of the VW Bus is visible, and the extent of the damage is revealed. Most of the rear frame has completely rusted away, and the front isn't in much better shape. Rather than trying to force the Bus from its resting place, the crew calls it a day and decides to go fishing.
The classic VW Bus features a boxy design that makes it instantly recognisable while providing a spacious and flexible interior layout. Popular with collectors and vintage Volkswagen enthusiasts, it has a strong cult following and served as the inspiration for the new ID.Buzz electric vehicle that will launch in 2024.