Now, internet forums are notorious for constantly devolving into bitch-fests with only the slightest nudge. Inject that reminiscing into an internet forum and the result is something I've dubbed reminitching.
It's all too common to see topics like, "Why did VW kill off the beetle?," "Bring back the Beetle," "Bring back the air-cooled flat four," etc. etc. Enough already. The era is over and things are different. Sorry.
Since I am the proud owner of a 1969 vw bus, I spend most of my time on the vw bus forums, and they are no exception to the Rule of Reminitching. Of course, being a bus forum, everyone pisses and moans and waits in agony for the return of the rear-engined, air cooled bus. Sorry, but It's never coming back.
When the bus first made its debut in 1950, the world had never really seen what we would now call a "van. " Volkwagen's idea for a vehicle that could not only haul around goods and equipment, but also a family was really quite novel. The bus was a hit and had a run of 41 years in three different generations. By 1983 though, the marketplace had changed drastically.
With the release of the Dodge Caravan/Chrysler Town and Country Twins, consumers now had a choice. They could purchase a mini-van that offered car-like handling and fuel economy, or a compact van with truck-like performance. As the years passed, the two types of vans diverged and the need for a a van that could function for work duty and family life dwindled. By 1991 VW decided that the transporter series would move in the mini-van direction.
Don't mistake this for me excusing the Eurovan. As with many of their vehicles VW has forgotten what made them desirable in the first place: competitive pricing, simplicity, reliability, and above all quirkiness. Anyway, here's the video that got me thinking about all of this.