Hippie Chic: Nine Nifty VW Microbus Mods

Billy F Gibbons’ Bus Ball

Yes, THAT Billy F. Gibbons, he of the fur-covered guitar and a string of rock hits longer than his extremely impressive beard (suck it, Duck Dynasty). What do you give the sharp-dressed man who’s got it all, courtesy of decades of success with ZZ Top? A Bus Ball! “The Coker skins (wide whites, of course), are stashed in the boot!,” explained Gibbons when his buddy Corky Coker asked where the tires were. “Sort of a James Bond arrangement where the tires unfold when required. By the way, the gas mileage is superb and the wind-resistance factor is greatly improved over the original design.”

Smooth Creations Volkswagen Bus PC

(images via: Guru3D)

Smooth Creations, the USA-based manufacturer of cool custom PCs and game consoles, really went the extra mile with this groovy orange & white Volkswagen Bus PC.

(image via: Smooth Creations)

The powdercoated and airbrushed case boasts fine detailing worthy of a work of art, which in many ways it actually is. The case’s panels are finished on the inside as well – all that’s missing are working headlights and wheels. What the Smooth Creations Volkswagen Bus PC does have, however, is a Blu-ray disc player so you’re all set when the urge to watch Easy Rider for the umpteenth time strikes.

Microbus Motorcycle Sidecar

(images via: Team-BHP Forum)

Built by Jason Dyer of Resto-Tec and featured in the July 2007 issue of Scootering magazine, this over-the-top Microbus Motorcycle Sidecar made a big impression at the 2007 VolksWorld. Dyer, of Northwood, Middlesex, UK, built the sidecar so his son could ride along with him when he hit the highways and byways on his classic Lambretta scooter. Coolest Dad EVER!

Subaru Sambar

(images via: TokyoFashion, SubaruSambar and Grassroots Motorsports Forum)

Wouldn’t it be cool if you could walk into a dealer today and drive off in a brand new, zero mileage VW Microbus upgraded to reflect 40-odd years of automotive advancement? It would and you could… sort of. The Subaru Sambar 660cc-engined microvan sold in Japan from 1961 through 2009 offered buyers a number of curious retro styling options toward the latter end of its production run. One such package turned an otherwise unremarkable small van into smaller version (visually at least) of the classic VW Microbus!

(images via: TheSamba and Japanese Nostalgic Car)

Used modified Sambars enjoy a thriving resale market that’s spread outside Japan’s borders, though countries like the UK who share Japan’s right-side-steering and left-side-driving style are easier sells.

(image via: Pixar Wikia)

First introduced way back in 1950, the VW Microbus has gradually evolved over the years without straying too far from its roots. All good things must pass, however, and VW has announced the end of the road for the venerable bus: the last factory making it, in Brazil, will cease production by the end of 2013. On the bright side, the Microbus has taken on a second life of sorts in pop culture. Take Fillmore the hippie-dippy VW Microbus, for example – voiced in the Disney/Pixar movie Cars by the late great comedian and social philosopher George Carlin, the Microbus has already begun beguiling a brand new generation. VW Microbus, long may you run!