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Hippie Van

Whenever hippies are depicted as having wheels, the ride is almost always a van, and most often a Volkswagen microbus or a converted schoolbus. The van will often have a trippy design on it.

This is Truth in Television. By nature, hippies are gregarious, don't usually have a lot of money, and Volkwagens are cheap. Thus a VW Bus is an ideal choice for hippies and their many friends to travel the world on a limited budget. Of course, as the hippie movement grew, the Bus became a symbol strongly associated with the hippie movement, and then hippies started buying VW Buses just because it was hip.

Besides low cost and high capacity, vans have a other advantages for the hippie. Small, high windows make it easy to for hippies to comfortably smoke pot and do other drugs outside the sight of passing drivers. Also, the van is convenient to sleep in during weekend music festivals. Many Hippie Buses have camper expansions or other modifications to make it into a living space.


Examples:

Comic Books
  • The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, owning a succession of clapped-out vehicles, naturally had a VW van. One lengthy story arc had them buying a derelict vintage yacht of a motorhome, fixing it up, and taking paying passengers on a cross-country road trip.

Films - Animated
  • Cars, sort of. Fillmore was more a case of a hippie being a van, with a trippy paint job.

Films - Live Action
  • Cheech And Chong movies often feature the titular characters in a VW van.
  • Forrest Gump. Jenny's friends pick her up in a van.
  • Jesus Christ Superstar. The movie shows hippies arriving by a VW bus, as well as a schoolbus.
  • The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Hippies driving in a van stop to pick up a hitchhiker...
  • In Field of Dreams, the Kinsellas are shown to have been very liberal hippie-types in their youth (both went to Berkeley, both were fans of a radical author named Terence Mann, Ray jokes that his major was "the 60's"). True to their roots, Ray drives a VW bus.
  • The President's Analyst - Dr. Schaefer, fleeing foreign spies out to abduct him in Greenwich Village, ducks into a garishly painted motorhome. The hippie rock band who live in it recognize him as a man in trouble and let him ride along with them.

Literature
  • Subverted in Illuminatus!, where Hagbard Celine's method of choice for drug transportation is an upmarket BMW. He criticizes George Moon's VW, pointing out that a bunch of hippies in a VW Microbus will be stopped and searched every time, while a white guy in a suit driving a BMW will not be troubled even once by the police.

Live-Action TV
  • Dharma and Greg. Dharma's old-school hippie-parents have a VW van, which is usually either broken down or in the process of breaking down.
  • In the Father Ted episode "Tentacles of Doom", a bishop who has just left the church says he's off to India with "a few friends." These turn out to be a cluster of hippies in a VW microbus, who beckon him in the open sliding door and hand him a joint as they drive off.
  • Stargate SG-1: In episode "1969" the SG-1 team accidentaly travels back to the year 1969. They have to find the Stargate and end up hitchhiking with a hippie couple (on their way to a concert in Woodstock) driving a hippie painted school bus.
  • A late season episode of Down To Earth introduced the character of Tone, an aged Liverpudlian Hippie with a perpetually broken down, psychedelically painted, VW van in which he claims he ferried The Beatles about in.
  • In the Doctor Who story "The Greatest Show in the Galaxy", a MacGuffin is hidden in a derelict hippie bus. Guarded by a homicidal robot bus conductor.

Music
  • In the C. W. McCall song "Convoy", the convoy includes "eleven long-haired Friends of Jesus in a chartreuse micro-bus".
    • Another C.W. McCall song "Crispy Critters" has a busload of hippies descending on a small country town.
  • The lyrics to Men At Work's song "Down Under" start with
    Traveling in a fried-out kombinote 
    On a hippie trail, head full of zombie note 

Web Original
  • SCP Foundation
    • SCP-1958 is a VW microbus currently en route for Alpha Centauri. Investigation revealed that a borderline Mad Scientist developed radical propulsion technology that allowed four hippies to blast off to the stars in the fifties. However, the idea of hippies in space quickly stops being funny when you read the diary: it turns out none of them knew of the distances involved (they only make it past the moon after a few days, thinking they'd reach Alpha Centauri in a few weeks, and the bus is currently around Mars) and die of scurvy or starvation.
    • SCP-907 ("An Exploratory Vehicle"). SCP-907 is a 1960s Volkswagen van painted in a hippie motif (flowers, butterflies, etc.). It is capable of Teleportation to planets in other solar systems.
    • SCP-1574 ("Searching...). SCP-1574 once disguised itself as a van painted in "hippie" colors - while it was underwater in a Florida lake.

Western Animation
  • In the Futurama episode "Bendin' in the Wind", an ancient, abandoned VW bus is discovered. After Fry explains how it works, the crew get it repaired and go off on a hippie-themed road trip, following the musician BECK on his "Bendaid" tour.
  • Scooby-Doo. Shaggy, at least, is arguably a hippie (Velma seems to have some underlying hippie vibe going as well), and given that the Mystery Machine is a VW painted in a trippy design, it's this.

Video Games
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. The Truth drives a VW with a psychedelic paint job called the Mothership.
  • The first Grand Theft Auto game had hippie buses among the many cars present. One, when first boarded, unlocked the explosive RC car.
  • Vigilante 8 has Dave, a hippie who drives a VW Bus with the Vigilantes who finds aliens in his ending and establishes a cult to replace him in the sequel.
  • The Eco Ranger in Civilization: Call to Power resembles a futuristic version, down to the psychedelic paintjob. In-universe, it's known as the "Hippy Nuke" — it can One-Hit Kill an entire city.

Real Life
  • Ken Kesey and his friends (the "Merry Pranksters") toured the U.S. in a series of converted schoolbuses named 'Furthur'.


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alternative title(s): Hippie Bus
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