The Iconic VW “Light” Microbus from Woodstock (Road-)Trips Again
After a search for the actual bus failed, the original artist and VW built a faithful replica.
Like, wow—it's been 50 years since the original Woodstock music festival, where hundreds of thousands of hippies descended upon Max Yasgur's farm in upstate New York. Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Who, and other similarly iconic acts played over four days in the summer of 1969 at the greatest concert ever, and one of the most memorable relics of the event—besides the music, of course—lives again in the form of a 1963 Volkswagen Type 2 van called "Light."
"The bus is really about being one people on one planet," said original artist Dr. Bob Hieronimus in a statement. "On every side of the bus is a story—many stories—and the stories all point to unification, working together and a higher consciousness, which is what Light really is all about."
Far out, man. You see, kids, back before Lyft and Uber, some folks hand-painted their vehicles and actually drove them to concerts, often picking up likeminded strangers along the way. The '63 VW was just such a vehicle, and this re-creation was masterminded by Hieronimus and John Wesley Chisholm, a Canadian documentarian. After failing to locate the original bus after a six-month search, the pair raised $90,205 via Kickstarter to build a replica of iconic bus. They also received a helping hand from VW.
The new Light will make its debut at the Orange County Transporter Organization Winter Meet in on Saturday, February 16 at Long Beach Veteran's Memorial Stadium in California. From there it will set off on a cross-country tour scheduled to end at the festival to celebrate Woodstock's 50th anniversary from August 16 to 18.
The original psychedelic bus was painted for its owner, a musician named Bob Grimm for $1,000 and it appeared in an Associated Press photograph that was published all over the country. It even was immortalized in the liner notes of the Woodstock album.
"It's a time machine that takes people to the past, through the present and to the future," said Chisholm.
If the original is still out there, we'd bet the farm it's worth more than a few bucks. Especially considering Joplin's psychedelic 1964 Porsche 356 snagged $1.76 million at auction in 2015.