The VW combi that became a symbol of Woodstock

Called Light Bus, it took its owner to the famous 1969 festival and became an icon of hippie culture.


In the late 1960s the eyes of the world did not know where to look. Everything was changing and in a fast way. Man's landing on the moon, the Beatles' walk down Abbey Road, the first flights of the Concorde and the Boing 747 were just some of the events that colored that 1969, which was also moved by the Vietnam War and with the hippie movements asking to stop her.

El Woodstock Festival, which took place from August 15 to 17, was one of those events that also marked fire that year. It brought together great musicians of the stature of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Joe Cocker, Joan Baez, Grateful Dead, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Who, Crosby, Stills & Nash y Neil young, among others; and seduced more than Per people with his promise of "Three days of music and peace".

Light BusWoodstock, which was originally organized to raise funds to build a recording studio in New York State of the same name, is packed with stories. Some very well known and others not so much. Some experienced by the musicians themselves, others by the attendees and even by a Volkswagen combi...

It is a VW Type 2 Deluxe 1963 model that was immortalized in an agency photograph Associated Press that traveled the world as a symbol of those hippies who came en masse to the farm of the Lord Max yasgur in Bethel, just 65 miles from Woodstock, to attend the call Music & Art Fair.

The vehicle was a synthesis of the hippie movement thanks to the talent of the Dr. Bob Hieronimus, who painted it in a colorful way as dictated by the psychedelic culture of the time at the request of its owner, his friend Bob grimm.

The combi was covered with symbols and languages, a sphinx, celestial bodies, the Hindu god Vishnu and messages of hope and enlightenment. On one of its sides it had a huge inscription with the word "Light" with which Grimm wanted to honor his favorite band. Thus was born Light Bus, as this rolling work of art was known that allowed its owner to fully enjoy a festival that has gone down in history.

The 50th anniversary of Woodstock prompted Hieronimus to try to find the VW van with the idea of ​​restoring it for the occasion. However, the vehicle had changed ownership several times and its trail was lost in time.

The search for Hieronimus, which led him to visit a used car dealership, fan conventions of the German brand and even a car cemetery, was recorded by the Canadian director John Wesley Chisholm in the documentary The Woodstock Bus.

Light BusThe story did not have a happy ending. The van was not found, but with the help of the Volkswagen brand itself and a campaign in Kickstarter it was possible to get a VW Type 2 Deluxe of the time to create Light Bus 2.0, a true copy of the original vehicle.

During a good part of 2020 the Light Bus 2.0 was presented in various exhibitions in the United States. It was a kind of tour with a well-defined end point: the farm that belonged to Mr. Yasgur, that place where during a weekend in 1969 there was only peace and music.

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Diego durruty

Journalist with 30 years of experience. Worked in magazines STROKE, The graphic, Coequipier y Only TC, on the Internet sites SportsYa!, e-driver.com y kmcero.com and on the radios Rock pop y Vorterix.com. He covered the Dakar rally for the German agency dpa. He currently drives Two Daring Guys, a car magazine that is broadcast on Tuesdays from 18 to 19 by RadioArroba.com; is editor of motorsport in Red Bull Argentina, columnist on the show WorldSport (AM Splendid) and in Surf & Rock FM.  He is also a teacher in SPORTS. Now you can read it on his blog: automundo.com.ar.

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