This VW camper is a replica of the original Woodstock bus | Top Gear
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This VW camper is a replica of the original Woodstock bus

The spirit of the 1960s lives on in with perhaps the wildest paint-job ever

Published: 18 Feb 2019
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Internet, if you’re fond of peace, love and flared trousers – or at least if you were back in the 1960s – you may recognise the rather eclectic-looking VW Camper above.

That’s because this is an exact replica of the Light Bus, which appeared at the very first Woodstock Art and Music festival back in 1969 and is now back, ready to spread a little bit more of that love in modern-day America.

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The original Woodstock festival arrived at the end of a decade characterised by fights for greater social equality and quickly became symbolic of the anti-establishment counterculture of the time.

The ultimate hippy-mobile – a Volkswagen Type 2 camper, wearing possibly the most psychedelic paint job imaginable, was snapped and shared by Associated Press at the time, making the little Vee-Dub a worldwide star in the process.

With preparations now well under way for the 50th anniversary of the festival, the bus's artist Dr Bob Hieronimus has once again hand-painted a 1963 Type 2 after a six-month hunt for his original original proved fruitless.

With help from Canadian documentarian John Wesley Chisholm and Volkswagen of America, Hieronimus has given new life to his mix of historic and religious shapes and symbols.

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An iconic piece of statement art, the bus will spend 2019 on a cross-country tour of the USA, eventually making its way to the Woodstock festival as it is today.

“America has lost its compass,” say the team behind the project. “A corporate oligarchy has assumed near-complete suppression of the enlightened representative democracy designed by our ancestors. While there are many factors to explain on a material level how we got here, from an occultist’s perspective, one solution is to focus on the power of symbols to create change on a subconscious level.”

Right. If we had to try and put that into TG language, the message behind the new Light Bus might be something along the lines of 'make love, not mid-sized crossovers'.

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