Long, Strange Trip Ends for VW "Hippiemobile" - NBC Southern California

Long, Strange Trip Ends for VW "Hippiemobile"

This classic campervan keeps truckin'



    Long, Strange Trip Ends for VW "Hippiemobile"
    Getty Images
    WOOLACOMBE, UNITED KINGDOM - OCTOBER 24: Empty cans of drink are displayed on the front of a 1970s Type 2 Volkswagen campervan at the Final Fling VW Show on October 24, 2009 in Woolacombe, England. The small gathering of Volkswagen enthusiasts at a campsite in North Devon is generally seen as the last event of the year in the annual calendar of shows that celebrate all VW's including the iconic campervan. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

    It's been a long, strange trip.

    A classic "hippiemobile" reported stolen more than three decades ago was found in a shipping container at the Los Angeles/Long Beach port complex. The 1965 Volkswagen microbus was bound for the Netherlands when customs officials ran its vehicle identification number.

    And, it still runs.

    The vehicle's magical mystery tour began 35 years ago in Washington state. Customs inspectors ran its VIN on a law enforcement database and discovered that the  Spokane Police Department had listed it stolen on July 12, 1974, said Jaime  Ruiz of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

    "CBP officers contacted state authorities, who confirmed that the 1965  Volkswagen bus case was still open and that the current owner ... was an  insurance company," Ruiz said in a statement. "The vehicle was released to  the local authorities who notified the current owner about the seizure."

    The bus was in "pristine condition and still running," Ruiz said.

    One of the first minivans, the VW microbus was the vehicle of choice for  many counter-culture types during the 1960s. Despite poor aerodynamics, the bus was great for long, mind-blowing journeys.