The first sketched doodle of the idea of a VW van or bus was on 23 April 1947 proposing a 690 kg (1,500 lb) payload, and placing the driver as far to the front as possible. But could not be produced as the factory was at capacity producing the Beetle (type 1)
Once the factories capacity freed up VW built a prototype known as the Type 29, which Volkswagen produced in three months. The standard Beetle floor pan was too weak so the prototype Type 29 used a ladder chassis with single unit body construction. Coincidentally the wheelbase was the same as the Beetle. VW reused the reduction gearbox from the Kübelwagen, enabling the 1.5 ton van to use an air-cooled 1,131 cc (25 bhp )(19 kW) Beetle engine.
the aerodynamics of the first VW bus prototypes were really bad with a drag coefficient of 0.75, Volkswagen used a wind tunnel to optimize the design. 2 Simple changes such as splitting the windscreen and roof into a (V) helped the production split windscreen Type 2 to achieve a drag coefficient of 0.44, better than that of the Beetle at 0.48. Volkswagen approved the split window kombi for production on May 19, 1949 and the first production model, now officially designated as Type 2, rolled off the assembly line on 12 November 1949. Only two models were available, the Kombi which boasted two side windows, middle and rear seats, which by design could be removed by one person. the Commercial (panel van).The Microbus was introduced in May 1950, by June1951 the Deluxe Microbus was added. In their first year of production 9,541 Type 2s (split screen kombi’s) were produced.
By December of 1951 a split screen ambulance model was added in with improvements which moved the fuel tank in front of the gearbox, put the spare wheel in the panel behind the front seat, and also added a tailgate style rear door. These features became standard on the Type 2 (split screen bus) from 1955 to 1967. 11,805 split window buses were built in the 1951 model year. in August 1952 These were joined by a split screen single-cab pickup.