The bus is back.

Far out.

Sometime next year, Volkswagen’s ID. Buzz will reach the U.S. market after a smashing, sold-out European debut.

Oh, it’s a beauty, all right — an all-electric, 201-hp, 21st century version of the great rolling breadbox that came to represent ’60s’ and ’70s’ peace, love and flower power.

Flower power, better believe it.

With the tiny, four-cylinder engine of a beloved vehicle groaning on every hill, even the most devoted driver might have wondered if it was propelled by the flutter of butterfly wings over a pot of pansies.

“We’re gonna make it, trust me,” I called out ages ago on a steep Pennsylvania Turnpike incline, downshifting from fourth, to third, second and, finally, fearing defeat, first gear.

“Why’re we going so slow?” the four kids demanded as semis and station wagons blew by.

“Wondering, myself,” said Wink, my wife, under her breath.

Well, for their information, we did make it — across Pennsylvania and far beyond. Slowly, yes, but gallantly, undaunted. “Westward Ho,” I whooped, recalling the 1935 John Wayne movie.

And isn’t that a profound and worthy lesson? Keep at it. Keep chugging. Downshift if you must, but never say never. No doubt I preached that sermon more than once to the small-fry skeptics fidgeting in the bus’ back seats.

“Taking forever.”

“When’s lunch?”

“There yet?”

“Boring.”

Yessir, we were often out there on the road in those days, four kids, two adults moseying along in a cream-colored, secondhand, 1970 VW camper.

When I got the camper back to our little house in Blue Point the first day, it was like an asteroid had landed.

The kids and their friends gathered to see the amazing sight.

“Wow, a sink.”

“Got a refrigerator.”

“Table, too.”

“Look — a bed.”

Best of all: the pop-up roof.

Unfasten a few latches, give a shove, push out the awnings on each side and, presto, the top of the car disappeared and suddenly you could stand up. Not only that, a canvas hammock was hiding up there — another sleeping spot.

That night, the six of us and George, the dog, headed to Wildwood State Park on Suffolk’s North Shore.

We pumped water from the little sink and packed the icebox “refrigerator” with breakfast grub. We popped up the roof and moved cushions around and — amazing — all of us had a place to bunk, George, included.

That was just a test run.

On vacation, the camper took us to Colorado and back and all the way to the West Coast a couple years later.

We were in a California campground on Aug. 8, 1974, when Richard Nixon announced he would resign the presidency and heard his somber speech over the VW’s crackly radio.

At a park in Santa Barbara, we had a picnic, then started for San Francisco.

Two blocks into the trip, our youngest, only 5, tapped Wink on the shoulder and pointed toward the roof.

“OK to be up?”

“Yikes,” said Wink. “Pull over, we forgot to close the top.”

One stiff breeze off the Pacific and we might have lifted like a box kite and floated toward Hawaii.

“Nice going, Dad,” said one of the little fellow’s older siblings.

“Yeah, nice going,”

And it was nice going, some of our best days as a family, I think, cruising around, praying for deliverance on every slope and yelling “yahoo” on the way down, our own all-American roadshow — Mississippi River, Mojave Desert, Yellowstone Park, Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, great.

When news came that VW was introducing the ID. Buzz — “ID” for “intelligent design” — Wink and I thought, gee, maybe.

The new model isn’t a camper — at this age, I’m about done with the Great Outdoors, anyway — but it sure would be something tooling around in a microbus with comfy seats and touch-screen technology and awesome electric engine.

Little chance we’ll put in an order, though. The Buzz will cost at least $45,000, according to advance publicity — pretty steep for us. That’s not the only reason.

Nothing could match those days when the kids were small and we were young and the open road seemed endless. We’ll settle for scrapbook photos and a thousand dreamy memories. Even with plenty of horsepower, you can’t go through life in reverse. Westward Ho.

The bus is back.

Far out.

Sometime next year, Volkswagen’s ID. Buzz will reach the U.S. market after a smashing, sold-out European debut.

Oh, it’s a beauty, all right — an all-electric, 201-hp, 21st century version of the great rolling breadbox that came to represent ’60s’ and ’70s’ peace, love and flower power.

Flower power, better believe it.

With the tiny, four-cylinder engine of a beloved vehicle groaning on every hill, even the most devoted driver might have wondered if it was propelled by the flutter of butterfly wings over a pot of pansies.

“We’re gonna make it, trust me,” I called out ages ago on a steep Pennsylvania Turnpike incline, downshifting from fourth, to third, second and, finally, fearing defeat, first gear.

“Why’re we going so slow?” the four kids demanded as semis and station wagons blew by.

“Wondering, myself,” said Wink, my wife, under her breath.

Well, for their information, we did make it — across Pennsylvania and far beyond. Slowly, yes, but gallantly, undaunted. “Westward Ho,” I whooped, recalling the 1935 John Wayne movie.

And isn’t that a profound and worthy lesson? Keep at it. Keep chugging. Downshift if you must, but never say never. No doubt I preached that sermon more than once to the small-fry skeptics fidgeting in the bus’ back seats.

“Taking forever.”

“When’s lunch?”

“There yet?”

“Boring.”

Yessir, we were often out there on the road in those days, four kids, two adults moseying along in a cream-colored, secondhand, 1970 VW camper.

When I got the camper back to our little house in Blue Point the first day, it was like an asteroid had landed.

The kids and their friends gathered to see the amazing sight.

“Wow, a sink.”

“Got a refrigerator.”

“Table, too.”

“Look — a bed.”

Best of all: the pop-up roof.

Unfasten a few latches, give a shove, push out the awnings on each side and, presto, the top of the car disappeared and suddenly you could stand up. Not only that, a canvas hammock was hiding up there — another sleeping spot.

That night, the six of us and George, the dog, headed to Wildwood State Park on Suffolk’s North Shore.

We pumped water from the little sink and packed the icebox “refrigerator” with breakfast grub. We popped up the roof and moved cushions around and — amazing — all of us had a place to bunk, George, included.

That was just a test run.

On vacation, the camper took us to Colorado and back and all the way to the West Coast a couple years later.

We were in a California campground on Aug. 8, 1974, when Richard Nixon announced he would resign the presidency and heard his somber speech over the VW’s crackly radio.

At a park in Santa Barbara, we had a picnic, then started for San Francisco.

Two blocks into the trip, our youngest, only 5, tapped Wink on the shoulder and pointed toward the roof.

“OK to be up?”

“Yikes,” said Wink. “Pull over, we forgot to close the top.”

One stiff breeze off the Pacific and we might have lifted like a box kite and floated toward Hawaii.

“Nice going, Dad,” said one of the little fellow’s older siblings.

“Yeah, nice going,”

And it was nice going, some of our best days as a family, I think, cruising around, praying for deliverance on every slope and yelling “yahoo” on the way down, our own all-American roadshow — Mississippi River, Mojave Desert, Yellowstone Park, Grand Canyon, Mount Rushmore, great.

When news came that VW was introducing the ID. Buzz — “ID” for “intelligent design” — Wink and I thought, gee, maybe.

The new model isn’t a camper — at this age, I’m about done with the Great Outdoors, anyway — but it sure would be something tooling around in a microbus with comfy seats and touch-screen technology and awesome electric engine.

Little chance we’ll put in an order, though. The Buzz will cost at least $45,000, according to advance publicity — pretty steep for us. That’s not the only reason.

Nothing could match those days when the kids were small and we were young and the open road seemed endless. We’ll settle for scrapbook photos and a thousand dreamy memories. Even with plenty of horsepower, you can’t go through life in reverse. Westward Ho.

SUBSCRIBE

Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months

ACT NOWSALE ENDS SOON | CANCEL ANYTIME