Car flower vases (or bud vases) are popping up in quite a lot of non-VW cars at the moment. I’ve spotted one attached to the inside window of a Citroen Berlingo via a suction cup, and seen a fair few air vent vases in the new Mini. Here’s a pic of one in the very pink new Fiat 500...
If you’ve seen the new Beetle then you will very likely have seen a flower near to the steering wheel. You may have thought (particularly if you live in Europe) that car flower vases are the exclusive domain of the VW community; but this is far from the case. Contrary to popular belief, VW did not invent the car flower vase.
The original Beetle did not have a bud vase moulded into the space near the steering wheel like the new Beetles of today. The old Beetles were air-cooled and didn’t have air vents, so it became a tradition to fix a suction-cup vase to the window or dash of the car to give the vehicle some extra ‘flower power’ in line with the hippy philosophy of the time and the groovy decor of these vehicles.
Kamei produced these suction cup vases in the 1950s and others followed suit. Some dubbers made their own with suction cup hooks attached to plastic stem vases via hair scrunchies. But many, many years before the flower power era the car vase existed in a different form and for different functional reasons.
The first car vase is said to have been in existence around 1895 according to a website that charts the American history of car vases. These vases were made of hand-blown glass and were intricate, beautiful objects. I personally love the tiny violin shape in cobalt blue.