There''s nothing quite like a Volkswagen Microbus. In the 60s, these psychedelic ‘hippie vans’ provided a means of escapism. In the 90s, reborn as stanced ‘splitties’, they brought refreshing change to the crowded hot rod community. And now, thanks to low production numbers and perpetually high demand, well-done Type 2s are providing investors with a rock-solid place to park some serious money. The beneficiary of a professional, rotisserie restoration, this 1958 23 window Deluxe is a highly desirable rarity that affords one lucky VW enthusiast the ultimate opportunity to own an appreciating classic. If you’re looking for some of the coolest, most unique and most valuable metal your money can buy, welcome to the ‘people’s car’!
Produced from 1949 to 1967, the first generation of the Volkswagen bus was originally intended as a basic cargo hauler. After much success and growing demand, Wolfsburg realized the full potential of their comfortable people mover and, in 1951, began producing a model called the Deluxe. Considered the ultimate transporter by many Volkswagen enthusiasts, the Deluxe would soldier on for almost 20 years, creating an automotive icon that, in terms of collectability, is matched by few other classics.
The beneficiary of an open checkbook rebuild that included each of its components being painstakingly refinished to the highest level possible, this awesome Deluxe is about as close to “ultimate” as a restoration can get. That rebuild began with a solid body that was completely disassembled, covered in high quality epoxy and sanded until its panels were exceptionally straight. Once those panels presented better-than-factory surfaces and super tight alignment, warm Sealing Wax Red joined rich Chestnut Brown to be hand rubbed into a mirror-like finish. And the end result is one extremely nostalgic collectable that exhibits a high level of originality.
Known for its aerodynamic shape, the Type 2 incorporates a split windscreen and large, cast aluminum “VW” emblem above a sweeping V-line fascia that forms the basis for its entire design. At the front of the bus, cool Safari windows tilt over chrome-trimmed headlights, opposing windshield wipers, bullet-style parking lamps and a correctly ribbed bumper. Behind that bumper, polished and red-detailed trim perfectly complements simple door handles and an old school driver’s mirror. That mirror reflects a plethora of clean greenhouse glass that’s capped by fresh Haartz Stayfast cloth. And behind that cloth, a traditional luggage rack suspends valuables over a lockable hatch, clean tail lamps and a second ribbed bumper.
Like its Beetle brethren, the Transporter is powered by an air-cooled, rear-mounted 4-cylinder that makes noise and fumes nearly non-existent for front passengers. Raise the hatch and you''ll find a balanced and rebuilt boxer motor that clocks in at exactly 1600 cubic centimeters. While modest, that upgraded powerplant is perfectly capable of maintaining safe highway speeds as it frequently achieves almost 30 MPG on stoplight-free, cross-country treks. At the side of the pint-size block, a vintage air filter pipes wind into a 1-barrel Solex carburetor. Below that carburetor, a fresh coil supplies a traditional points distributor that’s equipped with new 7mm Ultra Temp plug wires. And in front of that distributor, a pliable Continental belt spins a fully rebuilt generator. Aesthetically, the engine bay is clean, road ready and virtually flawless. The glossy motor fires instantly and idles with a typical Volkswagen gait. And, based on sound and appearance, it’ll likely putter along forever!
Since Type 1 Beetle pans proved too weak for the Type 2 Transporter, Volkswagen engineered a new ladder chassis with unit-body construction. That said; because the Type 2’s wheelbase was the same as the Type 1’s, engineers reused the Type 1 reduction gear enabling this relatively large vehicle to get good performance out of a relatively efficient engine. At the front of the bus, rebuilt drum brakes sit at the edges of a completely rebuilt, and freshly painted, independent suspension. At the back of the bus, a stalwart 4-speed transmission hangs between new exhaust manifolds and two more rebuilt drums. Power flows to the ground through 15-inch painted steel wheels, which spin 5.60-15 Coker Classic whitewalls around carefully detailed hubcaps. And massive, dent-free floors reflect smooth Sealing Wax Red above a host of new parts.
Open this unique people mover’s curved doors and you’ll find virtual acres of custom tan vinyl. All three rows of seats have been completely stripped and restored to a pristine state. Above those seats, a Mohair headliner frames chrome hardware, a simple mirror and a small, Sealing Wax Red console. At the sides of that headliner, two-tone door panels mix bright chrome handles with straight stainless trim. Below those panels, German square-weave carpet complements original-style floor mats. At the front of the van, a Sealing Wax Red dash hangs a new church key below rebuilt gauges, a retro cup holder and a Deluxe-exclusive VDO Kienzle clock. In front of the driver, a restored steering wheel spins an ornate horn button above an original-style shifter. And behind the passengers, a carpeted cargo area includes correct jail bars and a perfectly matched spare.
The sale of this super cool VeeDub includes a tool kit, a book or restoration photos and a set of vintage luggage.
This stunning 23 window Microbus is a fully restored, fully sorted classic that’s poised for many years of fun and appreciation. As some of the most desirable metal on the market, it oozes the kind of personality that’s only found in 50s-era specialty cars. If you’re looking for a blue chip collectable that’s as unique as it is exclusive, you’ve found your next cruiser!