- 1200cc "DO" code 4-cylinder
- 4-speed transaxle
- Front disc and rear drum brakes
- 15 inch wheels
- Correct gray interior
- Frame-off restoration
- Winner of the Best Bus award at 2011 Familienfest
- Sale includes era-correct luggage
There's nothing quite like a Volkswagen Type 2 Transporter. It's a home away from home that retains its cool even after a half-century cruising the American countryside. In the 60s, these psychedelic 'hippie vans' provided a means of escapism. In the 90s, reborn as lowered 'splitties', they brought refreshing change to the crowded hot rod community. And now, thanks to small production numbers and continued high demand, classic 'microbuses' are providing investors with another rock-solid place to park their money. Prices of properly restored Type 2s are going through the roof, and early last year the most desirable, a 23-window '63 Deluxe crossed Barrett-Jackson's auction block for just under $218K! Built in 1963, this 21-window Deluxe is an investment grade rarity that's been meticulously maintained throughout its 20 year residence with one southern California family. It recently took home first place at the 2011 Familienfest Type 2 Volkswagen show, and is arguably one of the most desirable Volkswagens on the planet.
The first generation of Volkswagen buses was built from 1949 to 1967, and is known as the split-window or Type 2. After much success and growing demand, Volkswagen began producing a model called the Deluxe microbus in 1951 that featured 15 windows and the distinct option of a cloth sun roof. In addition to providing a unique open air feel, the sun roof option added eight sky light windows that resulted in either a 23 or 21-window bus nicknamed the Samba. Fresh out of a high end restoration where every part was completely rebuilt and detailed to the highest possible level, this '63 Samba is as close to the ultimate Volkswagen Type 2 as you can get. Its rust-free original body has been coated in classic two-tone Ivory and Onyx Black paint that glistens under our showroom lights. And overall, it carries a surprisingly formal look for something that's accustomed to hauling surf boards up and down California beaches.
To improve aerodynamics and achieve an excellent, for the time, .44 coefficient of drag, Volkswagen gave the Type 2 a sweeping V-line nose that hangs a split windscreen above a cast aluminum "VW" emblem to form the basis of a classic design. Below that emblem, U.S. spec, VW code 425 sealed beam head and parking lamps illuminate a curved chrome bumper that's complete with a chrome driving light. At the sides of those lamps, stainless V-line trim serves as a divider for the bus' mirror-like two-tone paint while perfectly complementing dent-free stainless rocker spears. Above that trim, an extended roof is equipped with two vents which act as both visors and a crude ventilation system that pipes cool air into the cockpit. Behind those vents, a cloth sun roof rides below a factory luggage rack that's big enough to haul essentials for each of this Samba's eight passengers. Bolt-on trim is limited to a cool set of steps, three chrome door handles, a correct driver's mirror and a front-mount antenna. And at the back of the bus, a new-for-1964 door swivels between a second chrome bumper and two pristine, chrome-trimmed tail lights.
Like the Type 1 Beetle, the Type 2 Transporter is powered by an air-cooled, rear-mounted boxer engine that makes noise and fumes nearly non-existent. And this Samba's 1966 DO code 1200 utilizes a light alloy block, light alloy heads, cast iron cylinder liners and finned cylinders to turn 7:1 compression into a conservative 34 horsepower and an adequate 64 ft./lb. of torque. While that might not sound like a lot of oomph by today's standards, the modest motor is perfectly capable of carrying this bus at highway speeds while frequently achieving almost 30 MPG on stoplight-free, cross-country treks. At the top of the micro mill, a correct 1-barrel carburetor mixes air piped from louvers on the sides of the bus with octane supplied by a braided fuel line. On the left side of that carburetor, a chrome coil supplies a correct points distributor which shoots spark through fresh Bosch plug wires. And on the right side of that coil, a chrome-capped oil filler rides behind a correct generator that's accented by a chrome pulley and spun by a fresh V-belt. A lot of time was spent sorting out this Samba's details. With a fresh coat of spatter paint and select chrome dress up items, it's obvious the bus' clean engine bay was a main focal point. And in one twist of the key, the DO motor fires instantly, runs great and idles with a gait that's undoubtedly one of the most unique automotive sounds ever produced.
Since the Type 1 Beetle floorpan proved too weak for the Type 2 Transporter, Volkswagen engineered a new ladder chassis that featured 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 surprisingly efficient engine. At the front of the bus, disc brakes sit at the edges of completely rebuilt and freshly painted steering and suspension components that look like they've never seen a drop of mud. At the back of the bus, an era-correct 4-speed sends power to a solid axle that's equipped with new shocks and the same fresh paint as the front suspension. Below the rear bumper, a reproduction exhaust system snakes from the rear-mounted engine into a freshly coated muffler that hangs just behind a stainless tip. Above that exhaust, a solid and dent-free floorpan wears newly sprayed undercoating that will ensure its structural integrity for years to come. And at the corners of those floors, correct steel wheels spin bright red paint, classy trim rings and traditional smoothie hubcaps inside Firestone 5.60-15 wide white walls. The entire undercarriage of this Samba is every bit as detailed and restored as its solid exterior panels and fresh engine bay. And not only does everything look great, the bus runs and drives as if it were 1963 all over again.
Open this Samba's cool, curved doors and check out its correct gray interior that's been fully restored to look just as Germany intended. The correct VW code 080 split front and rear bench seats have been well taken care of and are very comfortable despite appearing as if they haven't seen any drive time. The original dash, which is painted a slick coat of Ivory to match the outside of the bus, hangs a unique mechanic's key below a large speedometer, a clear fuel gauge and a Deluxe-exclusive clock. The two-tone door panels are in excellent shape and feature what appears to be original chrome door handles. The floors wear traditional rubber mats that are fresh from the restoration. In front of the driver, a classic, body-matched steering wheel spins between an old school VW emblem and a simple white shifter. And behind the seats, a carpeted cargo area includes correct window bars, a matching spare tire and authentic, era-correct luggage that takes this Type 2's showmanship to the next level.
Fresh from winning the Best Bus award at the biggest annual Volkswagen show in the United States, this museum-quality Samba has every detail correct. It's one of the most desirable vehicles on the planet, and it just oozes the kind of personality that can only be found in 60s era specialty cars. If you're looking for a solid investment that isn't just another muscle car, this rare and exclusive Volkswagen belongs in your garage!
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RK Motors, in my opinion, is the best place to find and buy your high quality dream car or next toy. Their inventory is full of high quality automobiles painstakingly preserved or restored the correct way at very fair prices. I throughly enjoy my automobiles purchased for RK Motors and my friendship with them. I would highly recommend them to anyone as i have to all of my friend, acquaintances and folks who have asked me for recommendations and advice.Mitchell W.