Frame Up Restored 13 Window Microbus 1641 CC
There's nothing quite like a Volkswagen Microbus. It's a home away from home that retains its cool, even after half of a century cruising the American countryside. Today, thanks to small production numbers and continued high demand, classic 'splitties' are one of the hottest segments of the collector car hobby, and prices of properly restored buses are simply going through the roof. Earlier this year, the most desirable Microbus, a 23 window '63 Samba crossed Barrett-Jacksons auction block for just under $218K (Read about it here: http://www.autoweek.com/article/20110628/CARNEWS/110629870) and just three months ago, our fully restored, award winning 21 window '63 Samba sat in the showroom for only 12 HOURS before fetching $99K! (Read about it here: http://www.rkmotorscharlotte.com/inventory/1963-Volkswagen-21-Window-Deluxe-Bus/132655).
Fresh out of a complete, fully detailed restoration, this 1965 Deluxe 13 window Microbus is a highly desirable rarity which affords the VW enthusiast the ultimate opportunity to both enjoy the feel of a genuine, vintage VW and invest in an appreciating collectible.
Commonly called the Type 2 or split window, the first generation of the Volkswagen bus was produced from 1949 to 1967 and originally intended as a basic cargo hauler. After much success and growing demand, Volkswagen realized the full potential of their comfortable people mover and, in 1951, began producing a model called the Deluxe. Considered by many Volkswagen enthusiasts as the ultimate transporter, the Deluxe would soldier on with few changes for almost 20 years and create an automotive icon that, in terms of collectability, is matched by few other classics.
The beneficiary of an extensive top-notch restoration where every part was completely rebuilt and detailed to the highest level possible, this 1965 13 window Deluxe is as close to the ultimate Volkswagen Type 2 as you can get. After spending most of its life in the dry Texas sun, it was completely disassembled, stripped to bare metal and sanded until its panels were exceptionally straight. Once the body presented better than factory surfaces and super tight panel alignment, a slick coat of correct Blue White paint was applied throughout the interior, and its rust-free body was coated in a correct Velvet Green and Blue White two-tone color scheme. The result is an extremely authentic Deluxe Microbus which glistens under our showroom lights and exhibits a highly accurate level of originality that most Volkswagen buses simply can't touch.
Known for its aerodynamic shape, the Type 2 incorporates a split windscreen and a large cast aluminum “VW” emblem above a sweeping V-line front end which forms the basis for the buses entire design. At the front of this Type 2, a new Safari window sits above a one-eyed jack wiper blade rest which holds original wiper arms that are connected to original wiper pivots. Below that blade rest, new Hella turn signals and original Hella headlight lenses sit above an original, professionally refurbished slash bumper which wears a correct coat of Silver White paint, original bumper trim and new bumper rubbers. At the sides of the bus, original and freshly polished stainless V-line trim carries original end caps and new color-keyed rubber inserts through the middle of the mirror-like two-tone paint, and perfectly complements dent free original stainless rocker spears. Above that stainless trim, new rearview mirrors hang on original mirror arms at the sides of factory original Sekurit door glass which presents well and features working original latches. At the back of the bus, original Durvit fixed glass sits above new fuel door and engine door trim; and two original SWF chrome trimmed tail light lenses hang above a second completely refinished Silver White slash bumper which features original trim and new rubber inserts.
Like the Type 1 Beetle, the Type 2 Transporter is powered by an air-cooled rear mounted four-cylinder boxer engine that makes engine noise and fumes nearly non-existent for the driver and front passenger. Under the rear hatch of this Deluxe you'll find a professionally rebuilt and significantly upgraded 1641 CC engine that utilizes a new OEM VW engine case, an Engle 110 camshaft, a forged and counterweighted 69mm crankshaft, and newly adjusted valves to both create a traditional Microbus feel and provide improved performance characteristics. Built by Kelly Huffman of Arlington, Texas, this upgraded powerplant, while modest, is perfectly capable of carrying the bus at highway speeds, and has the added benefit of frequently achieving almost 30 MPG on stoplight free cross country treks. At the sides of the block, dual 40 Weber IDF carburetors utilize a hex bar linkage to mix air from reusable air filter elements with fuel supplied by new stainless fuel lines. At the top of the motor, an aftermarket coil supplies a new 009 points distributor which sends power through fresh plug wires to new Bosch plugs; and behind the motor, a fresh V-belt spins a new Euromax alternator that, along with a new Interstate battery and new cables, is part of an upgraded, modern 12 volt electrical system. A lot of time was spent sorting out this awesome VWs details, and once the hard points of the motor were finished, the restorer refreshed all mechanical systems and installed all new heater boxes, new heater hoses and a new engine compartment seal. The fresh motor fires instantly, idles with the typical vintage Volkswagen gait and looks great in its smooth Velvet Green engine compartment.
Since the Type 1 Beetle floorpan proved too weak for the Type 2 Transporter, Volkswagen engineered a new ladder chassis with unit-body construction. Because the Type 2s wheelbase was the same as the Type 1s, 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; and at the back of the bus, a new Kelly Huffman built Freeway Flyer transmission hangs over a spectacular ceramic coated EMPI header and ceramic coated EMPI muffler. Power flows to the ground through original 14 inch steel wheels which wear correct Silver White paint, new chrome hubcaps and new 185/75 Hankook whitewall radials. And massive, dent-free original floorpans display smooth satin black paint above a host of newly rebuilt parts which include a new drag link and tie rods, a new accelerator linkage, new shifter bushings, a new rear shift coupler, a new steering box seal and a new POR-15 sealed fuel tank. With its mechanical upgrades, improved torque and safe top end cruising speed of 65-70 MPH, this bus looks, runs and drives better than when it came off the lot in 1965.
Open the curved doors on this unique people mover and check out the correct, Mesh Gray interior. Fully intact but badly in need of restoration, it was painstakingly brought back to life by Lenny Copp of West Coast Classic Restoration in Fullerton, California. All three rows of original seats were completely stripped, repainted, equipped with a mixture of new and original belts and kick panels, and restored to their current state. Behind the front seats, an original drink bar frame holds an original rubber top molding; and above all three rows of seats, a custom cut headliner holds new visors, new coat hooks and a new assist strap. At the sides of the seats, new correct two-tone side panels feature original chrome door handles and new armrests with original mounting hardware. And below the seats, new seat stand mats and new rubber floor mats complement new German square-weave carpet in the rear hatch. In front of the driver, a Koch restored steering wheel holds a restored horn button above an original style ignition which shares an original style key with all of the vans locks, and to the right of the driver, a correctly painted shifter is topped by an original shift knob. At the front of the van, an original dash is painted a slick coat of Blue White to match the outside of the bus and hangs a new church key for the engine bay below original rebuilt gauges, a correct radio delete, original dash knobs and a fully functional Deluxe-exclusive VDO Kienzle clock. At the back of the van, the carpeted cargo area includes original 'jail bars', new OEM German luggage bars, and a matching spare wheel and tire. When it comes to interiors, this Volkswagen has one of the cleanest, period-correct reproduction vintage Microbus interiors on the market, and all of its original-to-the-bus factory Deluxe features are still intact and ready for show.
This 1965 Microbus is a fully functional, correct restoration which has many years of fun and appreciation ahead of it. As one of the most enjoyable and desirable collector vehicles on the market, it just oozes the kind of personality that can only be found in 60s era specialty cars. Original, correct Volkswagen Type 2s are in big demand today because of their increased desirability, and at $43,900, this one is an absolute steal!
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