Past VW Buses

In the early 2000's I started to rekindle my interest in old "Split Window" VW Buses. I had owned a 1967 bus in the early 80's while living in southern California. In those days most seen were 'modified' in some way. I will have to scan the old photos of that first bus and the conversion so as of right now (June 2014) there is nothing to show. I spent a lot of time living in that bus and made a couple of cross country trips from California to Indiana and back. Many trips from Carlsbad California up through Nevada in the Reno area. That was my start in the "Split Window" VW Buses.

This bus was my first online purchase off of eBay. The return trip did not end well. After leaving Tucson Arizona, late at night to beat the May heat, the infamous green "oil" light popped on and off as my nephew and I drove across the desert at night. By the next afternoon on a sweltering day of temps in the 100's, 8 miles north of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico the engine blew. I will finish this story in a blog post sometime in the future.

A 1967 Standard - My 1st eBay Purchase
After that I decided buying something local would be better. I found this 1963 VW Standard Bus that was modified by a previous owner in southern California. I bought this bus in Evansville Indiana. The short 1-1/2 hour drive home was interesting with a brake pedal that went to the floor and dual Weber carbs that made the VW engine almost too powerful for the weight she was pushing. I posted it on an online VW site just to check for the value and any interested buyers. I had the price too low and it sold within 45 minutes after posting it. It was a great bus but I never could get the duel carbs synchronized where it would run smoothly.

1963 Standard Bus
About that time I found another 1967 on the online site I looked at every day. This 1967 was in Boise Idaho. I flew out, met the family that hated to see it go. They had all the receipts for any maintenance they had done on the bus. I drove it back to Indiana and a couple of years later sold it to a teenager that was dying to buy it. About that time I was more interested in VW's that were stock color without any mods.

1967 Standard Bus - All Stock Except the Color
After the '63 and '67 sold, I was still needed a VW bus to drive. I had other cars but I just loved driving them, plus they got decent gas mileage. I found this in Indiana, on eBay and won it after a intense last minute bidding war. It's a 1961 Single Cab VW Pickup. Some of the features were the sides would fold down and were heavy enough they would stay down while you drove, so it was like having a Flatbed Pickup. The storage under the bed and just aft of the cab went all the way through, it is called the "Treasure Chest".

With the low gears it could motor up any hill, carry any amount of weight and snow was never a problem. I drove this daily through the Midwestern winter to and from work. I later sold it online to someone in Florida. The story the day it sold is so funny, I will have to blog about it and it will be linked in the "Labels" as 1961 Single Cab.

1961 VW Single Cab Pickup
This is one of two of my favorite VWs I had bought. I hated to see it being loaded up and sent to California. I bought this off of a site called The Samba at thesamba.com from a man in Salt Lake City, Utah. At the time Art had a VW carburetor business and was known throughout the VW community as a great carb man. This is a 1963 VW Panel, all stock except the engine which had dual Weber Carbs. This van could cruise smoothly 75mph down the freeway. It was mentioned in the blog post about Winston's 10th birthday. I will add another story because this was an RV with camping stops in southern Colorado on the drive back home from Utah to Indiana.

1963 VW Panal
The 2nd bus I owned at the same time as the 63 Panel was a 1965 Standard Bus, OEM color with some minor mods inside. The engine was original and the owner before the person I bought it from did all of the rebuilding work. I bought his off of eBay and drove it back from Eau Claire, Wisconsin. It ran like a top all the way home. I loved this bus and hated the day it sold.

1965 Standard Bus

The Original Dealer Sticker in the Engine Bay
Soon after all of these older VW buses were bought and sold over a period of 8 years, the Wall Street Journal came out with an article on their front page, about the value of these older VW buses. 1967 was the last year of the split front window. A few months after that article the prices on these VW buses skyrocketed 4X or more as much as what I had sold mine for. Six years later (2014), the prices still have not come back down to being affordable.

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