- Last year for desirable 21-window Microbus
- Highly original and sympathetically refreshed
- Finished in original Cumulus White and Sea Blue
- Includes Stiftung AutoMuseum Volkswagen certificate
47 bhp, 1,585 cc OHV air-cooled horizontally opposed four-cylinder engine with Solex carburetor, four-speed synchromesh manual transmission, independent front suspension by transverse torsion bars with upper and lower radius arms, swing-axle rear suspension with trailing arms and torsion bar, and four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes. Wheelbase: 94.5 in.
With more than 21 million sold worldwide, the Volkswagen Type 1 (or “Beetle” as it was nicknamed soon after its debut in 1939) would become the best-selling car of all time. Under the direction of the German government to build a “people’s car,” Dr. Ferdinand Porsche set about building prototypes in Stuttgart in the mid-1930s. Production started under British occupation in Germany before the end of 1945, with worldwide exports beginning in the early 1950s. Volkswagen, like other manufacturers, would continue to refine their car and develop variations of the original, but they would also share components throughout their models in order to increase production efficiency and profitability.
One of those variants, the Type 2 Transporter, first arrived on the American continent in 1949. Competition was non-existent, as there was nothing like it on the market at that time. As it used standard Beetle components, it was at once familiar and easy to maintain, and its parts were readily available. It quickly became popular as an efficient way to move people. The Transporter was dubbed the “Microbus,” and it would further evolve into other uses, including a pickup truck and cargo/delivery van. Its combination of efficiency and practicality deemed it an instant hit with the “flower power” generation of the ’60s, and its boxy design made it the perfect canvas for peace signs, pop-art flowers, and psychedelic paint schemes.
The Deluxe Microbus offered here was built in Wolfsburg, Germany, on December 8, 1966, and left the factory soon thereafter on December 8. It is finished in its original colors of Cumulus White (L680) over Sea Blue (L360) with the uncommon Aero Papyrus interior and optioned with desirable walkthrough cabin, six opening side windows, sealed beam headlights, and seatbelts. Delivered new to Boston, Massachusetts, the bus found its way to South Carolina in the 1970s and arrived in Florida in 1980, where it was then stored by its owner for nearly a decade. In 1996, the highly original VW was treated to sympathetic restoration, with its doglegs, rocker panels, and battery box replaced and the original pan bead-blasted. The cosmetics were preserved as far as possible, though the lower Sea Blue paint was refinished. Seat covers were renewed, but all other panels remained untouched.
The consignor, an experienced Microbus collector, acquired this bus more recently. He maintained the originality of the vehicle as far as possible, preserving the original gauges and floor mats, and he reports the original Sapphire radio remains in working order. The bus was closely inspected mechanically, and the engine was rebuilt and upgraded to a 47–brake horsepower, single-port, 1,585–cubic centimeter unit, which was the largest displacement option in 1967. New Coker tires were fitted along with a new sunroof, and the paint was refinished as necessary.
As the ultimate version of the original multi-window Type 2 Microbus, this colorful Volkswagen performs in keeping with its spotless appearance: a sure treat for its next owner.