Lot 108

Miami 2024

1961 Volkswagen Type 2 Deluxe '23-Window' Microbus

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$150,000 - $200,000 USD  | Offered Without Reserve

United States Flag | Coral Gables, Florida

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Identification No.
792933
Documents
US Title
To be offered on Friday, 1 March 2024
  • One of the most iconic Microbus variants
  • An early-production model; the last year with small taillights and turn signals
  • Extremely high-quality restoration with many original parts
  • Accompanied by partial restoration invoices

Volkswagen’s Transporter, also known as the Microbus, was one of the most famous vehicles of the 1960s, remembered for its ubiquity on the road and its favor by the emerging young American counterculture. Several variations of the Microbus were produced, with the most desirable inarguably being the “23-Window” model, so-named for the number of panes surrounding its glassy greenhouse—including not only the sides and the rear, but “skylights” along the edges of the roofline.

The 23-Window Deluxe Microbus offered here is notable as an early model, with 1961 being the final year for the first-generation Microbus with its attractive small taillights and turn signal indicators. According to its prior owner, it was reportedly originally sold through Nathan B. Tucker Volkswagen of Beverly, Massachusetts, to Cornelius V. Crane, an heir to the Crane plumbing fixtures fortune and an adventurer known for his exploration of the Pacific islands. Mr. Crane’s family enjoyed the bus around New England; when not on the road it was stored on their estate at Choate Island.

Some years after its original owner’s passing in 1962, it was sold into enthusiast hands, and has remained in the care of various appreciative owners since. Prior to the current owner’s acquisition it underwent a two-year restoration by West Coast Classic Restoration of Fullerton, California, with the bodywork refinished in Sealing Wax Red and Light Beige Grey, an especially striking combination. The restoration was finished to a fine standard, with beautiful paintwork and authentic-appearing overspray in certain areas, and black undercoating and red oxide primer to the undercarriage. Today the interior remains in beautiful, clean and tidy condition, with original grab handles and hardware showing a lovely patina, and the original Tucker dealership shift pattern decal still attached to the dashboard.

Accompanied by partial restoration receipts, this is a beautiful example of a model which is, to use an overutilized word, truly iconic—emblematic of a generation, and still a vehicle to bring a smile to everyone’s’ faces as it cruises through South Beach.