Sunday, October 2, 2016

1967 VW Pickup

I just finished looking over and admiring a co-worker’s VW pickup yesterday at a car show where I work. They really are practical vehicles, and he was telling me that his father had purchased it new. He was able to resurrect it after a long period of storage in a day or so and drove it home! That kind of simplicity appeals to me in a big way, and based on the interest in these and VW buses, I’m not alone! This one can be found in Maryville, Tennessee and is listed for sale here on eBay, where bidding is only just over $2,500 as I write.

So how much rust are we talking about, Jamie? This much. That’s right, there are actually parts of the vehicle that are just plain missing (look at the lower edge here where someone has added household cabinet latches because the lock plate is just completely gone)! It’s a testimony to the innate strength of the design that the seller is currently using this truck as a daily driver.

There are some spots that aren’t too bad; for example, most of what you see in this rear view is surface rust. And it is pretty cool to drive something looking like this that runs well! I ran a Spitfire with similar non-original ventilation issues for about a year and a half as a daily driver; apart from getting wet every time I drove through a large puddle it was fun to surprise people with how well it drove.
Hmmmm! A new way to access the engine! Realistically, some repairs are going to have to happen even to use this truck as-is. I’d certainly be afraid to put anything heavy in the bed! Perhaps if you are going for the p-word look, a simple plate steel fix would at least restore the utility of the truck.

The interior is serviceable considering the exterior appearance. Kinda fitting, don’t you think?

But on to the good news! The seller has installed a rebuilt 1970 1600 cc engine with about 30-40 thousand miles on it, and rebuilt the brakes and other major systems to make the truck run very well and be reliable. They are also including the original engine, which still runs but probably needs to be rebuilt. Plenty of pictures are included in the auction listing to illustrate what you’d be getting into.
I’m sure there are some enthusiasts who love cutting and welding more than mechanical repairs–this may be the perfect vehicle for those folks. Or maybe you like the idea of using it as-is for the sleeper look? What would you do with this great VW find?


1978 Volkswagen Champagne Edition Van

083116 Barn Finds - 1978 VW Van - 1
Clink – let’s raise a toast to this bubbly, 1978 Volkswagen Champagne Edition Van! This rare project is in Anaheim, California and is listed on eBay with a Buy It Now price of $4,000 or make an offer. If you’re in a Lawrence Welk cover band, this one is a no-brainer. Thanks to Josh, for finding this one!

083116 Barn Finds - 1978 VW Van - 2
These special edition vans, or buses, or Transporters, or Kombis, or Type 2s.. were made in 1977 and 1978 and the photos seem to show a heck of a nice van for $4,000! The seller says that it’s a “PROJECT Bus” and when they use all-caps you know they mean business, so be prepared for some work on this one. But, once you’re done, you’ll have an absolutely beautiful prize-winner on your hands and will be the envy of everyone you know; well, other than your brother-in-law who never really liked you in the first place.

083116 Barn Finds - 1978 VW Van - 3
Ok, now we see that there’s some work to be done. Call me crazy, and most of you do, but I always think that it’s advisable to have a windshield. Of course, you can get 99.9% of any and every part that you’ll ever need for a VW Van so no worries there. $250 and a couple of hours and you’re in business, windshield-wise. The seller says that it has a solid windshield, but they don’t show it at all so I’d budget for a new one, just in case. They also say that this baby is “almost rust free and only rust is front driver / passenger area”, as they show in this photo. Any person with experience restoring Volkswagens could probably do that repair in their jammies, in-between their first and second cup of organic French roast in the morning. Seriously, this is looking like a nice project, isn’t it?

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There aren’t any good, overall dash photos, or any that really show the seats, or the front of the interior at all, but if you can click a box on an online order form you can have the vast majority of any missing parts delivered to your door. And, again, once you’re done; wow! The rear portion should have a seat or two, but they must be missing and there’s no mention of them in the ad.

083116 Barn Finds - 1978 VW Van - 5
According to the seller, this is a “complete motor” in “unknown condition” that was “running when parked”, so plan on a total rebuild here. But, this van is worthy of a nut-and-bolt restoration so you’d want to do that anyway. It will look darn similar to this one when you’re done with it. 1978 was the first year for electronic ignition and all of these vans have fuel-injection by this point, so that should take care of at least some of the roadside repairs and adjustments. But, sometimes breaking down on the side of the road makes for good memories. No, scratch that, it’s better to not have your vehicle break down on the side of the road. This should be a 1.8L opposed-four with self-adjusting hydraulic valves good for about 67 hp. This is the stuff that champagne wishes and caviar dreams are made of. Have you seen a Champagne Edition VW van before? What do you think of this one? Being pretty rare I think it’s worthy of an original-spec restoration, how about you?


1970 VW Kombi Transporter

We have featured any number of seemingly over-priced and over-rusted old Volkswagen buses over the years. The early ones have seen prices literally go crazy over the past few years. Personally, I don’t get it, and I lived through and enjoyed the original days of the “hippie bus” craze.

At least in my experience, while they were incredibly practical, inexpensive to operate and easy to maintain, they were also dangerously slow in both acceleration and maximum speed, handled terribly, and worst, were prone to acting like giant sails in strong winds.
Since Transporter buses were extremely light, wind could move them across lanes on highways pretty easily. I was a passenger in one of these on the Bay Bridge going from San Francisco to Berkeley. A strong wind took us across two lanes of traffic and we were just incredibly lucky that it was at night, and that there were no cars in the lanes next to us. That was not a thrill, and pretty much cured me of any desire I had to ever own one of these VW Kombis for myself.
And of course, with almost no structure in front of the front seats, if you happened to hit anything head on, you were much more likely to be injured or killed than if driving just about any other vehicle.
This 1970 Transporter (also called a Kombi station wagon) for sale here on craigslist in Trumbull, Connecticut appears to be in much better condition than many (though not all) of the other similar VW buses that have appeared here over the years. The seller says his bus is “all original, runs, shifts thru gear, no brakes need to go thru….Solid body, floor and rear area. Minimal rust, only surface rust. All jack points and frame solid.”

This bus also comes with some extra parts and a modest $4100 asking price. At least from the pictures, it appears to have solid floors, a far better than average interior, and an engine that must have been rebuilt or at least kept very clean over the past several years. Mileage on the bus is said to be a very modest 93,000 miles, which could be true based on the condition of this Vee Dub. The older Connecticut license plate suggests it has been off the road for some time as well.

On the other hand, the rust shown here appears, at least to me, to be much more than superficial, and there is pretty clear evidence this bus has had some amateur body work done to it in the past. Given that it’s now more than 45 years old and seems to have been in Connecticut for some time, it’s impossible for it *not* to have rust issues. But for $4,100, this seems like a good deal, especially if the floors and frame do turn out to be solid.

00202_9DuKjmCmeZe_1200x900I’ll be very interested to hear what our readers have to say about this old bus. NADA says the low retail for one of these is now about $7,400 – so is this one a good deal or not?


Unrestored 1963 Porsche 356 Super 90

1963 Porsche 356 Super 90
The seller of this Porsche 356 claims that it has never been restored. If you have ever tried to restore a car, then you know that is usually a very good thing. Seemingly shiny restored cars can hide unimaginable horrors. Wadded up newspaper in the Bondo, hacked up wiring, and other blotched repair jobs. That isn’t always the case, but if you want to do the job right, it’s probably best to start with an original car. If this one really is as unmolested as the seller claims, it may be worth pursuing. It’s listed here on eBay and the auction ends tonight.


Pickup Conversion: 1967 Volkswagen Squareback

'67 VW pickup
The owner says that 15  VW Type 3s were “costumed” in California in the ’70’s.  We don’t know what the heck that mean, but we like it!  Have you seen one of these before?  Listed here on craigslist Southern California is this 1967 Volkswagen Type 3 that is no longer “square” and priced at $9,900.

'67 VW pickup int.
The car runs great, it has recently been painted and upholstered.

'67 VW pickup rear
There are new tires, a rebuilt engine and transmission.  There are no images of either of these or the underside of the vehicle. If you missed the Volvo pickup we featured earlier this month you may want to pick this one up while you can.


Conversion By Roadrunner: 1967 Volkswagen Camper

Roadrunner Conversion
People sure love these old VW buses, especially when they are in camper form! Most people think of Westfalia when they think these, but there were actually quite a few companies that performed the conversions. Roadrunner was one of them and according to some people, it was among the best. Either way, the last few owners really loved this bus. It was parked for about 20 years, but the seller claims to have spent over $5k making it roadworthy again. It seems like a good choice if you are looking for a classic camper that can be used right away. Find it here on eBay where bidding ends tonight.


1964 Sunroof Beetle

I struggled mightily with whether to share this super clean example of a sunroof-equipped VW Beetle, largely because the seller is coy about the price. But perhaps it was an innocent mistake, and there’s a potentially great project candidate with this dry, cheerful ’64 Bug. You can find this life-long Arizona resident here on craigslist, where the seller promises this one will bring back memories of driving a Beetle in its purest form. 

The issues with the unlisted price aside, the seller doesn’t seem to be forgetting any details as it relates to the Beetle’s clean condition. The body looks straight, as do the bumpers and hubcaps. The pop-out windows are one of my favorite features of any car, and they look great on this early-bodied Bug. The seller does mention there is some slight rust, but “no severe cancer.” There’s a big spread between those two conditions and it demands more info from the seller.

The interior is tidy, but I’m unsure of that color combo is correct. Perhaps our Bug experts can weigh in, as the color of the dash would seem to indicate it came from the factory with similar tones on the seating surfaces and door panels, but I could be mistaken. The lack of the original radio is also a bit of a letdown, but overall, the interior looks to have minimal needs if you just want to drive and enjoy.

The seller claims the engine has been rebuilt; no word on if it’s numbers matching. Regardless, the fact that it’s not been hot-rodded or otherwise modified is nice to see, but I can’t help but wonder if that’s the original paint poking through under the engine lid. It’s interesting – from different angles, I can’t even if it’s currently painted blue or white, but the seller calls it brown in the listing. What do you think: is this Bug as honest as the seller says, or are there some stories here?