Just when I think there can’t possibly be another old VW van languishing somewhere with vintage display advertising intact, someone has to go and prove me wrong. It really serves to demonstrate just how popular these German panel vans were for business purposes, serving all sorts of industries with lots of space and good fuel economy. This 1963 split window here on eBay wears some awesome period livery and sports a desirable Westfalia interior.
According to the seller, the Bus suffered an engine fire early in its working life, with the heat damage to the paint still visible. The motor had less than 45,000 miles at the time of implosion, so its time on the road delivering freshly dry-cleaned clothing was cut short. Of course, that’s my assumption as to what “cleaners” represents, and there’s a mention of delivery services on the front doors. If this Bus is configured as it left the factory, it’s a bit unusual to see a commercial application complete with the Westfalia package, but hey – if you work van can be your play van, why not?
This interior configuration included a full-length rack, tent and collapsible picnic bench. What I admire the most about this particular VW is that somehow, despite an engine fire sidelining the Bus early in its life, the interior remained nicely preserved while the charred exterior was left as-is. It does make me a bit curious as to this Bus’ story and its ability to survive what you’d presume would render most vehicles totaled by their insurance company. Even better, the exterior has been preserved while any serious rust was cut out and replaced, according to the seller, who has simply maintained the Bus rather than upgrading it.
We’ve seen the many stories about Buses saved from lake beds and forests, showing there’s not much of a limit in terms of how far an air-cooled enthusiast will go to keep a rare example on the road. The early ones like this example are well-loved by the VW community, and I hope this split-window ’63 never loses the details that make it so unique. Bidding is already over $15,000 with several days left in the auction, and there isn’t a reserve in sight. What do you think it will sell for?