13 Window Rat: 1965 VW Bus

Jeff LaveryBy Jeff Lavery

While I do love a good lowered car or truck, there are limits to this enjoyment. The 1965 Volkswagen Bus Deluxe 13-Window seen here is a rusty but honest survivor, with the exception of its seriously dropped suspension. This is a popular route to take when modifying these old Buses that look a bit worst for the wear, but I still like seeing them stock – even in their rusty glory. What’s your preference? Check out this 13-Window here on eBay with an opening bid of $15,100 (!) and no reserve.

The flip side to my griping about a Bus that hasn’t had its bodywork improved but has already been slammed to the ground is that it’s at least running, driving and making people smile, rather than continuing to rot in someone’s backyard. The Bus retains all of its windows and the seller has installed a new Safari windshield. Despite its rough appearance, the Bus is fully registered and insured.

The interior is tired, with full restoration needed – if that’s your thing. The challenge with these old Buses that at least have a few extra windows is they’ve become so valuable. I’m not surprised to see the ambitious opening bid the seller has listed, as there’s plenty of evidence that people will gladly pay too much for these. The cab floors look more solid than I expected, but I’m sure there’s plenty of rust hiding elsewhere.

Of course, because they have been gaining in value, it’s temping to just drop the suspension, throw on some stickers and a roof rack, and try to flip the Bus for a decent profit. Nothing wrong with that, but we do like to see worthwhile projects like this Type 2 eventually get the restoration it deserves. As an added bonus, paint is said to be original and the Bus will come with its Volkswagen Museum Certificate. Would you leave it as-is or treat it to a full restoration?

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    I was going to say, either Cal. or Florida. This,,,condition, is all the rage now. Buses like this win 1st prize at VW meets. I don’t get it, dealing with rusty cars all my life, until I moved to Colorado, anyway, and quite frankly, I’m burnt out with it. The only reason this is popular in rust free states, is it’s so unusual, it must be cool. There’s a bunch of pristine ones, but look see everybody, how rust can swallow a car whole. Price? Again, IDK, if nostalgia for you is driving around in a 40 hp box with rusty floors,,for 5 figures, by all means, have at it. They don’t have a “pass me with a smile” sticker on the back for nothing. You will hold up traffic, and that makes a lot of people upset, trust me, I drove slow vehicles all my life.

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  2. canadainmarkseh Member

    I too don’t get the desire to own a rust bucket, there comes a point in time where these POS’s become structurely unsafe to be on the road. This van looks like it’s not far off. Secondly the longer you leave it in this state the less restorable it becomes. Paint and body work to me are no different then keeping the steering parts in good order, or brakes, or engine, and on and on like that. Paint comes in many colours but this is not its purpose, it’s there to protect the body metal. Keeping the body in good shape is just maintenance nothing more and this idea that we need to keep it in original paint is rediculous. That like saying I can’t repair the brakes because those worn out shoes are original. If you get right down to it originality should take second place to authenticity. Am I using the same kind of paint, is it the original colour these tend to lend themselves to authenticity. Which if your a true car guy should be more important. Authenticity NOT originality. In the case of this bus it’s only a few years of out door storage away from being to far gone. But hay what ever floats your boat.

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  3. leiniedude Member

    Speaking of float your boat canadainmarkseh, I wonder how Gilligans life raft is fastened to the roof?

    3
    • canadainmarkseh Member

      Good question…..!

      2
  4. Andre

    I don’t want to own it, but I do kinda dig it.

    I can also appreciate someone working on a budget who is into cars. I’d never “build” a rat rod/patina kind of vehicle, but I certainly would drive a rolling project – even if the panels were patched and mismatched until I could afford to spray it.

    3
    • leiniedude Member

      I do kinda dig it also Andre. But as far as budget goes, starting at 15K for this will not leave me anything left.

      3
  5. Steve R

    The opening bid, is the high bid last time it cycled through eBay, when it didn’t meet reserve. Seems like he has a bit of sellers remorse. He would have been wise to have taken the money and ran.

    Steve R

    8
  6. Bobby

    I don’t understand the rage of buying junkyard rust buckets at 15× the value. I owned a VW bus years ago one of the worse for reliability of the 100s of vehicles I owned. Only good part is it wasn’t a rustmoblie like this one. I guess some people have more money then common sense.

    12
  7. J Paul

    “As an added bonus, paint is said to be original” will never fail to get a chuckle from me, when the vehicle itself is rusted and much of that original paint has faded or worn off entirely.

    10
  8. RWC

    $15,000???? How about $150 or maybe $1.50?? Really, the dollars it would take would be far greater than the market value. I just don’t understand sellers and where they come up withe their prices.

    7
  9. Gasoline

    Restore it or put it out of its misery…it’s one sad looking VW.

    6
  10. ken TILLY

    Many years ago I had a normal 10 window Kombi with the opening windscreens that lunched it’s engine. The cost involved in fixing/replacing the engine were too much for me so I had it towed to a scrapyard. While I was waiting for the wife to collect me a guy came along with a fork lift and attempted to move it, whereupon the frame lifted up, the doors burst open, but the roof didn’t move. The frame/floor was so rusty that it just folded in the middle. The one for sale here is very likely to be even worse as my episode was fifty years ago!

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  11. MikeG

    The only thing holding this heap together is hope.

    11
  12. DAN

    registered and insured.

    why post insured?

    it’s not like insurance carries over to new buyer,LOL

    6
    • Don H

      He’s letting you know he found an insurance company stupid enough to ensure an old rusted piece of crap like this💰

      7
  13. RoKo

    I might be the odd man out, but I cannot understand the whole ‘slammed’ look. To me it looks like the suspension has collapsed, in other words, is broken.
    Where I live, the roads are uneven, there are potholes, there are speed bumps. I’d always be worried the underside is going to make contact.

    And of course, it’s a rust bucket to begin with. I pay no attention to the ‘it’s not rust, it’s patina’ state of mind either.

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  14. Madmatt

    I would say…,what insurance company wouldn’t make money on
    This…🤔..a Small accident…would probably total it..?.. despite the current
    Crazy value Of these..but…this needs an awful lot…..cool… But
    Rust NEVER sleeps..
    .

    5
  15. KawiVulc

    Looks like it ought to be housing transient vagrants in the woods down by the creek.

    3
  16. Gaspumpchas

    wonder how or if he got it thru state inspection. This bucket is dangerous. Good luck and get your tetanus shots updated.

    cheers
    GPC

    1
  17. Jay E.

    I sure like the “Pass me with a smile!” sticker

  18. Chris

    I’d have to agree with the other comments here. I dont get the fascination with a very rusted & possibly unsafe vehicle & paying 15k is just plain foolish. Dont get me wrong luv vintage VW dub buses but you can clearly see from the side door pic that this bus has some serious rust issues on its floor pan & underside & is probably not safe to drive unless there addressed sooner than later.

    4
  19. Little Cars

    I’ve only “built” one rat rod from a rusty Sprite and I used a couple mantras while gathering parts for it. Make it safe to drive and reliable. And make sure nobody thinks that it was restored for 100 points or top dollar. I painted it with purple chalkboard paint to protect what metal was left. I used a guitar string and wingnut to open the hood. The door straps were made from old leather belts, and the shifter knob was a billiard ball. Everybody who saw it knew that it was saved from rusting away and enjoyed by its owner until it reached its mechanical demise two years later. This VW bus, and the “crew cab” pickup from yesterday, just scream “let me be and become one with the earth.” Or, how about a beachside bar’s static display ala Planet Hollywood?

    1
  20. Lance

    I wouldn’t give this thing air in a bag. What is the stupid attraction to these ?

    3
  21. David Miraglia

    15,000 is unrealistic. I love the Type 2’s but 500 is more like it.

    1
  22. Wrong Way

    He certainly spared no expense? The camper part is fit for a hobo! My first and only thought was LMAO! The price is frozen at the opening bid, and will likely stay there!

    2
  23. Trevor

    I’ve had a 67 21 window rat rod! Also a lot of other air cooled vw’s(12 total), and I’ve walked away from better split window busses then this for $300 here in va!

    3

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