1960 Mercedes Panorama Bus: Intact Glass

mercedesbus

Oh, the stories this bus could tell. Did it ever ferry a rock band? Or did it take explorers to the edge of the wilderness? Was it ever used for sightseeing tours in the Alps? How did it get to the United States? And, perhaps most importantly, is the rust terminal? I hope not, as it’d be great to see this 1960 Mercedes-Benz Panorama Bus here on craigslist return to the roads to do what it does best: chase adventures while letting the sunshine in. Curiously, a near-bulletproof Toyota 20R motor has been swapped in, which isn’t nearly as interesting as an original Mercedes unit, but likely provides near faultless operation. The glass is all there, which is a bonus, but so is the rust – and it will surely be a labor of love to bring this one back. Thanks to Barn Finds reader Robert R for the find.

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Comments

  1. krash

    (with its weathered face and crusty patina) this Benz would make a wonderful new character in the next chapter of the Cars (Pixar) film series….

  2. Bobsmyuncle

    Door bottoms, wheel wells and rear quarter seem fine. That’s promising!

    I’ll confidently say this won’t sell for the asking price. I’ve seen a few others with better bones and more desirable options (sliding ragtop) stagnate at 14 000.

    Without the original engine or interior this has little interest for collectors and high cost for casual enthusiasts.

    People want to compare it to the VW (for obvious reasons) but for all the reasons that matter this just isn’t a Microbus.

    • Horse Radish

      Wow, you mention a ‘few’ others offered ?,
      I’d like to find out.
      Thanks

      Alex
      300parts@gmail.com

  3. Dave Wright

    Poor old girl needs to be cut for parts. I rarely come to that conclusion but she has been ruined beyond any use. I am sure these are still available running in Europe for maby 5,000 plus shipping. I will watch for one this fall while I am there. My partners and I used one as a transporter for our Formula Ford when we raced in Europe in the late 70’s. This was a fine machine ruined by butchers.

    • Horse Radish

      70 ies ….that was 40 years ago.
      Tell me how your search went, when you get back (i already can speculate on that one….)

      • Dave Wright

        There were 3 of them on in a field on the side of the road near Los Banos that had been there at least 10 years that I know of, at least until I was last by there last year.

  4. Scott Allison

    At least wash it!

  5. Mike

    I am a Mercedes enthusiast and live in Germany. You won’t find those busses here in a close to road worthy condition for 5k

    • Fogline

      Hi Mike –
      Thanks for the information. The question is what would one cost over there? I kind of like this but fear it is too much work to get my wife to agree to adding it to the lawn art (the other 8 vehicles).

  6. skloon

    Does it come with a complementary crack pipe ?

  7. Chuck Foster Chuck F 55chevy

    I have never seen one of these, even in a book, but I like it. I do compare it to a VW, and I think it is as cool or cooler than a VW 23 window bus. I would restore it as a camper, a custom fabricated cabin tent on top of it would be a great camping experience. Replace the 20R with a newer 22RE or the later, most HP equivalent to add some pep. Heck, maybe a V6 or V8 will fit, that’s the ticket, a Mercedes 5.0. A big drawback would be lack of parts, and a more complete and solid one would may be worth $14k, if I really wanted one.

  8. Horse Radish

    I collected these when NOOOOOOOOOOOBODY wanted them (20 + years ago).

    Now, not a week goes by when I have somebody asking if I would sell.
    Most people are clueless and that’s where the conversation ends.

    Although there were tens of thousands made as buses, panel vans, single/double cabs, fire equipment trucks and many other uses, they were all worn out by the eighties.
    Some buses found a new life like this one converted to campers.

    The parts sources are scarce.

    If you own one of these feel free to write and we’ll chat about them.

    Alex
    300parts@gmail.com

  9. Steve

    I’m in the market for one of these old Mercedes O319 buses, if anyone has knows where one is or has one and wants it to go to a good home, I would love to own one. Let me know.

    Thanks,

    Steve
    Steveone111@hotmail.com

  10. Alex Morris

    Hello,

    I like Chuck’s post as I too compare it to a vw bus and to my silly mind I prefer the mercedes it’s larger- more presence and space- perfect for camping.

    However one of the beauty’s of volkswagen is the availability of parts which as Alex ( horseradish) mentioned is an inherent problem with these.

    I’d be very interested in a complete version of a panorama…. please reach out

    Thanks alexrobertmorris@gmail.com

  11. Jerad souza

    Update on the 1960 mercedes Panorama bus!
    I’m Jerad of San Luis Obispo California.
    I purchased the Bus this year, and it is underway on a full restoration!
    I will have plenty of pics along the way and the finished product :)

  12. Sal Orlando

    I took over this restoration from Jerad. I also purchased another non-panorama version that is original and complete, although still in need of a lot of work. Both are in various stages of restoration and I am excited to get them back on the road. My goal is to start a wine tour business, (if i do not go broke fixing them up in the meantime).

    • Bobsmyuncle

      Would you mind getting in touch with me?

      imjason DOT bobsmyuncle AT gmail DOT com

      I’d like to ask you some questions and if possible follow the work.

  13. Salvatore Orlando

    A non-panorama,(non-22 window), camper conversion was auctioned off at RM Sotheby’s Phoenix, AZ for $162,000 a few days ago.
    It was a beautiful meticulous ‘nut-n-bolt’ restoration with a modern MB fuel injected gas engine, air-ride suspension, solar panel, etc.

  14. Sal Orlando

    My non-panorama restoration is almost complete. Hope to take it to the Pismo Car show 6-1-19. This bus you see here is partially disassembled and I have purchased almost $5k worth of new parts for it. I think I am going to sell as a project if there is any interset.
    the SLO life at charter.net

  15. Sal Orlando

    Sorry, right side up

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