1963 Volkswagen Bus: Shockingly Solid


When you look at some eBay finds from afar, it can appear as if they are quite rough and rusty. And when you combine that with a title that extols the car’s rust-free condition, you definitely need a closer look! Well, I’m happy to report this 1963 split-window VW Bus here on eBay appears to defy the odds and be quite solid. Many of these old vans are lacking floors and intact lower sill areas, so it’s refreshing to see one still this solid. Heck, even the original front seats look amazing for the age. The split windshield models are more desirable right off the bat, and despite this example lacking the desirable 21 windows – an instant price-booster for some VW Bus fanatics – I suspect it will still sell for a good price as it seems to define the word “survivor.” The original motor comes with as well, a serious bonus on this already tempting no-reserve auction. Is it just me, or would anyone else mark this as one to buy?


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  1. John D

    I’d call it a van. A bus is a many-windowed thing.

  2. Matthew Tritt

    I second that. These were always referred to as commercial vans.

  3. moosie Craig

    Yep, I’d buy this in a heartbeat if I were more solvent, no matter what you call it,,,, bus or van, it still rocks

  4. jim s

    this is a van and it is going to get costly before the bidding is done. not the correct exhaust on motor, the panel below the motor cover is cut out for the 2 pipes and did i miss the rear bumper with mounts. i have way to many miles in these to ever go back to driving them again. great find

  5. Jeff Staff

    Up to $7K. Looks like there’s some interest in this one.

  6. jim s

    seller has 39 items on ebay right now.


    The motor shown in the picture is not original for a 1963 van, it had a 40 horse motor, not a 36 horse motor shown, as used on 1959 and older vw’s

  8. Jose

    Yep, 36-40 horses; I’d buy it for $500, not $7,000. Use it to go fishing.

  9. JW454

    Actually, I believe this is known as a T1 Panel Van.

  10. charlie Member

    I am told by a California guy, who passed me going about 75mph in one of these, that the Subaru opposed 4 fits very nicely, and makes it more than an around town car. About the same size, plenty of room in the van (unlike the beetle) and twice or more than twice the horsepower.

    • Matthew Tritt

      My brother did a successful transplant in one with a Mercury Capri V-4. Cripes that thing would haul ass! The only issue is that with every MPH faster you drive one, the closer you are to that sheet metal bumper and body panel, if you see what I mean. I’ve had a few of them – once the very first to come to and loved them all. I like em at about 45 to 55 just fine.

  11. Rex Kahrs Member

    OK I gotta speak my onions on these VW vans….

    I have smoked my share of herbal remedies over the years, and sung my share of folk songs. Despite the herbal remedies I could still probably remember how to play a couple of Dead tunes. And I dig old German cars, and have owned several including a nice old 2002 right now.

    But 7 grand for a yucky van? I don’t get it. No power, no heat, no chrome, no Exner, no sex-appeal…what’s to love? Sure, if perfectly painted in some wacky euro color and perfectly mechanically functional for 7K, but not this POS.

    I take that back. Not even running and painted a cool color would this loaf of bread on wheels be interesting. There. I’ve said it.

  12. Alan (Michigan )

    The VW bread-loaf vans, with or without windows = crazy money right now.

    Dig the one I spotted along a highway in Michigan last week.

    • Cassidy

      Alan, anyone who has ever been stuck in a long line of cars waiting to pass one of these under-powered, under-braked, death on impact, loaf of bread on wheels (thank you Rex!) on a two lane road will revel in that van’s present and hopefully, future place of rest! I wish I owned that plot of land so I could tell everyone who stops to try and buy it, that “I’ll restore that one day, its not for sale!”

    • Jeff Staff

      In today’s market, Alan, that one would bring some money, as stupid as that seems.

  13. Mike D

    back in the day these were cheap transportation, easy on gas, , and when they were used up, just take it to a junk yard .. thus, the ” hippie van” while it is surprising that this is still around, I wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole

  14. Matthew Tritt

    Aw come on you guys! I think it’s important to keep these things in the right context; that being historically significant and FUN vehicles not ever intended for the fast lane.They were developed to fill the void where pre-war utility/delivery vans used to be and to get people back to the countyside without having to ride a bike or take a (real) bus. That they ever caught on in the US is a real phenomena, considering the average US consumer’s tendency to buy big, fast and expensive cars covered in chrome. The Transporter, which is their real name, could carry 7 to 8 people (slowly), volumetrically huge cargo loads, fit in tight places, had great traction and got reasonably good fuel economy. The other thing that everyone is overlooking is that their build quality was far better than all but the most expensive US made autos. People < 50 probably wouldn't realise that American cars, by comparison, were crude, problematic machines that seemed to be made just to carry around hundreds of pounds of chrome plated steel. VW was a huge hit, at least in a large part, because of build quality, attention to detail, convenience, fuel economy and that they were really fun to drive. All the German made VW's from 49 up to about 74 were tight, rattle-free and great to own and drive. That they were also dangerous and prone to engine fires seemed to be just part of the thrill! ;-) Here in California it was common clear through the 60's to see about 1 in 10 vehicles in any given situation a VW. There were LOTS of em. It's too bad that they didn't have better rust control materials then or there would still be zillions of em around.

  15. Marshall

    This puppy does need help! But if that panel van has a “solid rear hatch” (as in NO rear window), complete with the solid rear hatch code recorded on its “M plate”, then no wonder the bidding went up so high. I have only seen ONE pre-68 panel van with no rear window in my life! This, I believe, was an EXTREMELY rare option. The one I saw was an unwrecked specimen in a junkyard during the ’70s, for which the junkman said he wanted 400 bucks at the time.

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