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One Family Van: 1964 Volkswagen Transporter

1964 Volkswagen Vanagon

This van is claimed to have been with the same family since it was purchased new in 1964. It has supposedly only covered 58k miles in the time! The engine hasn’t been started for years though so it’s going to need some work before it will be able to haul anything around. The single family ownership and low mileage obviously make this one interesting, but I can spot a few issues. Take a look here on eBay where bidding ends in a few short hours!

1990 Inspection Sticker

The seller mentions that the last inspection was done in 1990 and that the mileage was recorded at 58,671.


The interior is crusty, but looks complete.

Rust Bubbles

The only thing that causes me concern is the rust starting to work it’s way out.

Family Van

The low mileage and ownership claim may make this van more valuable to some, it still looks like a big expensive project to me. What do you think?


  1. Stang1968

    Bidding at over 23k right now, but this appears to be pretty minimal rust compared to some of the busses on the market. This one looks almost like you could clean it, buff out that famous VW paint, perform the differed maintenance and clean the intertior, and have daily driver that will appreciate.
    Or restore it back to original new condition.

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  2. Badnikl

    What a great Bus! Nice find.New Tires-Battery Fix up the brakes and engine and enjoy it!

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  3. Mr. TKD

    They were called Vanagons in ’64?

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    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      Nope, I should have known better than to copy the seller’s title! Thanks for catching that.

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    • Andrew

      In Germany and other western European countries, we just called them: ‘bus’. Even if it was a pick-up, still called VW bus. My dad should’ve bought one back in 1962 with 7 children in tow. What did he do, he bought a two door Skoda instead!

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  4. OhU8one2

    I’ve said this before,why is there NO company building brand new bodies for these? The demand is obvious. Look at the price. In my best opinion,this is all around the best era for these VDub’s. I would be thrilled to have one just like this van in my garage.

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    • JamestownMike

      No kidding! They make new bodies for 67-69 Camaros, Chevelles and the like, you’d think someone would! Not much to them!

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    • toolbox

      There are several companies that offer high quality sheetmetal. You could almost build one with all the parts offered. I will probably be $10K in metal when my 59 truck is done.

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    • notchback

      Pretty much everything is made for these. You can re-create one to your desired look. Check out this thread on The Samba about the “funky green panels”

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    • Rich

      There is, sort of – Klassicfab make every single panel, and have assembled complete busses from them.

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  5. JamestownMike

    WOW! $23,100 with 4 hours left in the auction!?!?………sorry, I don’t get it! I can’t believe these things are bringing that kind of money………there’s nothing to em’!

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    • Bobsmyuncle

      But a ’63 Corvette that is worth $$$$ makes sense?

      Of course not. Every machine that graces these pages has ceased to make sense long ago. They are all outdated and even super cars from the 90s are slower than my Dodge Magnum.

      We discuss putting 30 40 50 thousand dollars into restoring cars that will then be worth 25 thousand.

      Nothing we do in this hobby is sensible, it’s emotional.

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  6. Peregrine Lance

    I just finished reading a great book by a guy who took a 1965 version of this same VW van through England and France. Not only a great read, but it tells all you need to know to be REALLY prepared! (A sampler: Take an extra clutch cable in your kit!)

    Another eye-opener: This guy drove this German car, with an outdated Dutch registry and plate, through England and France–and NOBODY GAVE A DAMN ABOUT PAPERS! Yes, Virginia, there is life after the DMV! (And oh–did you say above that bidding had hit 23K?—this fella paid four hundred bucks for his (in 1973!). Check out the book–“THE VAN GOGH QUARTET.” (The painter sure could’ve used this rolling bunk!

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    • Ken

      Googled “The Van Gogh Quartet” and came up empty-handed. Any more leads on the book– author’s name, publisher? Where did you get your copy? Thanks!

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  7. Bob_s

    I don’t get it, $23K+ for an old VW van. It is in good shape. All I can thinks is that some old hippy trying to relive his youth.

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  8. DirtyHarry

    It is hard to believe, considering it was one of the slowest and has some of the worst driving dynamics ever made.

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    • Bobsmyuncle

      Where are you getting those impressions? Not from first hand experience.

      Compared to contemporaries these were either very similar (European) or better (North American).

      With the load centered between the occupants and engine, the handling was superior to most. Both in comfort and maneuverability.

      The reduction boxes allowed one ton payloads and hill climbing (albeit slow) with even a lowly 36 horsepower.

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  9. PaulG

    Guys, with restored 21 window vans bringing 6 figures, these will be right behind them. Expect this to eclipse 25K

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  10. David Frank david Member

    A lot of us have connections and and wonderful recollections of VW vans, but when is enough? I drove my 1957 Westphalia through some amazing landscapes (not all induced by recreational pharmaceuticals) and have crazy memories like driving a right hand version in a mad dash down back roads from Madrid to Malaga (avoiding the Guardia Civil!) in the early 1970s as well as things like the hundreds of vans along the beaches in Morocco south of Agadir down by Tiznit. But how much can these old vans really be worth when you look at what else you can buy for $30,000 to $50,000? Somewhere you just have to get off the crazy train!

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  11. Rob

    Hammered at US $28,677.57 in the last 1 sec of bidding.

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  12. PaulG

    28,677 at close of auction. I’m really not surprised considering where the prices of these Vans have been going

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  13. jim s

    i had one back when they were just vans. put a lot of miles on it and had a lot of fun. but no interest in owning or driving one again. this one has more windows then mine did, but not the max number that you could get. it also has more ” chrome ” then mine. this has the add on gearshift piece but no hand pump windsheild washer bottle. sold for a lot of money. great find

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    • Bobsmyuncle

      Yours was a standard. It had 11 windows and no chrome.

      In ’64 the rear tailgate changed shape allowing a larger rear window. But for that reason it could no longer have windows in the rear corners.

      So a Deluxe in 63 or earlier would have 15 windows or 23 (the most coveted) if it had the optional sky light windows.

      A deluxe in 64 to 67 would have 13 windows or 21 if it had the optional sky light windows.

      I personally think the standards are cooler. They are cleaner looking without the chrome, and having the sheet metal instead of a window at the end of each side gives it more of a van look than a tour bus.

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      • jim s

        thanks. yes a 1965 standard, 1500cc but still 40 HP. without the chrome there were less holes drilled in the body where rust could start.

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  14. DougM

    a ’65 window was my 1st “love” summer after HS; last trip in one was a month caravaning from NL thru the Alps, Dolomites, Croatia, N Italy lakes region. Much
    faster on the downhill runs when the master cylinder decided to “vacation” too!

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  15. Peregrine Lance

    Ken–America Star Publishers, or Amazon and other booksellers. I understand it’s a pretty new book! /pl

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  16. Howard A Member

    I agree with the others, this is crazy, but we have to remember, try and find something like this today. ( like a vintage piece of furniture) The German’s don’t make crummy vehicles, and everything on this bus was there for a reason. And so simple. While I’ve never owned a VW ( guess it’s a little blowback from my parents attitude ), one can’t deny what an impact these made on our lives. America tried to copy this, with terrible results ( Corvair van and Econoline) and wasn’t until years later, finally caught up with the mini-van. Huge cult following for these in Cal. and I’m sure that’s where this will end up. Great find. The down side is, with prices like these, it pretty much puts the kabosh on us poor folks to ever owning one.

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  17. John b

    I own a 1960 VW pick-up, are they worth the same amout when restored?

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  18. Bobsmyuncle

    Yes the pickups are highly coveted as well.

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  19. Mark

    I’ve owned many of these and restored a few. That price is pretty fair at the rate they are becoming obsolete as barn finds. I’ve had three of the 21 windows and each time I purchased one the price was double. That’s not restored but average condition like this one.

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  20. renzo

    For lots of $$$ you can buy most of the pieces to rebuild even a rusted-out shell like this.

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