1965 Volkswagen Bus: 21 Windows


Sometimes, a classic is so rough the seller only needs to say, “See pictures” to eliminate any chance of misrepresentation about what he is selling. This 1965 21-Window VW Bus is here on eBay with bidding at $6,600 and the reserve unmet. I can’t say I’m surprised since these old air-cooled vans are following the trends of bathtub Porsches into collector car territory regardless of condition. The simple math on these vans says to count the number of windows and increase the price accordingly; that said, I suspect this example with its multiple day-lit openings will see an impressive final bid despite needing a ton of work. Still, the original paint is a bonus, along with the transmission it came with from the factory. The engine, like many old Beetles and Buses, is long gone, but that will likely be the easier part of the restoration considering the amount of corrosion in the floors. Oh, and you’ll also need a complete interior while you’re at it! So, what are your guesses as to where this one will end up dollar-wise?


  1. type877

    Seriously hammered yet fixable. I bet it settles for close to $20k.

    Like 1
  2. Alan (Michigan)

    These are so campy-popular now! The more window openings, the bigger the price. Nice ones have easily burst into the $50K region and beyond…

    Funny thing though: Owners of scrapyard vehicles like this one lean on the high prices to justify crazy asks for junk. Yes, we see it and comment about that here all the time. No exception for this bus. $6600 bid, and reserve not met? Crazy. What it would take just to bring this back to rain-resistant and drivable makes me shudder. Man. Take the max bid and go, dude. This is not a $20K bondo-paint-shine restoration project. Serious $ and skills needed to bring this one back.

  3. MH

    To bad it so rough! 18K + in the shape it’s in. Where else you going to find one?

  4. DENIS

    over $1o grand and still reserve not met…wth??? take me now, lord!

  5. JW

    Growing up in the hippie crazed 60’s these things were OK but just never caught my attention. Seriously though I think for the condition it’s in it’s already way over bid but that’s just my opinion. Good luck to the new happy owner as your going to need it and there is no way in hell I would pay 50K even for a nicely restored one.

  6. Wayne Norman

    Samba baby. Samba!

    • type877

      Oh dear.

  7. Capt Doug

    Well it does have the clock but No Engine and with all those windows you probably don’t need those extra ventilation vents in the floors – the M code here means sealed beam headlights,red taillights, side flashing indicators and back up lights – all of which are gone.
    Now over $10K with reserve not met and almost 4 days left on the auction it may reach a high water mark for rusty bus projects.
    It could look like this and the pics will give the new owner a pattern for their plan.

  8. guggie

    in 1969 my Dad myself and two brothers bought the twin of this van for $200.00 , the engine was literally in boxes in the back . We got the parts from JC Whitney and rebuilt it , this van also had a gas heater , it served as a spare vehicle for about three years ,making lots of road trips and some camping trips . Then one day my sisters were on the way to school when a drunk ran a red lite ,sisters were ok but that was the end of the van .Every time we see these at auctions going for wild money we remember the one we had !!

  9. Badnikl

    I love these things. All parts are available to get these back on the road, just costs money.
    Already at 10,500. I think between 15-20 would be the ending Bid.

  10. Horse Radish

    This just needs to be encapsulated in a big block of Lucite.

    Priceless, just the way it is.

  11. Dolphin Member

    I guess VW has its own large group of fanatical fans with money just like early P-cars do, but I think what you get with a Samba is pretty much lots of sunlight, appreciating asset value, and…..oh yeah, lots of cooool.

    Potentially you could have lots of bums in seats too, but have you ever hauled much in one of these on a highway? Best to limit the number of those bums—and their luggage. Seriously underpowered, and seriously undercooled, especially on the highway in the South/Southwest in the summer. That’s why those aftermarket air scoops that you rivet on over the intake louvers became so popular. That’s also why VW adopted their own version high up near the back of the body soon after.

    I’d much rather have an original fully outfitted Camper. And I’d travel light….very light.

  12. Chris in WNC

    bought one in 1979 for $60
    all complete except missing engine.
    I had a rebuilt engine on hand from a totaled bug.
    so I’m rollin’ for under $100.
    it had some bubbly rust but no rust-through.
    drove it for a year with no serious problems.
    one f the few cars I ever sold at a profit…….

  13. Craig

    Saw this vehicle restored go on Barrett-Jackson for $250k. Almost fell off my chair.

  14. 1977ChevyTruck

    I think I’ll just stick with mine. Easier to find parts for, no rust, and if it it gets hit, much easier to fix…

    Like 1
    • Jeff Lavery Staff

      Oh man – I’ve resisted the urge to buy this kit for a while, but every time I see it I want it in a bad way!

      • 1977ChevyTruck

        Get it! It is one of my top two LEGO sets (tied with the Mini Cooper). A little delicate, but packed with so many neat little details. It’s just fun to just look at!

  15. Chris

    hey, if hurley on lost can get one that sat around since the seventies, anyone can

  16. BobinBexley Bob in Bexley Member

    & when your ‘restoration’ is completed it still drives like a VW microbus.

  17. Rich

    Air cooled Volkswagens have been my obsession since I was a little kid – but I just don’t get why anyone would pay so much money for a rusty old van. It’s good that they’re popular and so get saved rather than scrapped, but value for money? No.

  18. Joe Herald

    Restored VW Type II’s, (’48- ’67) sell for crazy money. A 23-window pulled in over $200k at a Barrett-Jackson auction a couple of years ago. That’s the kind of price you’d see on some elegant 30’s era Cadillac or Packard etc. These VW’s are thin stamped sheet metal boxes with, (at best) a 40 hp motor. All of the factors that give value to collectable cars would be a hard thing to identify.

    • Alan (Michigan)

      Has to be the old stoner nostalgia bit? ;-)

  19. Horse Radish

    I think I know what’s up.
    Somebody is bidding on both the last 2 barnfinds buses to make on rust free samba out of it. (replace the roof from the long Beach Bus with the one from the rusty Samba….
    Coincidentally both buses are bid up to $12,445.00 right now.

  20. Woodie Man

    The seller is on drugs. Not the good stuff either

  21. Fred

    Reliable in cool weather but agonizingly slow. Forget about it if you have a 25mph front collision- nothing between you and instant death. They do look cool though.

  22. Woodie Man

    Ahhhh…….the old days

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