Disclosure: This site may receive compensation when you click on some links and make purchases.

1978 Volkswagen Bus in Time-capsule for Over 20 Years!

Check out this  1978 Volkswagen Bus in seemingly excellent condition, offered here on craigslist for $6,000 in Hayfork California. Said to have been off the road since 1996, this Tylenol-shaped time capsule is waiting for the right person to put it back on the roads and maybe get a little sand between the treads of its tires. My Dad had one of these in Florida in the ’80s and it was perfect for a family outing to Ben T. Davis beach.

Though nearly 40 years old, this microbus compares fairly well with today’s minivans in terms of cargo capacity and fuel economy. It might not smoke a 2017 Dodge Caravan when dueling Moms face off at a red light, or have DVDs in the headrests, but you’ll be able to keep this baby on the road long after today’s minivans are crushed and smelted into tomorrow’s front-loading washers. Parts will always be available for this family hauler, and it will never depreciate until, perhaps, the End of Days.

The rear-engine, rear-wheel drive configuration means plenty of traction, though this Golden State classic is more likely to utilize this advantage in the woods or beach than in inclement weather. The seller states that the motor turns freely and you can see how clean it is! 1979 was the last model year for this generation of the VW microbus, so the bugs were pretty much sorted out by ’78. What would you do with this well-preserved specimen?


  1. Avatar photo David

    This once, we know Why this was left sitting. The engine is still in pieces, and hopefully nothing is missing. The shop working on it couldn’t figure out the fuel injection and never got it running. Hopefully all the pieces are there And there is enough to build an engine. For a bus without an engine and an automatic transmission the price for this is way high.The fellow who is flipping it is a VW guy so there must be a reason why he isn’t trying to get this bus running himself. He did do the legwork though to get a title.

    Like 0
    • Avatar photo jackthemailman

      The ad may SAY auto transmission but that’s a clutch pedal sticking through the floorboard; and a long-stick gear shift lever. I owned a ’73 from new to 1985. Swapped out the two 1bbl car system for a single 2bbl (FoMoCo) setup. It would cruise all day at 75mph+ (no side winds, obviously). Early one Sunday, I had it over 100mph for a mile or so just before I finalized its sale.

      Like 0
  2. Avatar photo angliagt

    Hayfork? That’s what we refer to here as “Farming Country”.
    EVERYONE grows there.According to the phone number,the owner’s
    from the LA area.
    OTOH – the road from Hayfork to Hyampom is an incredible
    sports car road,about 30 miles.

    Like 0
  3. Avatar photo Chebby

    “The motor is Free spending” ha ha ha, some truth in advertising.

    Like 0
  4. Avatar photo Greg Member

    What memories come flooding back! My uncle had a 76 Bus, and my Dad had a 1970 Chevy Carryall (Suburban for the younger crowd!). In the summer of 1981, we all started a road trip from Los Angles CA to Canada, Yellowstone and back. We were on the road two months, and neither vehicle had any problems. My uncle had a little stove and sink he built into the Bus, and we stayed in campgrounds. When we arrived on Vancouver Island, we treated ourselves to a new movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark that had just opened. Best summer family vacation ever! I loved that VW Bus. Great memories.

    Like 0
  5. Avatar photo scotto

    had a few of these around 97-01. been watching the prices go way up since then. bought a mint 76 westfalia deluxe camper for $2000 that i daily drove for two years, and a rusty but running 75 for only $400. not likely to see those kinda prices again.

    Like 0
  6. Avatar photo Gay Car Nut

    I don’t know why, but I’ve always liked this generation VW Vanagon (Bus). I have a friend whose parents had a Westphalia camper when we were boys. I’d buy one if I could upgrade a few things. Among the upgrades would be a water-cooled Subaru boxer engine

    Like 0
  7. Avatar photo Rustytech Member

    I had a girlfriend back in the 70’s whose father had one of these. The only thing I remember about it is, it couldn’t get out of the way of anything, not even its own rear wheel!

    Like 0
  8. Avatar photo gepops58

    As far as micro vans go I would take a VW over any of them…… might not be fast but very reliable and they still look cool. One of these days I’ll find one restore it and put it back between the white lines

    Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.