1964 Volkswagen 21-Window Bus Project

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The Volkswagen Type 2 has several aliases, including Transporter, Kombi, Microbus, and just plain Bus. While they were popular with families and campers back in the day, the “Flower Power” children of the 1960s and 1970s were constantly seen tooling around in them. While the standard bus had 11 windows, depending on the model year you could also get them with 13, 15, 21, and 23 windows (more on that bit of confusion in a moment). This 21-window edition from 1964 has come off a 38-year nap in Columbia, Tennessee. It will need a lot of bodywork, but that’s common with these old buses. The VW is available here on eBay where the current bid is $20,300 and the reserve is unmet, but you can seal the deal right away at $36,500.

Keeping track of the number of window options in a 1960s VW Bus requires a scorecard. As we said, the basic Kombi came with 11 windows and that’s the version most commonly seen then and now. But if you went with the Deluxe version of the Bus before 1964, that got you 15 windows (13 from 1964 to 1967). The Deluxe Samba, which was popular for touring through the mountains in Europe, accounted for 23 windows before 1964, and 21 from 1964 through 1967. Simple, right? The differences in window count often had to do with skylight-type lights above the regular side windows.

The seller’s bus has the 21-count set-up plus a canvas sunroof which doesn’t factor into the number of windows. It was in storage from around 1985 until recently and is said to run and drive with the original air-cooled VW engine and clutch (the reported mileage is just 46,000). Said motor likely puts out about 50 hp, so when carrying a full load, these things will take forever to get up to 60 mph. The seller must be into these transports as you see several more in the photos.

While you could drive this van around town with perhaps a little more work, restoring it cosmetically will not be easy. But these things can fetch a pretty penny. We covered one of these here on Barn Finds not long ago with 23 windows and the seller there was trying to raise $60,000 and it was in far worse shape than this one. The Velvet Green paint is said to be original, and you’ll have to cut out a lot of rust, such as in the rocker panels.

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  1. alphasudMember

    I’m glad I just got a tetanus shot!

    Like 6
  2. Mike

    Bring on the “I don’t get why these gutless rust buckets are worth so much” or “they’ll have to pay me to haul this away” comments. Meanwhile, the seller is laughing his a$$ off all the way to the bank.

    Like 10
  3. Zen

    Ok, I will say it. I don’t get why anyone would pay anything for this rotted crap. I guess one man’s junk is another man’s treasure. I would buy something far, far nicer, and far, far more useful with that kind of money.

    Like 13
  4. bobhess bobhessMember

    Only thing I’ll give the seller is providing the pictures needed to negate the asking price. Too much ventilation on this one.

    Like 6
  5. Maggy

    Last week me and a friend went to look at one it was a 66 with I think 11 windows.This girl he knows from the bar had it at a VW specialty shop and they couldn’t get it running right.We got her up and purring in no time.Put a set of plugs in it and checked timing.Dummies put the wrong spark plugs in it Anyway I got my first drive in one ever as I sat in the back by a picnic type table and a built in fridge with a little drawer above it for utensils.I was sitting on a couch like back seat.She was rowing the gears while I was enjoying the springtime scenery while getting fresh air from the tilt out windows..These are neat little buses.Hers was as solid as a rock with a low budget paint job but It looked ok.She bought it for 20k a few years ago. I think this one needs way too much work for the $ they’re seeking
    but if he can get it and both parties are happy why not? .Love those extra windows though.glwts.

    Like 8
  6. TheOldRanger

    Ugly and under powered, and it couldn’t take the hills over here in Arkansas….. I’ve never liked VWs anyway.

    Like 3
  7. losgatos_dale

    Here’s your “build back better”, fan-boys!

    Like 2
    • BimmerDudeMember

      Love the “…hate VWs…and it is ugly” perspective. I had 3 over the years, the 1963 took us cross country r/t with similar tin worm issues in the late 60’s. We had much of it patched and painted the classic Plum Crazy color. The second cross country ws one way in the best year, a 1971. dual port heads and disc brakes. It performed okay through the Appalachian Hill’s and the Rockies, was a coveted lifestyle in the early 70’s but today the 8.1 liter in the rv is a better choice.

      Like 2
  8. PRA4SNW

    Are these still bringing over 100K fully restored?

    This is one collector fad that I figured would be short lived.

    Like 4
  9. Lance

    And now for something in the Fool & His Money department……..

    Like 9
  10. CarbobMember

    I don’t get why people are asking and getting what in my opinion is ridiculous money for these microbuses. But that’s one of the reasons why I like the old car scene; different perspectives. If this was mine; twenty pounds of bondo, couple of cans of Rustoleum and your good to roll. Relax I’m just kidding! I’m sure someone will restore and get it worth the real big bucks the good one’s command. Now can we see more first edition Ford Broncos?

    Like 3
  11. Sgt Odball

    “Always with the negative waves, Moriarity”
    You underpowered cats…..VW’s can be built to have great, reliable HP.
    Some will go out and spend “stupid” money on an old Chrysler or Plymouth, and that’s OK…??
    VW made some great vehicles and have been around longer than most car makers.
    I’m not a VW guy per say but those are great vans. Yes it will take money, but what doesn’t??
    You gots the money, you wants the car, you buuuys it, don’t complain about the guy/gal that buys it. It’s CAPITALISM, best system in the world.

    Always with the negative waves, Moriarity
    SGT. Odball….signing off

    Like 6
  12. Stanley P. Kauling

    Back in 1966 I bought one for the gas mileage. Caint remember what the mpg was, but It was reliable trans for going surfing every weekend. Me and my surfboard slept in it at the beach. Caint remember the # of windows it had, but it got me to and from school and the beach. And that’s all I asked it to do. Lasted me all the way to graduation from H.S.

    Like 3
  13. randy kenney

    my son (Now 50) has had VWs his whole life and some very nice one & Ive had Street rods and I have to laugh at myself because we’ve made more EASY profit from V.W.s than Ive ever made from my street rods/muscle cars just one case bought a 21 window van LITERALLY across the street for $12,500 Sat morning sold it Sunday for $25K

    Like 3
  14. Chris Cornetto

    Overpriced junk for trendy yuppies. Aside from unique style, these are engineering garbage. Most overrated cars bring big bucks as the doofaces that buy they have no clue. They will never drive it, dump big dollars into them and then sell it to another dooface. But hey it is what it is and to whoever buys it enjoy but remember rum is cheaper…..

    Like 3
    • Car Nut Tacoma

      I tend to agree. I’ve always loved these split-window VW Buses. If only the asking price for this was less than it is. Given its condition, I’d pay between $10k and $15k. You’d still have enough money left over to do some resto work done to it.

      Like 1
  15. Mountainwoodie

    Everything has gone nuts as far as asking price..perhaps the 21 and 23 window busses. more so than others.I mean people wont pay what I think they should for restored Ford and Buick Woodies.but ask ridiculously high prices for busses.I know a willing buyer and a willing seller yadda yadda yadda. When you’ve bought these and sold perfect condition ’67 21 windows for 6K and thought you hit the lottery……..well time has passed you (me) by. :)

    Like 0

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