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Barn Bound Beauty: 1971 VW Bus



With the crazy prices we have seen lately for rusted out examples of early model Volkswagen buses, this purple 1971 VW bus trapped in a barn in Accord, New York looks like a pretty good deal. The asking price is only $2,900! The hand-painted purple peace signs and other decorations, and the stickers on the back indicate this might have been used most recently as some sort of “proto-hippie” bus. Both its current location in upstate New York and the Vermont license plate on the back indicate it has been in the rust belt for at least part of its life. Maybe it came here from California or Arizona or some other winter free area, as the seller says it has “very little rust.”


There are only four pretty poor photos, for which the seller apologizes in the Craigslist ad where it is listed for sale. It’s not clear whether the bus can’t be moved under its own power, or that there is another reason why it wasn’t moved outside so decent photos could be taken. It’s possible the seller is just lazy or maybe he feels that the asking price is so low, it’s just not worth the effort.


The ad does say that the bus is restorable and that the engine needs an oil leak fixed, along with a muffler, but that it has been driven only 34,000 since a full engine rebuild – though I have to wonder why a rebuilt engine would be leaking oil so soon after being rebuilt. If you assume the worst, you will be happy with what you find when you get it out into the sunlight again.

1971 VW bus ad

You can’t tell from the pictures provided, but the seller says the spare tire is mounted on the front. Nothing at all is said about the interior or any other mechanical issues. But for $2,900, this seems worthwhile for someone to buy and restore, even if it’s not in great shape. And I think the purple color scheme and the hand painted symbols under the window lines look pretty cool. If it’s not too difficult to get this car out of storage, you might even be able to drive it home – at a very low rate of speed. Unless you soup up the engine, you’re working with about 57 horsepower, so you always need to take your time when driving one of these, and be careful in heavy winds too. On the other hand, you might consider that “have bong, will travel,” and just not worry about keeping up with traffic.


  1. Dave

    I dig this man !!!! I’d just get it road worthy and enjoy it…’s about time I slowed down anyway !!!! Lol !!!!

    Like 0
  2. Jason

    The 71’s are highly desirable because of the low mounted turn signals on the front and also the last year for the beetle engine before they went to the pancake format. Lots of parts and easy to repair. If the body is in good shape, this would be a great find.

    Like 0
  3. JW454

    I doubt this van has 10 million miles on it but… you never know. LOL Plus, it’s been rebuilt. Better pictures would be nice but maybe there’s a big tree growing in front of the garage door and they can’t get it out.

    Like 1
  4. Rick

    And gone already…

    Like 0

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