Double Door Panel: 1959 VW Bus

If you’re sick of seeing the 21-window VW Buses get all the glory, then now might be the time to get in on what I think will become the next most collectible version: the Type 2 panel van buses. Available with a few extra side windows or none at all, a vintage Bus that may have once done duty as a shop truck just oozes all kinds of cool. This 1959 model features the desirable split windshield and a moderate amount of rust, listed here on craigslist for $9,750. 

Thanks to Barn Finds reader Ikey H. for the find. I personally just dig the color of the Bus, as we don’t often see them in gold. The seller says this is a clean-titled example with all the necessary ID plates and tags still in place, but it will be sold with a different set of wheels than what’s pictured. Rust is noted in several typical trouble spots, including the rockers and jackpoints.

The dash looks quite decent, and it looks to me like there’s different paint colors inside the door jambs that don’t match the exterior. The Bus will come with the front seats, but it doesn’t appear any other bench seats are included with the sale. The rear cargo area shows what looks like a mash-up of intended uses, almost as if the Bus may have been used as a camping rig at one time and a cargo carrier at another.

Ah, the tin worm – it had to show up somewhere. The rust is a formidable opponent on this Bus, but it’s not like patch panels and good metal for junk Buses aren’t available. The seller is including the glass panels for the windshield, and unlike many aircooled projects, this one comes with a motor. If a camper van or 21-window is out of reach, I’d give this old panel vans a closer look.

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  1. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    They are making the right move. Selling the V Dub and keeping the delivery and Corvair.

  2. daCabbie

    I enjoy VW’s but I’m tired of the hype.

    They are slow, cumbersome, cantankerous and now overpriced.

    Thank the pickers for ruining a classic… they have pushed the market so high that someone is going to start reproducing them.

    I agree with the previous post… the Corvair in the background is much more interesting than this bus.

  3. Eric Barbosa

    Corvairs are garbage
    And pickers arent the reason prices of vws are skyhigh
    Panels usually were dove blue or just primered so who bought them could put their own paint of choice
    Seems to me alot of vehicle’s on this site are overpriced
    So basically this site is doing what the pickers are to ruin. Collecting of vintage stuff
    Not to mention the unknowledgeable comments

  4. LT1 Mike

    I’ve always loved the VW bus, and can’t help but stare at one cruising down the road. (Regardless of condition) Hopefully this one gets saved and enjoyed, good luck to the new owner. ✌

  5. Mike

    Wow, a Bus project that isn’t $30k+. Anyway, what is that car in the background? A hearse? A custom panel?

    • Eric

      That car in the background looks like 53 or 54 Chevrolet sedan delivery.

  6. local_sheriff

    People should notice this is the dual rear door version, as most panels had doors on the passenger side only.
    Yes it has rust issues but show me that unrestored 50s splitty that doesn’t. Sheet metal for these is so avilable that I think you can make a new Bus out of replacement panels only! People should stop complaining about the imbesile prices the Samba sells for – if you truly desire a VW bus but you’re on a budget then look for a lesser version and get your hands dirty !

  7. Beatnik Bedouin

    As much as I love VWs, I’d rather have the Chebbie sedan delivery in the background.

    In today’s market, this VW Type 2 van is reasonably priced, but it will need a heck of a lot of work to bring it back to roadworthy condition.

    • deejayq

      Sadly, I’m not much of a fixer-upper. But I agree that Chevy Sedan Delivery in the background is intriguing.
      For years my dad worked for the snack cake baker Dolly Madison Cakes. One of my earliest memories is that “Dolly” used exactly this kind of ’53-’54 Chevy Sedan Delivery (in what appears to be exactly this 2-tone blue combo) for taking the cakes to the grocery stores. So I’d love to find one and find someone who could help me restore it into a retro “Dolly” delivery car.

    • Nick_Soapdish
      • deejayq

        Thanks for the tip, Nick. No motor, no tranny and lots of rust… Hmmm. Add shipping to Florida… I guess I meant I was hoping to find something a little closer to home. :-)

  8. Kenneth Carney

    Old school wheelchair van coming up!!
    With 2 sets of side doors and a manual
    ramp, I could use either side to load and
    unload the scooter with no trouble at all.
    And since we would be using it around
    town only, I’d convert it to a direct-drive
    EV so that Mom wouldn’t have to deal
    with shifting a manual gearbox. Yes
    decabble, these things are being repro-
    duced as EVs. Just look at the one Mike
    Brewer drove on Wheeler Dealers a few
    years back. The torque on an EV is
    ginormous which allows them to accelarate much faster than a gas
    engine does, thus allowing them to keep
    up with traffic almost anywhere. Just add a set of solar panels to the roof, a
    high output internal charger, and you’ll have a vehicle that can go anywhere
    without stopping for fuel. Would be
    great for hurricane season too. That’s
    what I’d do with it, any more ideas?

  9. Little Cars

    Appears this “splitty” had its windshields split! That must produce quite a breeze when riding in the front. At least they covered the holes….

  10. Edward

    Get out your wallet on this one. So much that needs replacing to complete, has been years unavailable from any reliable source. Invariably, these projects become added skeletons in one’s closet. Do you really want another?

  11. D Bohm

    somebody peed in Eric’s coffee this morning. lol

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