Live Auctions

Very Expensive Jersey Looker: 1962 VW 23 Window

First off, I’d like to apologize for my absence of writing. My life has been a whirlwind, but I’m glad to be back, talking about cars. As many of you know, I am neck-deep in the VW world. Between my dad and I, we own five buses plus a pair of Hadley Veeps. I’m a part of a few forums, and this bus has caused quite the stir, given its seemingly rough condition and exorbitant price. If you have an extra $20,000 to throw around, check out this 1962 VW 23 window, found here on eBay.

This part right here is what is driving the price of this bus up so high. This tiny two-by-four inch piece of tin makes it very clear that this is indeed a genuine “samba”. Interestingly enough, this bus was only equipped with the required US import package to make the bus comply with our regulations.

There really isn’t much to say about the interior, unfortunately. The dash clock is missing and severe rust has begun to set in on the dash. There is no 62-only front seat, and the deluxe-only horn button is missing too. All of the glass is beyond saving, and the door panels are going to be very difficult or expensive to source.

This is the angle that best represents this bus. Slotted mags, fiberglass air scoops, and the hacked wheel arches are all cornerstones of Jersey lookers. I believe I also spot flared front doglegs. I think the rust has gotten to the roof badly enough that the entire window section will need to be replaced with new metal. If you look closely, you can even see the rear “f” (all the way back) pillar beginning to buckle under the stress of the roof.


  1. Howard A Member

    Welcome back, James. This? Pure “mishigas”.

  2. Rabbit

    Bidding over 10 grand? Thing’s little more than junk, no matter how many windows. Even with ACVW prices (at least around my parts) going through the roof, not much left here to save, given their propensity to biodegrade. I was always more of a Ghia guy anyway.

    • Matt Tritt

      Not even good junk! Trying to figure out what kind of person would put any money, let alone ten grand, into such a pile of rubbish.

      There. I even avoided profanity.

      • Mike W H

        I can only figure that VIN tag is what is driving the bidding. If nefarious types know where some VW Samba 23 window is sitting, this crazy market has made this a potential 190k scam with little effort.

  3. Francisco

    I now believe their is a highly contagious epidemic of insanity going on among car buffs.

    • al8apex

      no “car buff” would touch this thing …

    • moosie Craig

      Deep pocketed 23 window buffs, a far cry from being a true car buff !

    • Jerry HW Brentnell

      don’t they hold the national looney bin convention every year in scottsdale when barret jackson sell stuff for stupid prices this thing needs be dumped in a lake for a fish habatat!

      • John b

        And somebody will pull it out of the lake snd restore it…like that one in Europe

      • Marshall

        I almost would agree with you. But I just looked at eBay. The auction on this vehicle is closed now, but not before 27 bidders bid on it 77 times. Either they’re loonytunes, or they know something we don’t. The final selling price was $20,100.

  4. enigma25

    I can almost always see something of value in virtually any car, but unless this was sentimental to someone, I can’t see anyone buying this. But, there a lid for every pot…

  5. fulltoy1

    What a Rust Bucket so it’s a Samba that’s Great until you even attempt to get the Rust Out and I highly doubt anyone will be able to..

    • Howard A Member

      I’d leave it alone, the rust is holding it together.

  6. John M.

    59 people on E-Bay have so far bidded $10,600 for this wreck with two days to go before the auction ends. I wouldn’t even pay $1.60 for it.

  7. ShaunD

    Surely that’s beyond help?

  8. racer99

    It’s just worth what someone is willing to pay for it. IF you believe that the last Barrett-Jackson auction price ($200K IIRC) is repeatable then the VIN plate is worth more than what the price is currently. Not for me but I can see why there’s interest in a vehicle that no-one would have thought twice about throwing in the scrap heap 10 years ago.

  9. Bob Lucas

    Judging by the floorpan, it’s ready for “stow ‘n’ go” seats.

    • racer99

      Those might be “stow ‘n GONE” seats in this version.

  10. MikeG

    Get out the 55 gallon drum of Bondo and let’s get this thing to the auction!!

  11. CowboyChris

    Wish I had a half a dozen of these in my backyard

  12. John Norris

    I’m assuming that there’s no engine! Not really a problem since you can stick your feet through the floor and propel it “Flintstone style”

  13. Jeffro

    I’ll never again talk bad about rust Porsches going for crazy $. I need a tetanus shot just looking at the pictures.

    • Trickie Dickie Member

      BUT……..I think the Porsche Price Bubble has, or IS beginning to burst. A few auctions I have seen recently, including the most recent Barrett-Jackson,prices on some of the 911’s were quite lower than in previous auctions. As a life-long Porsche guy, 40 plus years and 5 cars, I could never understand that huge increase in sell prices.

      • Adam Wright

        A lot of the lower prices are based more on the diminishing quality of the cars being sent to auction, rather then the bursting of the bubble. Everyone, including anyone calling themselves a restoration shop, is trying franticly to cash in on the “Porch” market, so you are seeing ever worse shiny pigs hitting the big auctions, and Porsche guys aren’t stupid and aren’t buying the bull, meaning prices seemed to be going down, but it’s the quality that’s going down, the market is the same.

      • Shane

        But the back half of a pre A even without the vin tags early porsche and bus go hand in hand these days is still stupid price’s

  14. sir mike

    Even the British wouldn’t attempt to restore this mess…

    • Beeman on Nevis

      Thank you Sir Mike …

  15. Woodie Man

    Take it to Mecum get some real money. Sheesh………

  16. jcs

    You want to talk about people with more money than brains…

  17. Bob Hess

    Same flood as the Road Runner……?

  18. Squanto

    So it is a “Samba” ? I wouldn’t care if it came with a 22 year old Charo doing the coochi-coochi on a non-stop basis by window 21. Make washing machines from the scrap.

  19. Fred W.

    In a few months I’ll be selling this one for around a quarter of the price- after I’ve done all the heavy lifting of sorting things out. Not as early, but quite a contrast.

  20. Matt Tritt

    The other thing is that there isn’t enough actual steel left in the body to have any scrap value. Add that to the bogus wheels, cut-away wheel surrounds, no mechanicals, no nuthin. More of a liability than viable project.

  21. Chas

    My guess is that this actual bus will NOT be restored.
    Rather a shrewd “investor” will spend $9,000 or $10,000 or more on this purchase to have the authentic VIN plate for a 23 window bus.
    He will then buy a conventional Deluxe bus for around $10K to $20K (or maybe he already owns the Deluxe bus), and he will cut reproduction roof windows and sliding sunroof into it, and attach this VIN data plate, and then restore the much more restorable Deluxe bus with the counterfeit 23 windows and sliding sunroof to high standards, and voila, he will have an investment quality documented (proper VIN data plate) 23 window bus to sell at auction for between $100,000 to $200,000!
    Be very careful when you purchase one of these and be sure to confirm that the VIN data plate matches with the actual stampings on the vehicle to confirm whether it really started life as a 23 window example.

    • racer99

      Exactly. Think almost all of the needed panels are available so it’s a simple upgrade.

    • jimbosidecar

      My thoughts exactly. Someone is going to get screwed for sure.

  22. SFM5S

    Now that is a real “rag top”!

  23. Don

    Even if I had the money to by it my IQ is over 50 so that makes me to smarts🙃

  24. Adam Wright

    Just remember all the guys who rolled Speedsters into ditches because it wasn’t worse repairing the rust. I know of one buried under the PA Turnpike. Same with the buses, they aren’t building any more, so finding a 23 window to restore, no matter how ambitious the restoration will get increasingly harder as time goes on. Not saying this is a restoration for anybody, but it is a restoration for somebody, and apparently the market is agreeing with me, bidding is quite festive!

  25. GP Member

    I hope I never win the Power Ball Lottery and have Millions of dollars, I don’t know if I could handle being stupid.

  26. Dave

    Or this just brings up the debate on how much of the original vehicle must remain before it is no longer authentic but reproduction? If every nut, bolt, panel and other components are changed over time, with reproduction or used parts, when is it no longer the same vehicle? Changing a VIN number is unlawful, but changing every component is not. It’s a catch 23 situation Ricky

    • racer99

      I think the legal standards and individual moral standards may not match — especially with this much money involved. Since it has a title no inspection is necessary to transfer the title or really nothing to keep someone from pasting this VIN on a different vehicle. That’s why I said earlier that the VIN plate is worth more than the vehicle. I don’t know if VW stamped the VIN on any other locations than the ID plate but even that could be duplicated. One of the good things about having ebay/craigslist/etc. is that a google VIN search years from now will probably pickup the original sale info and pictures.

    • Adam Wright

      I would ask that you look at the restoration of 550-0001, how much of that car is original? But there is no other #1 Spyder.

  27. michael streuly

    Any one that pays money for that piece of junk is a FOOL even to get the vin plate.

  28. Metoo

    The condition of this is far beyond having patina. But a clear coat would hold the rust in place.


    We have all seen vehicles that we thought were too far gone, and were resurrected. I imagine the same will happen with this bus. Would I take this on? No, but some one will, and I am glad. It gets a cool old vehicle, back on the road, and might attract somebody to do the same, with their Barn Find. I hope the seller makes a bunch of money from this VW. It doesn’t seem like many readers from here want it, I wish the seller and buyer all the best.

  30. Larry Member

    I guess I am very lucky to have purchased a 59 VW 23 window bus for $1,000. The engine is currently out of it, but it is complete and in better shape than the one here

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