Farm Find Single Cab: 1957 Volkswagen Pickup

While I undoubtedly adore my 1981 Toyota HiAce project, I secretly wish it was one of the super rare pickup bodies. I know, I know – what’s the fun in that since you can only bring one or two friends along for the ride. But there’s something about an oddball pickup design like this 1957 Volkswagen Bus single cab that just looks so choice even in its dilapidated state. Really, you can make that argument for any vintage pickup from this era that wasn’t a full-size job, from the Corvair rampsides to the Dodge A100s. This VW listed here on eBay as a recent discovery will need everything, but it’s absolutely worth it.

The seller says it has been sitting for a very long time (duh) and that it retains its original motor. This is shocking to me, as most air-cooled models of this era are on their second or third engines by this point. Of course, if it was parked due to engine issues, it’s entirely possible the original mill locked up and the pickup was subsequently parked. It still wears its old-school California blue plates, too. Rust looks superficial here but the seller doesn’t confirm how bad it is underneath.

The interior has certainly seen better days, but it’s far from the worst Type 2 we’ve written about. It looks like the glass is all present, which surely kept the cabin from looking more funk-ified than it already is. The floors in all Type 2s are often trouble spots, especially where the step into the cab meets the door frame. I can definitely see surface rust, but can’t confirm if there’s rot-through as well.

The mirrors and wheels obviously aren’t correct for the Bus, but those are easy issues to correct. The nose doesn’t look battered, and the desirable bullet-style turn signals are still attached. It looks fairly straight up and down the sides, and the original front bumper has become a desirable item. There’s lots of potential here but bidders haven’t passed the reserve number yet – and it’s currently bid to just over $3K. Would you restore this back to factory spec or leave it ratty but mechanically sound?


  1. Ian C

    Oh, how I wish this was on the east coast!! I would be going to check it out if it were.

    I would personally want to replace the fender openings with stock, stock interior, (I may have to leave the vintage add-on gauges though) Slam it in the weeds, stroker motor, type 1 trans conversion, and roll it every day.

    Like 4
    • Bill

      My father bought one of these new in 1959. He always said it was the worst truck he ever owned. Too slow, no heat to speak of, especially after the tube rusted off. And the rust…oh man the rust.

      So, why are these popular?

      Like 1
      • Kurt

        Because of their rarety, I guess. I asked the same question when I saw a 23 window VW van sell for over $100K. Nostalgia? I like VWs because I can pick up an engine without help ( maybe some Advil later)…

      • Ian C

        I will be honest with you, I have no use for buses. I just like Transporters. Single cabs in particular. I have over 100 type1’s buggies, and type3’s. I currently have an extremely nice 1969 type1.

        I have driven but never owned a type2. But I do know there is no reason you can’t modify one to make a great weekend cruiser, car show special, or daily driver out of it.

        I believe at least 90% of the cars featured on here are in the hobby category. If everyone was worried about practicality we would be on LOL

        I am going to try to post a pic of my play-toy.

        Like 4
  2. doug

    I don’t think it’s a ’57, wrong bumpers, etc.

    Like 1
  3. grant

    There’s a HiAce pickup for sale on Auto trader right now. DeMuro wrote it up the other day.

  4. Ward William

    These are still everywhere here in Brazil (where I’ve lived for the last 25 years) and you can trust me when I say that it will be more rust than metal. I love them and it IS restorable but 3k ? Now Jose or Hose B.

    Like 3
    • don

      This is a really solid VW , its in great shape for a 62 year old car that’s been sitting for decades – If this was sitting in New England that long there would be nothing good left on it

  5. Kurt Member

    These are rarities in the People’s Republic of Kalifornia and command top dollar when restored to bone stock.

    Like 3
    • MG Steve

      Moderator: I am really getting tired of these anti-California remarks. As I read the rules, such small-minded and incorrect viewpoints are not to be allowed, yet it is becoming impossible to read a page of comments without at least one such sad, narrow-minded comment. They need to be edited out or eliminated.

  6. newfieldscarnut

    Pay more for something better .

    Like 2
  7. DAVID6

    ROTATION, CLOSE RATIO 1st & 2nd,
    BIFADIFF, 4sp.

    Like 1
  8. Roy L

    MG Steve, I can’t say I have read a lot of anti-California remarks here. Now if you change that to Yugo, I think you would be on to something.

    Like 3
    • Pierre

      I am really getting tired of these anti-Yugo remarks. As I read the rules, such small-minded and incorrect viewpoints are not to be allowed, yet it is becoming impo…etc… :)

      Like 2
  9. Ford Fairlane

    Relax Pierre, that’s what car guys do. If your a FORD guy, you bad mouth every other brand, Chevy guys do the same. No harm is meant by it, it’s just car guys being car guys.

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