Flower Shop Panel Wagon: 1958 VW Bus

Patina has clearly never gone out of style, especially among the air-cooled Volkswagen crowd. This 1958 Volkswagen Bus began life as a flower shop vehicle and has retained its original paint job; the current owner has left its battle scars and original paint intact and made some choice upgrades to provide daily-driver reliability with all the looks of a workhorse that hasn’t been touched in decades. Find it here on eBay listed by a VW specialist shop in Florida with a $37,777 Buy-It-Now.

While some shops have begun “faking” the patina that is so hard to re-create, there are some builders that refuse to resort to such tactics. Finding the car or truck that still wears its original paint job and likely hand-painted graphics (from the days when such practices were the norm) is challenging to say the least, especially when considering how many times such a vehicle might be repainted in its lifetime. This VW Bus was indeed used by Dittmer’s Flower Shop & Greenhouses in Lincoln, Nebraska, to serve as its delivery vehicle and quasi-advertising apparatus.

The seller points out that the Dittmers (whoever they were/are) made some choices when building their Bus that Type 2 enthusiasts today now crave. These include high hinges on the doors, high-mount tail lights, and pressed bumpers. They also chose to cover up its original coat of Sealing Wax Red paint, which still pokes through the original paint and is clearly visible on the reverse side of the two-tone green-painted panels. As you can see, the builder chose to make select upgrades to enhance both the comfort and driveability of the Bus, such as the recovered bench seat and dual Safari pop-out front windows.

Engine-wise, the seller notes an upgrade to a Beetle-sourced swing axle transmission, which then runs out to a 1600cc dual port engine featuring the preferred 12V alternator setup. Other modifications include a narrowed front beam that incorporates lowering spindles with Porsche 944 front disc brakes and a five-lug conversion that allows for the gorgeous polished Fuchs to be used as the rolling stock. While it’s hard to explain this Bus’ allure to non-enthusiasts, enough air-cooled fanatics covet the authentic, bruised-and-battered look that the asking price doesn’t seem far-fetched.

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Comments

  1. 1Ronald

    How about some springs and shocks to get if off the ground so that thing will keep on rolling? I’ve driven these things and they didn’t look this bad.

    7
    • Chris in Pineville

      amen, brothers and sisters….
      get that baby back up to stock height, it will look 10x better.

      6
  2. lbpa18

    $37.7K? I think maybe the flowers have gone stale.

    3
  3. Comet

    I know these things are bringing big money, but if I spent 37K on this, my wife would have my bags packed before I made it inside the house.

    12
    • pugsy

      Then it’d be a good thing you bought this fine living quarters. Better than a dog house.

      12
  4. 38ChevyCoupeGuy

    Sweet panel for sure,I’m not 100 percent VW blood, although I’ve built, owned and driven no less than 10 over the last 20 years, I’d like to say to the haters, please don’t bash this or any other VDub as far as ride quality, reliability, etc, etc, etc until you’ve lived some VW life, and I don’t mean the experience you had with the one you bought for 50 bucks from the little old lady down the street. This thing is awesome, if I had the spare funds, I’d be flying I to pick this girl up.

    10
    • Todd Van Winkle

      Thank you for saying that, I’m 100 percent a VW guy, always have been…I love this panel too!! She’d look amazing in her original factory colors!

      6
    • Chris in Pineville

      Paid $60 for my ’67 in ’79.
      It had no engine, the engine bay was being used as a dog house.
      I had a newly rebuilt engine from a totalled ’67 bug that went right in.
      Fun ride for a few years……

      3
  5. Coventrycat

    For 37K I’d find a better life than what this VW could give me.

    4
  6. Philip Bregar

    Hmmm…high mount door hinges and high mount tail lights? I think they were all the same.

    4
  7. Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

    Another reference to “Sealing Wax Red” on a V-dub …I’m beginning to think they might have been drinking more than their fair share of Makers Mark over there in Wolfsburg.

    4
  8. Andrew Franks

    As much as I love these cars and such I think they are wildly overpriced. There’s a lot of wrecks out there selling for low five figures which is absurd.
    Apparently reality does not intrude in this sector as it does not in other makes and models.

    5
  9. Ryan Hilkemann

    Very cool, looks like a good runner.

  10. DETROIT LAND YACHT

    SoCal is nuts for these puppies…it’s almost a cult. Someone will cough up the ask.(not me) They are really cool and I even restored a 1965 when I was a 20something.But I was’nt smitten to the depths that I’ve seen others go.

    2
  11. Luki

    All 1958 VW bus tail lights were mounted higher than late 1959 models.
    Also the hinges were mounted higher on 1958s than late 59 or early 1960 hinges.
    All 1958 VW buses came with ribbed bumpers.
    No choices were made by whomever ordered this bus and none of the above was special order, that’s the way 1958s came.

    9
  12. ken tilly UK

    Wrong engine, wrong wheels, wrong interior, wrong braking system. Other than that it’s original. I’m very sorry but for that much scratch I could buy several land yachts, in far better condition than this wreck, that have come up on the BF site lately. A fool and his money are soon parted.

    6
    • canadainmarkseh Member

      Finally someone pointed out the fact that there is nothing original about this van. Not even that old green paint it was originally red. I have no problem with the work that was done but don’t call it original. That ship sailed right after the flower shop bought it and painted it green. I’m at a loss as to why these are so popular. If you get in a front end collision and you make it out alive you will be busted up and in pain the rest of your life. My big gripe with these is there so gutless they can’t get out of there own way. I sure can’t believe that these things come from the same country that brought us the Mercedes Benz.

      4
  13. Mike

    I Google street viewed the address on the bus. Doesn’t seem to be evidence of a flower shop and greenhouse. There’s 2 old gas stations on the corners and neighborhood of houses on the other side. Maybe it got turned into one of the stations? https://www.google.com/maps/@40.7809657,-96.7016292,3a,75y,270.85h,67.58t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sBVT6_VqSdQ9VhxrL-m9ydg!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en

    5
    • jerry z

      C.mon! The flower shop was in Lincoln, Nebraska, has Georgia plates and resides in Florida. Simple….

      5
  14. JOHN

    I like it, WITH the mods! The Fuch’s on this are awesome.

    2
  15. jimmy the orphan

    Somebody’s been drinking a lot of makers mark and its not in Deutschland. This is a $500 piece of junk. Completely restored with a 911 6cyl. motor in it,with disc. brakes maybe 37k but not this rusted out bean can. Later JIMMY

    2
  16. TimM

    A C-2 corvette sold here last week for a little over 25K and they want $37,700 for this VW!!!! My point is there are a lot of other cars I’d rather have that this van!!!

    3
  17. Tim

    Yawn, here we go again. A VW van that gets huge $$$ and the people who STILL can’t believe these get big money. We get it. Can we just accept it and move on?

    2
  18. bobhess Member

    Even lowered, which I like, taking the gear reduction rear end out and substituting a Beetle straight axle unit gives you the lowering in the rear without changing the original geometry. What is does give you is decent gear ratios so you can drive it on an interstate at decent speeds. Lowering the front to match the rear makes sense and doesn’t change the ride quality while giving you some real brakes to work with. Neat rig but the price is way off.

  19. Car Nut Tacoma

    I don’t mind patina as long as it’s surface rust. I don’t like holes in the body or in the chassis. Nothing that compromises the structure of the van.

  20. Car Nut Tacoma

    I’d also upgrade the gearbox with a fully synchromesh gearbox. I’ve heard of people who would want to give it a 5spd manual, or 6spd manual gearbox. No way! I’d want to keep it VW and manual.

  21. bone

    I doubt the flower shop ever existed , I would bet the lettering was done recently and then weathered with the rest of the bus to look old and original . I dont think an independent flower shop would have purchased a new red VW and then repainted it green and had it lettered. It was already repainted red once if you look at the pictures .The other clue for me is that the lettering says the town and state, where most local businesses wouldn’t have a need to do that – but they DO put their phone number on the sides to get customers !!

    2
  22. Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

    I agree @bone. A little Ajax and elbow grease can distress any painted finish. However, I must report that my sister’s school circa 1958-1961 picked up local kids (a very small geographic area) in a window version of this with seats. It was painted school bus yellow with “Brownie School” emblazoned upon each side. Don’t believe the old Type 2 Buses came in yellow in these years. She reflects fondly on that period when our house in the boonies of Franconia Virginia barely had sidewalks and sewers. Somewhere I have a photo of her being picked up in our driveway.

    1

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