Forest Find: 1954 Volkswagen “Coca-Cola” Transporter

Anyone who has undertaken a restoration project knows that the slope is quite slippery once you start digging in. Even a somewhat optimistic personality can quickly turn sour when you realize that the rust went deeper than expected, or the engine isn’t going to come back to life with a new fuel pump. That said, some enthusiasts dive headlong into incredibly difficult projects because they are optimists, but also because the skills or endless piles of cash to get the job done. The owner of this rare 1954 Volkswagen Transporter saved it from the forest upon realizing it was a genuine Coca-Cola delivery van. You can follow his progress here on Facebook.

Coca-Cola transport vehicles are loved the world over. Finding a truck or van with those iconic colors and lettering represents a major discovery to enthusiasts of a certain stripe. Where it all comes together is if the vehicle in question also happens to be a model you’re already passionate about. So, finding a vintage company vehicle that also happens to be one of your favorite makes and models is pretty much perfect. While the owner of this Bus may not care one way or another for Coca-Cola, he does love old Buses, especially ones with a significant history like this one does. As you can see, the forest had its way with the old girl before she was extracted.

The owner clearly is neck-deep in old air-cooled VWs based on his shop photos. He is apparently squeezing in the work on the Coca-Cola bus after hours and on weekends, as many of us do. Amazingly, he is disassembling each part of the Bus, panel by panel, to try and repair as much of the original sheetmetal as possible. This does make sense as much of the value in a real-deal Coca-Cola delivery vehicle is in that authentic patina. Taking it all apart just to repsray it doesn’t make much sense, especially if you’re trying to ensure your investment doesn’t exceed the value of the project. To respsray the VW would require hours of labor, and while the end result would be pretty, many collectors would feel the historical value has been lost. After all, how could you prove it was an original transport vehicle owned by Coca-Cola?

The Bus left the factory as a 1954 model with double barn doors. It was used by the soft drink company in Vienna to transport products around the area. Through various resources, the authenticity has been confirmed, and the seller notes that the number “582” appears on the side and corresponds to the number Coca-Cola assigned to this delivery van. Once the company left Vienna, the VW was left in the forest to rot. The owner plans to preserve the paint and markings and get the bodywork straightened and re-hung on the chassis. He’s doing all of the work himself and we salute this ambitious undertaking.


  1. angliagt angliagt Member

    I don’t do Facebook,so couldn’t check.

    Like 7
    • Howard A Member

      Yep, Austria. You make a good point, not that many would want this drek, but one needs to be a FB member to view the ad. Apparently, according to the FB site, this guy “specializes” in this crap, and only “shows to go ya”, this “disease” has spread around the world. This PARTICULAR case, only shows how out of context all this VW van hype has become. While a vintage VW van portraying the most popular soft drink ever, could be valuable, all this shows is how silly this whole thing is and what new low it has come to.

      Like 26
      • Matt G

        This is clearly this guy’s hobby. Generally, hobbies are not meant to be rational or practical, and that’s OK. By calling his hobby “silly” and a “new low”, I feel like you are deliberately missing the point of having a hobby. Even if he is out to make a profit off of it, he clearly loves what he does. Why the negativity?

        Like 39
      • Synchromesh

        No idea why you would call this a disease or a new low. It’s a fun hobby and people all over the world are into it. You’re entitled to your own opinion of course but no clue why you’re so judgmental about it.

        Like 13
  2. Big_Fun Member

    Had to laugh…not at the bus, but the idea of the collapsed bus. Reminded me of a Simpsons episode (see above picture).
    Apparently the doors are load bearing…

    Like 6
  3. bobhess bobhess Member

    Have restored a couple of real basket cases but this guy really makes me look like I started out with new cars off the showroom floor. Do like his idea of how to preserve it.

    Like 16
  4. Rick

    Give Mustie1 a couple of days with this and he’ll be tearing through his backyard with it.

    Like 6
  5. That Guy

    Compared with the Impala convertible, this is a turnkey driver.

    Like 5
  6. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

    Wouldn’t be surprised if once it’s finished, Fluffy will want it, because it is not just an early VW type 2 but it’s another brand that Fluffy likes: Coca Cola!

    Like 3
  7. mike

    Amazing that you bring this back to life….well played builder

    Like 4
  8. Mike

    The stuff that VW nuts bring back from the absolute grave is amazing. The VW website The Samba has multiple forum threads of junk transformed. Here’s an example:

    Like 6
  9. Autoworker

    This one will take a LOT of turd polish.

    Like 6
  10. Mike

    It’s a project for sure. Tried to follow the link but it hard failed. May have to try another way. This is one unique VW. Hoping BF will post more pictures as it progresses..(hint hint)

    Like 2
  11. Big C

    I get tired just reading about this thing.

    Like 3
  12. John C.

    Kinda resembles the 58 Chevy that was on here yesterday.

    Like 4
  13. JohnH

    Looked at some things on this guy on the net, he’s amazing!!!!

  14. George Birth

    To restore this one is truly a labor of love. There is not enough money in Fort Knox to tempt me into restoring this one.

  15. Barry

    I have restored many classic cars I do admit none as rough as this vw good luck to the owner in the restoration there is a lot of work and a lot of pride when done barry

    Like 2
  16. Troy

    Not a project I would tackle Best of luck to him

    Like 2
  17. John Traylor

    Is this Barn Finds or Junkyard Finds?

  18. Jost

    When I saw the pictures my first though was ” how ridiculous”. When I checked out this guys face book page I see he is really into this stuff. No matter what ultimately happens to this VW van, its an interesting story and an awesome find. Mr. Mosely would be a cool guy to sit back and have a couple of beers with.

    Like 3
  19. RDRNR

    Skinner classics in Vallejo Ca can fix it

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