High Performance! 1967 Volkswagen 23 Window Bus

When I first reviewed the listing for this VW type II, the descriptor “very quick” lept off the page and I thought, “Really? This should be good” But further reading explains a bit about this VW’s newfound mojo and it turns out to have some pretty serious chops. It looks great too, so let’s check it out. This 1967 VW 23 Window bus is located in Wayzata, Minnesota and is available, here on eBay for a current bid of $32,900, reserve not yet met.

In 1967 VW Type 2’s, like this bus, came equipped with a 47 HP, 1.6 liter, flat four-cylinder engine. Hot-footing was not its forte! Even weighing in at about 2,400 lbs., a true featherweight by today’s standards, 0-60 MPH times were glacial. And as a surprise, 23 Window VW buses from this era, in pristine condition, can bring high five figures at a televised auto auction. The first time that I encountered such a result, I assumed it had to be an aberration. Nope, I’ve seen serious bids for these ring up too many times.

The seller suggests, ” This bus simply looks amazing“. I’ll admit it’s clean and straight but the white wall tires, white wheels, and white hub caps must be an acquired taste. It would be nice to know how many different color combinations were available with this generation bus, it seems that the overwhelming majority are red and white. The seller adds, “Some things on the bus that are not perfect, door edges and door seats, door latches on barn doors must be carefully closed in order to keep closed, some previous bodywork is easily seen in the paint and front doors“. Nevertheless, this Type 2 shows very well. It comes equipped with a non-leaking, folding canopy moon roof and flip-out windshield panels.

Now back to that “very quick” matter. The seller has swapped the original hamster wheel for a 170 HP, 2.1 liter, four-cylinder powerplant. There is no elaboration regarding the engine’s internals but the seller states that he had a VW-only specialty shop handle the engine upgrade. He was looking for a quick daily driver and it sounds like he was successful in his endeavor. The seller adds, “This little bus is a blast…and honestly it’s very fun to drive!”  Additionally, steering, electrical, and suspension components have been replaced to enhance the driving experience. A four-speed manual transaxle channels that 170 HP to the rear wheels.

The interior, trimmed in white and pale gray leather, is beautiful. Curiously, the seller suggests that one of the intended purposes of this bus was to be used for camping, as in hauling passengers and gear. I’m not sure white leather is the best choice for that endeavor, at least not based on some of my camping capers, but regardless, the interior is a true attention-getter.

It’s suggested that one can “drive the bus anywhere, anytime. All the lights work, all the bugs are worked out“. That seems like an honest assessment, it really needs nothing (except maybe some different wheels); buy, drive and enjoy. Based on prior auction experience, with similar 23 window VW buses, this will be one to watch. So, what do you think, what will it take for this hot rod hauler to hit its reserve?

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Comments

  1. angliagt angliagt Member

    “High Performance” & “1967 Volkswagen 23 Window Bus”
    Aren’t words I’d normally think would go together.
    With the stock version,it’s like you’re racing,
    but nobody around you is aware of it.

    Like 19
    • Rj Keenan

      It is an oxymoron

  2. chgrec Member

    This thing has a lot of issues to me…from the mentioned door alignment to how the deluxe side trim was installed….and what is that trim above the doors on the drip rails all about? I own a modified 63 bus so I am not a purist but this one just doesn’t look right.

    Like 9
  3. bobhess bobhess Member

    Certainly agree that this is a very nice bus. Also agree that that there’s a bit too much white on the wheels. 4 chrome hubcaps would balance things out just fine. Would have loved to have that engine in my ’55 panel truck.

    Like 9
  4. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Cool van, that motor is a great up grade. Something about seeing those head lite buckets shown in the interior photo that scares me today. It did not bother me back in high school when I drove a cab over Chey van. Not seeing the white wall tires, but agree on the wheel comments. I wonder if some Fuchs 5 spoke Porsche wheels would fit? That would look good.

    Like 6
    • douglas hunt

      i have seen them with fuchs and a flat six……………very very nice !!!

      Like 1
  5. RGSmith1 Member

    Mom had one of these when I was in high school. Hers was blue and white, but didn’t have the swing out windshield. Did have the canvas top, tho. All us kids loved to hang out the top inthe summer. Ah, the days of less stress.

    Like 8
  6. Steve R

    As of now, the high bid is $40,000, even. That seems to be its magic number. It has been listed 3 other times over the last few months, all ending between $39,000 and $40,100.

    Steve R

    Like 7
  7. doug edwards

    Ebay is probably the wrong place to be listing this bus. “The Samba” is an international site that handles a sale like this very well. These busses are so hot overseas it’s incredible. If you search on youtube you can find shops that rebuild these from a rusted hulk, but charge sometimes over 100k at the finish and that is after you had a rusty bus to start with. It’s how bad do you want it?

    Like 1
  8. Jc

    I’m not sure about two things :
    – is it an european or brasilian model ?
    – I can’t see really clearly on the pictures, but I’m wondering about the cooling of the engine beeing correctly made and therefore effective (but maybe with splits, seeing the road under the engine is less a problem than whit baywindows bus because they have less performing air entries ?)

  9. George

    The windshield is referred to as Safari Windows.

    Like 2
  10. Puhnto

    Is it just me or does this look more like a later Brazilian bus that’s been made to look like a 1967 deluxe bus? 1967 German buses didn’t have 23 windows, only 21. (No little corner windows in the back.) and, the headlights are wrong for a 1967 German bus.

    Like 10
    • Mountainwoodie

      I had a ‘Merican built ’67 21 window in the early eighties. I put a Westphalia camper interior in it and drove it up and down the coast. Perfect condition. I got six thousand for itand I thought that was incredible!. Cracks me up that old fat guys who wouldnt be caught dead in these back in the sixties ( damn hippie commies that dont love Nixon) are paying through the nose now. Just nuts. This sure looks like a later Brazilian model. As others have said, no twenty second and third window in the back But still a nice looking bus with some obvious problems…..not the engine though. As much as I love these I’m not paying forty large for a bus….even an furrin window bus!

      Like 2
  11. Dave Gillingham Member

    Something isn’t right. There were no 67 23 window busses. They were 21 window with a wider back hatch. Maybe this one is from Brazil?

    Like 5
    • MorganW MorganW Member

      Yes…the seller says the vehicle came from Brazil (very bottom of the eBay ad).

      Like 4
  12. MC

    Hello All,
    I don’t want to be negative… But I would suggest seeing this vehicle in person before purchasing, or call someone to inspect it. I’ve seen hundreds of buses and this one has all the signs of a heavy front collision.
    Safety being the biggest concern if you are thinking of driving it.
    Especially if the doors do not fit/latch properly. The Ebay pics show a lot of damage along the front of the Pass door jamb, which then continues back to the other doors not aligning properly. The dash is warped, which could (possibly) be why the original windshield glass would not fit properly. The steering column is not fastened properly.
    Please do your due diligence. Be Safe. Thank you.

    Like 13
    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      Thx MC, appreciate your comments.

      JO

      Like 2
  13. Ronss96

    The last 23 window was 1963. In 1964 they made the rear hatch opening wider and did away with the corner windows making it a 21 window. No such thing as a factory 67 23 window. Makes sense why the price never goes up like a real 23 window

    Like 3
    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      Ronss96:

      How are you counting? If you include each window and two for the windshield, it totals 23. This one looks like it has the rear corner windows though I admit there isn’t a great image.

      JO

      Like 1
  14. Russ Ashley

    The more I examined the pictures the less I wanted it, but I didn’t want it in the first place. I’d love to have it only to collect the $40K that it is bid up to. I drove a 57 model of these when I was in high school that belonged to a dry cleaners and I had a ball driving it, but I was young and reckless then, and have better sense now. I don’t want to drive anything where your knees are the crumple zones. These things are in demand right now, and this one looks good from a distance but it would require a close examination before bidding on it.

    Like 2
  15. Arby

    Sorry for the nitpicking, but Wayzata is in Minnesota….

    • Jim ODonnell Staff

      You’re not nitpicking, thx for the correction. I saw Minnesota but wrote Missouri. Fixed now.

      JO

      Like 2
  16. Willowen Member

    For some reason, I have loved every VW bus I’ve ever driven. I KNOW they are bog-slow – except for the later ones – and I even remember trying to stay ahead of one (ca. 1962) going up a loooooong grade on the Seward Highway south of Anchorage in my Fiat 500. There was no traffic coming down and gobs of visibility, so he was pulled out to pass … but at the top I pulled ahead and lost him in the downhill twisties. In spite of that, my usual leadfoot attitudes seem to disappear when I’m at the helm of an old Type Two. The later ones, however … between the major suspension improvements and the generation of actual horsepower, I revert to type. Well, I’m gonna have my right foot buried either way; it’s just that if 36 hp or so is all I’ve got I will adjust my attitude accordingly.

    As for this … well, it is a bit much. The yellow spots over the headlights actually bother me a bit more than the wheels. Hey, how about a lit-up swan hood ornament?

    Like 1
    • Jcs

      She does have her own version of a lit up swan, check photo 12 of the ad.

      Like 1
  17. bobhess bobhess Member

    Yellow “spots” are the parking/turn signal lights. Aren’t the headlight rims Beetles laid sideways?

  18. Todd Hegstrom

    The original “23 window. Had actually 27 separate pieces of glass. In 63 the corner windows were gone with wider hatch ( 2 less pieces of glass )

    62 prior known as 23 window
    63 – 66 known as a 21 window

  19. Kevin

    I know I will offend someone, but this is a hideous, death trap!,grossly overpriced, but no shortage of deep pockets, with weird taste out there!

    Like 3
  20. william strickland

    will the transporter transaxle take that kind of hp for long??

    • douglas hunt

      my brother had a rail buggy with a ford 4cyl mated to a bus trans.
      he said they were supposed to be more robust?

  21. João Antonio Pinto de Carvalho

    Seria meu sonho de consumo, mas aqui no Brasil, isso seria quase impossível.
    João Antonio Pinto de Carvalho
    Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil.

    • Puhnto

      Certamente. Mas aqui tanbém!

  22. João Antonio

    Muito linda.

  23. David G Stone

    I owned a ’66 6 volt bus in ’69, maroon and cream. Sold, then owned a real US ’67 bus in ’70, deluxe blue and white. Built my own campers into both of them, drove them both across to the West coast, back through the center of the US. Slow, yes. Terrific gas mileage, yes. Tough starting at over 9,000 feet as not set up for altitude. The transaxle is a question, as it’s apparently geared for more low end than the Bug but I don’t understand the mechanics well. Didn’t heat worth anything but drove them through upstate NY winters. Still keep a parka in the trunk of any car I drive, kind of a throwback thought.

    Like 1
  24. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Ended:May 11, 2021 , 1:06PM
    Winning bid:
    US $40,000.00
    [ 47 bids ]

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