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Magic Bus: 1974 Volkswagen Type II

031416 Barn Finds - 1974 Volkswagon Type II 1

The Type II was well into its second generation when this 1974 Volkswagen Type II was made. This one is listed on Craigslist in Byron, GA and it looks pretty nice. You’ll need to conjure up some magic by installing your own engine, but with an asking price of $2,800 and the prices that restored ones are going for, this could be a good find.

031416 Barn Finds - 1974 Volkswagon Type II 2

There is obviously some heavy sanding to do here and although there is no mention of rust-through, I’m guessing that there will also be some welding to do. Luckily, pretty much every square inch of this van has been reproduced so you’ll find patch panels, floorpans, and anything else that you’ll need to get it ready for your next concert tour.

031416 Barn Finds - 1974 Volkswagon Type II 4

For a 42-year old vehicle with no engine, peeling and crusty paint, and is shown sitting in a field, the interior looks surprisingly nice! Again, you should be able to locate any parts and pieces that you may need to spruce up the innards of this Type II – although it doesn’t look like it needs anything; maybe a speaker cover on the driver’s door?

031416 Barn Finds - 1974 Volkswagon Type II 5

Ok, there might be a bit of work to do back here. But again, anything you’ll need is found on any number of websites for these vehicles. I still have a few old Volkswagen parts catalogs from the early mid 1970s, but I’d hate to look at the prices from back then! This bus has 54,449 on the odometer which isn’t a lot of miles. Maybe the engine blew and they parked it, or maybe it has 154,449; who knows?

031416 Barn Finds - 1974 Volkswagon Type II 3

Here’s where you’ll need most of the magic on this bus, under that engine hatch. Most of us know that it’s mainly a four-bolt process, along with a few other things to attach and detach. You shouldn’t have much trouble finding and fitting an appropriate engine here. Or, maybe you’d rather have something else in there rather than a stock pusher? In 1980, I almost bought a perfect, brown and white 1978 VW Type II as my first vehicle for $1,800–I wish that I would have. I’d love to have another one again someday. Are you a fan of these magic buses?


  1. Avatar photo Mike

    I know where a good used engine is right now for one of these, it is waiting to be re-installed into a 75 that is being restored right now. The guy that I bought the engine from had it is a 76 and had been overhauled complete and was running good until a wreck ended the Van, luckily it was side impact not rear. I hope to have mine back on the road this summer, right now it is being soda blasted to clean it up so I can start the body work.

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  2. Avatar photo Bill

    This one looks to be in surprisingly good shape. It amazes me what these are going for these days. Really cool, but for someone who grew up with them all over the place, they just not all that special.

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  3. Avatar photo Dolphin Member

    Having owned a Beetle long ago I know how reliable and cheap air cooled VWs can be to run. But….

    The vans are not necessarily like the Beetles, especially if loaded down and run on Interstates. Altho they are vintage and cool to own they might not be the best alternative for the uses that a lot of No Americans put their fullsize water cooled front engine vans to.

    If someone is thinking of buying one, but hasn’t had seat time in one before, the best thing to do would be to drive one at highway speeds, loaded with what you intend to carry, in crosswinds and headwinds, and see whether the charm is still there.

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  4. Avatar photo MikeG

    I had a ’71 weekender van in the 90’s. Almost new condition & originally bought new by a couple that used it to vacation, even had the factory tent that clipped onto the sliding door. It was awesome but had to hang a blanket behind the 2 front seats to get any kind of cabin heat in the winter, which was minimal to begin with. Also it was the slowest thing I ever drove. I had the sticker in the back window that said “TOO SLOW? Too Bad!”

    So, I sold it and have had Vanagons ever since, and I love them, (with Subaru engines for extra oomph). If I bought this one, I’d put in a balanced and blueprinted Porsche engine (or Subie), for that extra power and get a gas powered heater!

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  5. Avatar photo another Bob

    I had a 74 for a short time back in my college days. It was a blast to drive around town. Mine had a bunch of wiring problems so I ended up pulling the motor and sticking it in my 69 bug.
    Great memories though.

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  6. Avatar photo Ed Willaims

    Idea! How about installing a Continental 6 Cyl. Airplane engine for power? Crosswinds be damned!
    Ha, ha! Just kidding guys!

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