Rare In Green? 1969 Volkswagen Bus

This 1969 Volkswagen Bus presents as an imperfect survivor that has been cared for rather than over-restored. It remains in original condition and was with one owner for 45 years, which explains why it still wears its desirable California black plates. I can’t recall seeing too many of these wearing green paint, but the inner panels show that the color matches inside and out. The Bus also comes with a sliding sunroof and some homemade camping-style furnishings on the inside. Find it here on craigslist with an asking price of $8K in California.

The seller notes that the Bus will also come with a very cool period roof rack, currently holding a surfboard. The Bus wears its original hubcaps proudly and they look quite tidy on whitewall tires. Some air-cooled enthusiasts would refer to this Bus as a “low light” model because the marker lights/turn signals hadn’t migrated to the upper portion of the front fascia yet. However, say that to the wrong person and they’ll likely correct you by stating the term “low light” only applies to certain years of the Karmann Ghia.

Still, this is an earlier iteration of the Bay Window regardless of your acceptance or resistance to the low light terminology. The seller doesn’t say whether he is the long-time original owner or a flipper, but that’s not important: what matters is this is a great example of a Bus you can use right now, thanks to lots of recent maintenance including new suspension and steering parts, and minimal rust to fix – it’s limited to around the windshield and some light spots on the passenger-side front floor. Not big deals at all, especially considering how rotten these can be.

The engine is believed to be original and to have received a rebuild some 60,000 miles ago. The Bus is said to fire right up with the clutch and transmission working perfectly. Tires and brakes are also new, and it comes with modern, three-point safety belts to make it more sensible to use as a daily driver like the seller has. While I’ll admit to being drawn in by the fern green paint, this is a great platform no matter what your color preferences. Nearly rust-free and reliable, and way cheaper than a split window Bus from just a few years earlier. Thanks to Barn Finds reader local_sheriff for the find.

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Comments

  1. Matt R

    Other than the upholstery, that’s a nice, dry bus for the cash these days.

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  2. Steve R

    Meh. Seems pricey for its condition, worn out but restorable, not sure what the actual going price is for this era of bus.

    Steve R

  3. bobhess Member

    Nothing fancy here but they are great fun. Like the commercial says, “try it, you’ll like it… and so will she”.

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    • Johnny

      We did and liked it. I used to run with this woman back in 74. She had one that was red and white. . One night she got mad at me and tried to run over me with it. hahaha Till this day–she lives out in the country and still trys to get me to COME visit her. I think she has a hole waiting on me and its not the fun anymore.

  4. Howard A Member

    Shows how ba-kocked this hobby is. Apparently, it’s the nostalgia of those old multi-window buses, when this was clearly a much better VW bus. I’m telling you, these people that pay exorbitant prices for those old VW’s, HAVE to have some kind of remorse when they actually drive it. These had more power, better suspension and brakes, they were just better buses, and I guarantee, if those people really knew what they were buying and really wanted a VW bus instead of the nostalgia of an old one, they’d go for this. Guy down the block has one like this for sale, he ‘s asking $4 grand, and nobody wants it.

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    • Steve R

      People can choose to spend their money any way they want. It’s none of our business. There is almost no aspect of a persons spending wouldn’t stand up to scrutiny from every member of the peanut gallery, just because someone has a strong opinion doesn’t mean it’s worth a poop.

      Steve R

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      • canadainmarkseh Member

        I think Steve what Howard is trying to say is just because people spent big money on the old one with the windows does not mean it’s a wise purchase. “ A fool and his money soon part ways “ Howard is still entitled to his opinion. As for the VW these were better as Howard said but I still wouldn’t want it. Just my opinion.

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      • Howard A Member

        Thanks, Mark, that’s exactly it. I’m convinced Steve is a flipper, and takes those comments personally.
        And yes, they can spend their money as they wish, blissfully unaware of how it”s ruining the hobby for the rest of us. Then it becomes our business if we can’t participate in the hobby.

        1
      • Steve R

        Howard, I’m not a flipper.

        I don’t think overpriced cars are ruining the hobby due to the fact this is nothing new. I learned when I bought my first car in 1982 that I couldn’t necessarily afford the cars I wanted. I had two choices, adjust my expectations or work harder at finding what I wanted. People seem to have forgotten that. Add to the mix that some people still think it’s the early-1980’s and desirable cars should sell for hundreds of dollars, not thousands and you have a bitter vocal minority that can’t let things go.

        Steve R

        2
      • canadainmarkseh Member

        Steve let me assure that I am not bitter. I have a vintage car I’m almost done restoring it and a vintage motorcycle with custom sidecar and I’m not looking for more. If someone wants to pay to much for something that there business. There no cure for stupid. I believe the market on these will correct in time and a lot of investor types will be left holding the VW bag. That too is ok by me. Wealth is fluid it can roll back and forth like water in a tanker truck. So what I’ve learned is be happy with what you have and if that’s an over priced VW van than all the power to ya.

        1
      • Howard A Member

        I apologize for the flipper remark. It seems you are always on the side of the sellers in these situations, no matter how outrageous the price may seem. Yes, you’re right, I am the bitter one, and not to brag, but old folks like me, practically started the hobby, going a lot further back than 1982. Some of us bought these cars new. The hobby went from, “yeah, I think I have a wheel cylinder for your Packard, here, just take it, hope it works”, to, “yeah, I have what you need, $200 bucks, take it or leave it”. How would you feel? It’s a punch in the gut to see vehicles we scrapped, going for 5 figures, and that trickles down, now every like vehicle certainly must be worth that. Something like this bus, will never gain the attention of the older ones, because that fad will burn itself out before then. In the meantime, this would make a great bus for what I consider a reasonable price for what it is. Peace, man.

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      • Steve R

        Howard, I don’t take the side of the seller. At best, I think many ads are purposely misleading about the condition of the car. The issues I have are people complaining about buyers, it’s their business what the pay and nobody else’s. I roll my eyes at the prices paid for many cars featured here, but I’m not going to waste even 30 second of my life getting upset about it. I just don’t care if they make or lose money in the long run. If the purchase makes them happy, good for them.

        Steve R

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  5. jeff

    This one is great – good condition rust wise – unlike mine, which I own since 25 years, and had to essentialy make the whole lower part of the bus new.
    This “low light”-model is actually called a “T2a”, at least here in Europe, the one with the blinkers below the windshield and the big rear lights is a “T2b”.
    I just love them – for me this is the essential of a car – absolutely simple mechanics, so everybody can fix it – absolutely reliable – maximum space that’s possible on the length of the chassis – no blimblim!

    2
  6. Tempo Matador Ray

    Steve R 👍 I love all aspects of the automobile hobby. However, the air-cooled end of it, always seems to stir up negative commentary from certain individuals here on BF, be it vintage 356’s, type-I’s, II’s or III’s, coachbuilts or garage builds…Its too bad that these individuals don’t realize how active and viable this end of the hobby actually is. Internationally, there are vintage air-cooled chapters on every continent of our planet. The common denominator amongst most of these hobbyists is the total rawness of the driving experience…I am currently resurrecting a German made truck that I purchased out of Uruguay several years back. It is known as a Tempo Matador. It had a very short production run. Less than 1,362 units were ever produced(1949-52). The technology for the time was forward thinking. It borrowed aircooled technology from V.W. before they cut off this small manufacturer. The truck I purchased was worked hard on a rural farm and sustained numerous poorly executed mechanical alterations. However, I love a good challenge and have committed to its resurrection…

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  7. Robert L Roberge

    Had a ’68 we used as our bakery delivery van. Used to be an E ticket ride when negotiating ‘windy point’ outside of Palm Springs, especially empty (don’t know if it helped, but, rolled down the front windows for the blow thru effect. Wheels always stayed on the ground, though.) Think I sold it for under a grand at the time.

    3
  8. Kurt

    This is an easy resto. No Bosch fuel injection to malfunction!

    1
  9. steve

    Green? Yes..THAT green? Ahhh…maybe not. The photos are not clear but it appears that it has been repainted with a metallic green on the outside. VW paints of that vintage were not metallic paints. It would take a better photo or an in person look to be sure.

    1
    • Christopher B.

      Agreed. Also, the deluxe passenger model with the beltline moldings like this had a white-painted roof (above the gutters, not the beltline-divided two-tone scheme that earlier and later buses often had)

  10. steve b.

    Had about 3 of these and enjoyed driving them. Back then it wasn’t a big head turner it was just an low cost vehicle to have a way around .Easy to work on!
    Never dreamed the price the bus would increase like it his .

  11. steve

    Ah, yeah..Look at the photo showing the driver’s seat though the door. Looks to be 2 shades of green on the sill. What is under the paint is the question. Also, 185R14C tires a REQUIRED for VW vans. The “C” is a load rating which is 6 ply. Those were never available in white wall. So the “P” tires that are on it make it harder to steer at slow speeds and harder to keep on the road at high speeds (OK..HIGHER speeds…) Most people never load this to maximum gross weight so they won’t FAIL but for the price I’d like to see original paint and correct tires.
    Presentable van with the cool sun roof option. And I like green..

    1
  12. Ensign Pulver

    The inner me cries for all the buses I have owned and let go cheaply ..exactly how I purchased them. I sold my 70 in 1992 for about $1200….in good condition as running well. I will say that having them as a daily driver is a lot different than as a collector! I would say to my myself …what have I done???…as the cold and wind of NJ blew me from lane to lane on the NJ Turnpike. So I look at these and enjoy but don’t bite. Although , the 2001 Eurovan in my garage that I bought new 18+years ago …sits protected …it’s my retirement gold mine!!

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  13. Jay E.

    Vw never had a metallic in 69. Had one new, sold it many engine rebuilds later for 500.00. Useful busses, but Howard it right, there is no nostalga driving one. Just a slow, minimal, unrelieable piece of transportation. Comments on value are a waste of time.

  14. Roy L.

    Can’t we all get along? Buyers and sellers, can’t we bury the hatchet and not in someone’s back. Merry Christmas.

    1

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