Rough But Running: 1961 VW Samba Bus

1961 VW Samba Barn Find

It never ceases to amaze me how dedicated Samba fans are to these buses! The most dedicated of Samba nuts will go to great length to save them and fork out serious money in the process. We’ve seen rusted out projects brought back from the brink, or in one buses case raised from the depths of a lake! The example you see here was found in a forest about a few months ago by the seller. They were able to work a deal with the owner and had it hauled to their barn, where they began work on. The previous owner put some parts of the bus in their own barn, including all the seats. Since getting it, the seller has replaced the front floors, gotten it running, installed new window rubber, and replaced the rag top and all the parts necessary to make it open and close. It still needs a lot more work to be a driver, but this bus looks like a decent starting place! You can find it here on eBay in Daytona Beach, Florida with a BIN of $40,000 and bidding just over $5k. So would you finish this Samba project?


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  1. David

    Personally, I would be highly suspicious of any project that starts at 40k. It is certainly possible that the work the current owner did was done correctly, but if you are realistic, you know that you will probably have to do all over, and purchase price is a mere drop in the bucket.

  2. Another Bob

    What pathetic photography for a vehicle they are hoping to extract 40K from. Wish the previous owner was selling it instead.

  3. Texas Tea

    We truely live in an insane world……………………

  4. jimbosidecar

    Not for that kind of money. You can still find really decent drivers for less than that if you look around

  5. Tundra/BMW Guy

    The front floor “repair” looks like it was laid in over where the rust was “cut” out. I do not see any type of anchoring, sealing, nor do the hand brake/fuel pedal look like they were even made to be safe or functional. I would think that at that kind of asking price, this thing would have been taken a lot further down the restoration path, than what little has been done up to this point.

  6. Woodie Man

    Leaving aside I sold a cherry 21 window ’67 with an original Westphala installed in it for six thousand dollars in the mid eighties, there is no way on earth that this van is worth one thousand dollars…in a rational market on another planet. here, its worth whatever any sucker will pay.

    • Cole

      like any other collector market, the price is what the buyers market sets and historically these command a high price tag. that said, $40k for one that needs $40k-50k for a complete and correct resto to command those #1 prices is a bit steep. $15k-20k is more realistic

  7. Rich

    I have loved air cooled VWs my entire life, but I cannot for the life of me work out why they’re suddenly worth so much money. OK it means more get saved, but they’re not exactly rare beasts anyway. When I first started going to the shows and reading the mags in the late 80’s, you struggled to get a few hundred quid for an old bus.

  8. Bey

    Project? It looks prefect to me.

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