Live Auctions

Stalled Project: 1965 Volkswagen Bus

Now that VW has announced the new EV bus, there is a lot of attention yet again on the classic VW bus from the 1950s and 60s. A lot of people are bemoaning that the originality has gone and it’s too big and complicated. The original was very simple, with basic repairs and plenty of spares available. That’s where today’s VW Type 2 comes in, one of the split-screen versions, and is an 11-window model which denotes it as the basic model in the range (13 windows being more luxurious). The bus can be found in Maiden, North Carolina, and is available for $15,000 on eBay here, with the reserve not yet met and just one day to go.

We are all familiar with the VW bus as it’s so iconic, and the current owner has seen fit to make some modifications to make this more usable. The bus has a 4-in narrowed beam, new front, and rear brakes, a rebuilt transmission, and has been lowered to give it a more modern vibe. However although it looks great from far, there are some downsides to this. The seller is unsure of the engine installed, and the mileage cannot be verified. There has been rust repair in some of the panels and the driver’s side door has not yet been installed.

The whole bus has been repainted from its original red color into two-tone green and white, with a bamboo ceiling installed on the interior. This feels like a project where someone has lost enthusiasm and didn’t quite execute their vision to make this bus theirs. Some of the repairs can be seen in the image of the side of the bus, with new rocker panels, which have all then been painted over. A thorough independent inspection of this bus is a must before any new owner purchases it.

These buses are versatile and could be converted into anything you wanted, from a food truck to a drag machine – the only limit is your imagination and your wallet. Whilst the bus looks like it was loved at some point in its life, it looks like it needs just the last 10% of love to get it back on the road. So would you continue with the original vision of the seller and finish it off, or would you strip it back and start again?


  1. Esteban

    I wonder what the reserve is…$50k?

    Like 1
  2. sign guy

    How can it be available for $15,000 when the reserve hasn’t been met?

    Like 7
  3. Greg Gustafson

    What is this “beam” they narrowed 4”?
    The reason it’s been lowered is the “bug” transaxle. The van transaxles had different baking plates and gearboxes in the ends of the axle tubes that located the wheels 3” plus lower. Then, they had to lower the front
    so it didn’t have the stance of a funny car.

    • Steve RM

      The “beam” refers to the torsion bar front end. The torsion bar springs run through two beams. They narrow then to allow for more room for bigger tires or to give more room for disc brakes and/or custom wheels. The rear has had the original rear with the reduction gear boxes removed and a Bug transaxle installed to lower the rear end.

      Like 3
      • Greg Gustafson

        Thanks for the narrowed “beam” info. I’ve never heard them to be referred to as beams. Even with the removal of the reduction geared axle boxes, that wouldn’t allow this van to reach or travel at any highway speeds around here.

        Like 1
    • bobhess bobhess Member

      The “beam” is the twin torsion bar suspension unit. To lower the front you narrow the unit to move the wheels in 2″ on each side so they clear the inner fenders when turning the steering wheel. The reason for taking the gear reduction axles off and putting the Bug axles on is to get a gear ratio that you can run on the highways. Besides looking cool, the lowering greatly improves stability in wind and high speeds.

      Like 1
  4. Rinkman

    So they say the drivers door hasn’t been installed yet, but in the picture it is on the bus. Need more pictures of repaired areas and underneath. Also what is the reserve ?


      If you read the ebay ad what it says it that the seller was planning to replace the driver’s side door with a different door.

  5. Car Nut Tacoma

    Beautiful looking bus. If I had the money, I would’ve had a water-cooled Subaru boxer engine installed, I would’ve upgraded the brakes to make them safer to stop in today’s traffic.

    Like 1
    • bobhess bobhess Member

      Got a friend who has a Vanagon with the big Subaru engine in it. It really moves that van down the road, and sounds good too.

    • Mitchell

      …and add the “Accelero” ornament from a Bugatti on the engine
      lid. Some drivers behind you will then wonder what is meant by
      accelero on the old car. Unless you push the throttle.

      Pure understatement!

  6. chrlsful

    These are the only kindza mods I’d wanna see on any ‘collectable’ (I havea different deffiniton of “classic”).
    They allow an older vehicle to be used in modern society yet do not make it into a monstrosity.
    To me many of them are minor (even the WXR motor) and should be backed up w/pickling (proper storage) of an original (from the exact vehicle if possible). Of course they lower the value of the car (altho who knows what the sales price will be) as a ‘total rest0’ is all ways better than an example of what any one wrencher thinks is great (ie ‘mods’). It’s not a case of “different strokes’ if seeking highest sales – that is an exercise I call gambling & unfortunately find myself “init” when sourcing for some vehicles.
    Here I’d go 13 windows (cut out/build) or 6 (weld panels in all openings from behind cab back @ 2 rear doors). Have fun, be safe AND productive !

  7. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Ended at $18,100, Reserve Not Met.

  8. Steve

    Back on eBay with an opening bid of $20K, 0 bids. Looks like original listing only got to $18K before ending.

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