Surprisingly Straight Panel Van: 1959 VW Bus

Usually, when a vintage Volkswagen Type 2 comes up for sale, we start the usual lament of how cool the early ones are but oh-my-G0d-look-at-the-rust. This 1959 model may not be pretty from the outside, but it’s surprisingly solid underneath. The seller notes that the rockers, dril rails, and floors are all in nice shape, a rarity for a Bus of almost any age. Find it here on eBay with a few hours left and bidding approaching $20K.

The model is a double-door panel variant, and if you can look past the tired paint job, you’ll find a Bus worthy of continued preservation or cosmetic restoration underneath. The Bus remains highly original underneath, including the 36 b.h.p. engine and transmission, along with a 6V electrical system. The bumpers appear to be original as well, and it’s super tempting to leave the paint job as-is.

The floors are incredible, especially in light of how many Type 2s appear for sale with tall asking prices and extensive rot. The seller doesn’t elaborate as to whether these were repaired or this Bus simply survived in a climate that limited potential for rust. The Bus is located in Sarasota, Florida, which can go either way as it relates to how much dampness a vintage vehicle may be exposed to.

This is a far-cry from a camper van, as the double-door panels were typically used in commercial settings as a hauler or work van. Still, given how many campers are for sale at one time, an early model in this configuration is a rare find, especially with solid floors and rockers. The active bidding seems to support this, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it clear $20K by the end of the auction.


  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    Our first of many VWs was a 55 panel van. Was in the USAF at Goose Bay, Labrador working on top of a 600 ft “mountain”. Block heater for the engine, firewood in the back for extra weight and heat, big mattress over the engine so passengers had something to sit on other than steel floors. It was fun.

    Like 7
  2. Kenbone

    This thing needs to be in a movie,wicked cool

    Like 3
  3. billieg

    Sarasota Fl. is on the gulf so a lot of salt air. I bet it came from TX or AZ. The chrome wheels on my Vette rusted within a month of moving to Sarasota.

    Like 2
  4. Bill Member

    My Dad had a double door panel bus. 1960. Had the dreaded modified 40hp motor. Used it to make deliveries from his donut shop. After he closed the business it became my first vehicle. Removed the racks. Glued carpet squares to the rear interior and cruised everywhere in it. Would go 60mph on a good day. No gas gauge. Ten gallon tank with a two gallon reserve. When it started sputtering you pulled the lever for the reserve and looked for a gas station. Could get 6-8 friends in the back and go to the $2 a car drive in. Sold it for $75. Good times.

    Like 8
  5. Jack Quantrill

    Place flags at half-mast today. The final day of VW Bug production.⚰️

    Like 4
  6. Marshall

    My dad had a used 1960 VW bug, which I loved. And I remember a time or two in which I had to activate the (I believe) ONE gallon reserve. They did not start putting a gas gauge in the bugs until 1962.

  7. Marshall

    When first I saw this, I wondered if this was a rare “windowless” (solid metal on the back door) “privacy” commercial variation, of which I’ve only seen one in my entire life. But no, this one has the smaller pre-63 rear window. Re: this one, if that is THEE original “salmon” colored paint, I would also be tempted to patina it “as is” on the outside, with that “glazed“ rustoleum anti-rust protection (or whatever they call it).Otherwise, just paint it the original color.

    Oh, and re: that rare windowless that I once saw? I saw it, unwrecked, in a junkyard back in the 70s. I asked how much they wanted for the whole thing. They said $400. I did not look at the plate to see whether that one originally came with that all metal “privacy” back door. I was young and was not aware of these sorts of things back then.

    But if I were to see that exact same unparted out vehicle today for the exact same price, and if the plate confirmed that the “privacy” door was original, I would be tempted to (if necessary) buy it, put it in a storage garage, and then flip it to somebody who would be able to righteously restore it. But first, I would alert the vintageVWphiles at and elsewhere on the Internet about it, with pictures, and where they can get it.

  8. TimM

    Looks solid for a change!!

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