The Peoples Truck: 1961 Volkswagen Pickup

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The well-loved and admired Volkswagen pickups are highly sought after and are always difficult to find in any condition. This particular VW has spent close to 30 years in storage, and has a history with Vangaurd Volkswagen Repair out of California. These workhorse VW’s typically lived a hard life where they eventually became engulfed in rust, dents, and dings. This VW is ready to be revived and has minimal rust which is a huge selling point for this VW. Priced at $14,500, we think that price is reasonable for a pickup with so little rust. Find it here on ebay out of Billings, Montana.

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The interiors in VW’s are minimalistic, but just fine. Sadly someone has taken it upon themselves to break the glass over the speedometer, and the radio. The original rubber mat is in place, but the door panels and seat are missing in action.

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After you see a few of these pickups in person, you start to realize how rare they are, and how rusty they usually are. This particular VW is a gem. The rust is very tame on this one. The front “step” area of where you get in is usually a big problem on any VW bus. Water, dirt and weight transition all lead to the step being a very cancerous spot that can often be missing from one to many steps. The step and front floor looks remarkably solid in this one. The rockers are very nice with minimal to no rust. The lower doors have some rust on the inside of them, and one of the lower doors is stuck shut. The tailgates are decent with minor bubbling at the bottom edges. The tailend of this pick up is decent, as some dent repair has been executed to fix the obvious. The engine cover has a sizeable dent in it, but the engine bay itself is very clean. The Nose of this pickup is nice and appears accident free. There is some denting to the roof section as well. Underneath of this VW is a dream come true for many. Rust is minimal, and this is a very solid starter. Paint on this VW is old and dry, but we love the “Vanaurd Volkswagen Repair” painted on the nose. The seller has mentioned that the original blue is still on the passenger door under the primer, and that someone with some time and wet sanding skills could bring back the blue for a matching blue original look.

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There is an engine present with this VW but it is unclear as to if it is original to this VW. It does appear to be a correct single port engine, but other than that, there is no further information to the drivetrains condition.  It would appear that someone took particular interest and care in this VW’s engine as it has a large external oil cooler and remote oil filter kit. Fortunately VW’s 1930’s technology is easy to rebuild, so even if the engine is toast, it would not be a bad project to take on.

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With lots of potential, this Volkswagen pickup is a very solid starting point and would be a great project for someone. It would easily make a great restoration project, or it could be maintained as is and could undergo a mechanical restoration. What would you do with this Volkswagen?

 

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Comments

  1. RoughDiamond RoughDiamond Member

    OK looks very solid compared to most which “most” equals few due to their rarity. I’m clueless so can some BF reader clue me in on what that steel framing is in the bed and why it might be there?

    • Rick

      Just a ladder rack. This truck may have actually worked at one point. The rack would have to go – that takes up more than half the weight carrying capability!

      • Bobsmyuncle

        With one ton ratings this has a long way to go. I know you were being facetious but not many know these were truly designed to haul.

        This seems like too good a deal to be real. I’m a little incredulous. At this point in my life, I’d trade my ’63 bus for a pickup in a heart beat.

      • Toolbox

        @ Bobsmyuncle,

        In 61 the load rating was 3/4 ton. In 63 there was an optional 1 ton equipment group and in 64 they came standard as 1 tons.

        I just took an 1850lb load to the transfer station in my 59. It was a bit slower going than usual and a bit more distance to stop.

      • Bobsmyuncle

        Yeah Toolbox I think you may have corrected me on that before LOL.

        Point remains the same, but thanks for keeping the info accurate!

  2. JW

    Not a big VW fan but I do like these pickups, if condition is truly close to rust free I suspect this won’t last long at that price. Nice truck IMO.

  3. Jeffro

    Nice find. Personally, I’d fix the mechanicals and drive as is. The ladder rack would have to go

  4. Howard A Member

    Quite rare indeed. $14.5 rare? WOW. I think Mike Wolf himself would be taken back some. I mean, it doesn’t even run. I believe that’s the original 40 hp motor in the bed. Hemmings has 2, 60’s pickups, both in the mid $50’s, so apparently, the money is there. We never saw pickups in the mid-west, all buses. Cool find, but ouch on the price. Still, try and find another like this.

  5. jimjim

    Is the ladder rack worth anything? If I went to get this, I’d be tempted to leave the ladder rack behind unless someone thinks you could get something for it.

    • JW

      Scrap metal price, don’t think it could fit another truck but this one.

  6. Eric Dashman

    Let’s get serious here. Does the clock work?

    • Howard A Member

      Hi Eric, I believe the one gauge near the speedo is an aftermarket tachometer, and the other gauge is fuel level (tank) an option, as they came standard with one in ’62.

      • Eric Dashman

        I don’t think so, Howard. I’m pretty sure the gas gauge is to the right of the speedo and the far one is a clock. I think I see a button on it to set the time. I drove a few of them back in the day (buses, not pickups), and they did have both. Don’t think that’s a tach there. However, as always, I’m prepared to be wrong, although now that I’m divorced I’m not wrong nearly as often as I used to be. :-)

  7. Bobsmyuncle

    You are both sorta right. The added gauges here aren’t OEM from what I can make out.

    OEM there would be no clock (only the Delux busses got those) they were rectangular and it would reside below the passenger grab handle.

    OEM location for the fuel gauge is beside the speedo to the left. My 63 has one but perhaps they still weren’t standard equipment yet in ’61.

    This one seems to have a tach to the right of the speedo. Though any tach is non OEM, the shift points are delineated by marks on the speedo.

  8. waynard

    Wait ’til steel prices go up again, you’ll $50-60 bucks for it.

  9. waynard

    …the rack, that is.

  10. Aaron

    Eric, if you look at the pictures in the ebay listing, you can zoom in on the gauges. The gauge to the right of the speedo says RPM in big letters under the dial.

  11. Ernie the Dancing Weasel

    Fresh air heat shroud on the engine, so likely couple years newer than the truck…

  12. Steven C

    I dig the rack

    Like 1

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