Wall Art: 1965 VW Shorty Pickup


A few weeks back, I revisited the private salvage yard from where I scooped up my 1981 Toyota Hiace van. The seller of the ‘Yota also had several old VW’s on his property, including a single-cab Bus much like this one here on craigslist and likely just as rusty. Even the seller himself opined that it might be better used as garage art, but you’re going to need a good imagination either way. 


The seller doesn’t hide from the fact that his Bus is mostly a source for parts at this juncture, and he’s only asking $800 for the project. Still, even that may be ambitious considering just how little sheetmetal there is to work with, and also that the chassis has been shortened and the desirable pickup bed has been removed. Original, it is not, and there’s not much left here beyond the windshield that makes it worth saving.


Yikes. The rust problem is more than a problem; it’s an epidemic! Still, you probably didn’t hold high hopes for this Van upon  first viewing it, and the deeper you go, the worst it gets. The seller does not mince words about the scale of any potential restoration, which is refreshing to see among peddlers of rough project cars. He even suggests the split-window cab might be good fodder as garage art, a recommendation with which I tend to agree.

Image courtesy of New Retro Cars

Here’s a terrific example of what’s possible with a rough Bus like the one on craigslist. Although it’s a shame to take another one off the road, it’s at least still being used even if it’s converted to indoor use. There’s not much else to salvage, so why not? Special thanks to Barn Finds reader Olaf E. for the find.

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  1. MH

    I would say not worth the money or the time to turn it into anything. Crush it and forget about it.

  2. Dovi65

    What exactly is present that’s worth $8, never mind $800?

    • Toolbox

      4 wheels, transaxle with reduction boxes, front beam with spindles, steering wheel, steering gearbox, speedo, gas gauge, uncut radio hole dashes fetch a few dollars, misc hardware and I always pull the wiring harness. It is so nice to be able to repair an electrical issue with the right size and color wire. I would give $500 for it.

  3. Rustytech Member

    Not much to add here. What is 500 lbs. of scrap steel worth today?

    • Rocko

      1/4 ton = 25$
      Its cute, definitely restore it .

  4. Jay M

    As useful as a 6 inch extension cord.

    Like 1
    • tstout68

      If you lack 4″ a 6″ extension cord would do the trick.

      Like 1
  5. Marty Member

    Tough crowd. Apparently not a lot of yard art aficionados here. Still, my vote is “save.” Nice write-up, Jeff.

    • Horse Radish

      I agree. But make sure it doesn’t get worse (the rust).

  6. Dan

    Save it, Turn it into a Gooseneck hauler and make a custom gooseneck trailer from a wrecked bus!

  7. The Giant Cornstalk

    C’mon guys – – All you need to do is sneeze in the wrong direction, and you’ll be finding shrapnel 100 miles away – – I’m a car hugger from way back, but my feet are also firmly planted in reality, which tells me that this is a rust Dixie Cup just begging to be put out of our misery.

  8. Ck

    I like the garrage/mantown bar hang it on the wall art idea.

    • MikeH

      You would have to spend a hell of a lot to time, effort and money just to get it nice enough to hang on a wall.

  9. Jubjub

    This was taken off the road a long time ago.

    With enough work, like the pictured wall art, could make an interesting walk up window/counter for a marijuana dispensary.

  10. Horse Radish

    At least the seller is very clear about “HOW ROUGH” this project really is.

  11. Kim

    I love it! Would look great hanging on the wall at my store on the beach

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