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Wants New Home: 1970 Volkswagen Single Cab

While the Volkswagen is known in collector circles as one of the simplest vehicles ever made, the language used by VW enthusiasts to describe the myriad iterations of VW is complicated. Type 1 generally refers to the Beetle, Ghia, and Thing. Type 2’s are VW’s truck versions, including Transporters, Buses, and Pickups. There are Type 3’s and Type 4’s, and sub-types inside these larger categories! Worse, Type 1 engines were used in Type 2 vehicles. The array of combinations is dizzying for such a simple vehicle. None of this reduces the charm of a well-presented VW of almost any type. Here on eBay is a 1970 Volkswagen Single Cab pickup for sale, bid to $16,300, with no reserve. The pickup is located in Enid, Oklahoma. It’s a project, but likely an easy one for someone who speaks “Volkswagen”. The seller – an RV dealer – indicates that he acquired it in partial trade for an RV. He was told that the VW ran well, but it didn’t run at all by the time it was acquired, thanks to no battery or gas. Attempting to start it came to naught. Later he discovered it also had no brakes. Frustrated, he parked it and ignored it. Now the seller is relocating his business and the VW must be sold.

VW engines are air-cooled, flat-fours, arranged with opposing cast iron cylinders and aluminum cylinder heads and pistons. Displacements in the late 1960s and 1970s were typically 1500 or 1600 cc’s making about 50 to 60 bhp. The motors were rear-mounted. The engine in this pickup won’t start with starting fluid and power, though it does crank. The seller notes lots of new parts in the engine bay. The brakes don’t work, as noted. The pedal is frozen in place.

The interior looks nearly new. The headliner is clean, and even the edges of the windows and jambs are nicely painted. While the dash isn’t as quaint as the metal dashes of the early 1960s Type 2’s, it’s very presentable. The seller points out that the pickup has minor rust spots, the worst of which is the battery tray. Someone replaced the battery tray with a metal plate; the floorboards also have a few patches. The underside has surface rust.

The truck’s bed looks great; this photo shows off the folding gates that make the truck into a flatbed. The seller notes that the gates are original but somewhat dented. The ad reads as if the seller is annoyed at the VW – clearly he wants it gone so he can get on with business. This presents an opportunity for a VW aficionado. Nothing here seems too horrible to tackle. Does this seem like a reasonable project to you?


  1. bobhess bobhess Member

    As simple as these are it shouldn’t be too hard to find out why it doesn’t run. Looks like it’s in good condition and would certainly be fun at weekend car shows etc.

    Like 5
  2. angliagt angliagt Member

    These are pretty cool.I made the mistake of storing one of
    these in my driveway for guy named Steve Ponder,who was
    moving to the Denver area.Was supposed to be for a short time.
    A year later,I ended up delivering it to him,with the promise that
    he’d reimburse me.It’s now been 10+ years,& haven’t seen a cent.
    His single cab did drive really well,& I liked the “basement”-
    (storage area under the side of the bed).

    Like 1
    • Big C

      I wonder. Did Mr. Ponder wander?

      Like 4
  3. chrlsful

    crew cab Doka (not the kombi or micro bus) might be the real deal
    for our Rockies, Sierrias or Moab.

    I DO like the japanese’n these for ‘the drop sides’ (easier for the forks to load)

  4. Iowa Farmer

    Starting fluid!? Unless the formula has changed from what it was back in the 1970’s, NEVER use that piston destroying crap! Back in the 1980’s I was employed at the local tractor salvage. While doing inventory the warehouse foreman showed me what starting fluid did to John Deere A and 4440, etc. pistons. Those mental pictures have stuck with me.

    Like 2
    • Michelle Rand Staff

      Kinda like in grade school when we hung a piece of meat in a cup of Coca-Cola and watched it get eaten away.

      Like 2
    • Johan

      People go nuts with that stuff. Not good!

  5. 19sixty5 Member

    This looks good initially, but there seems to be quite a bit of rust after looking a little closer. The bed floor wood isn’t original, and is covering several areas of rust perforation. VW’s are simple, easy to work on mechanically, but rust repair is never fun.

  6. Mitch

    Is this coming out from mustie1 collection in NH? Btw T2 are way
    more appreciable as the hyped split windows. It seems not a
    bad deal.

  7. Mitchell

    T2 are the better choice as the hyped split-windows. Also the
    impact resistance was enhanced. The bed floor looks funny
    but i would use walk deck wood as covering.
    For those who are interested, the T2 offers plenty of abilities
    for further – speed – upgrades and this example is a good
    starting point.

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