Wild Woodstock Bus With 23 Window On Top!

Given the prices that genuine 23-window Volkswagen Buses have been commanding, this heavily customized (and weathered) 1937 International Bus poses a conundrum for the next owner. While Woodstock sentimentalists would see a rolling monument to the glory days of outdoor music concerts and living on the road, I’m sure more than one air-cooled enthusiast will be trying to figure out a way to get that valuable 23-window roof out of the, erm, many window’d school bus. Find it here on craigslist for $19,500.

Did the Type 2 get chopped off at the belt-line to make this conversion happen? I would assume so, but who knows. Not being around when these Woodstock cruisers were being concocted, I’m ill-prepared to dissect the engineering ingenuity that flowed from feeling good for days on end. Given how many 23-window project owners are often left looking for good replacement glass in the roof-line windows, seeing what looks like mostly intact panes makes me believe this Bus has a chance at being extracted from its perch atop the International.

The interior of the school bus is….complex. The seller notes in addition to the VW, there is also a 1954 Chevrolet molded into the rear of the Type 2 to create a “…kitchen standup area,” which I believe is what you can see in the back of this photo with the ladder going up to the Chevy’s roof and windows. The seller describes a meandering history of two buses nicknamed “Further I” and “Further II” built by Woodstock loyalists with ties to the Grateful Dead, but it doesn’t clarify whether this is a copy or one of the original builds.

Not that it really matters, but I bring this up because this bus has also been one woman’s private residence for a spell, and as a haunted house for a Halloween attraction. It’s entirely possible it toured Woodstock and then began its journey to the West Coast, as it now resides in Oregon and is registered as an antique motorhome. The engine will need to be replaced as it has low compression, and I imagine you’ll discover a few other maintenance needs in the process. Can the valuable 23-window Bus be rescued or is it stuck in a hippy bus forever?

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Comments

  1. Howard A Member

    I know, many of us would just LOVE to see the face of someone that rips people off with current VW bus prices, but the truth is, this is what happened to many of them. The bus appears to be a KB7, and they can’t be serious wanting $20g’s for this, even with half a VW bus.

    17
    • Robert White

      Can you imagine how much weed I’d buy if I was the hippie selling this rusted out old bus with half a classic VW bus atop?

      $20k on the same weed the seller is smoking!

      Yup

      Bob

      9
  2. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    The Magic Bus it is not. It’s deer camp now. It would have been cool to ride in the VW cab when it was running. There are some pretty funny videos of vehicles vs low bridges. This would make a good one.

    17
  3. geomechs geomechs Member

    This is either a K7 or a KB7 that would be a late 1940 at the earliest. The D series ran from ‘37 to the first part of ‘40. Quite likely a Blue Diamond (269) engine powering it and that bus will need everything that engine will deliver. But it will deliver for a long time. I don’t know what I would do with something like this. I helped a group of dedicated people restore one similar to this one, only without that squashed bug on top…

    8
    • Howard A Member

      Hey Chief, I think it’s a KB. I read, KB came out in ’47, and this has the KB 10 bar grill as opposed to the K7 that had 13 bars.

      5
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Good observation there. When I first saw it I knew I was missing something. Sometimes I think I’m blind in one eye and can’t see out of the other…

        9
  4. vwbussEd

    THis needs to be kept as one piece, painted wild colors, and driven cross country

    29
  5. Fred H

    Honey…We need to move to a house with a long driveway ))

    11
    • whmracer99

      ….. and no overhanging trees.

      6
  6. TimS Member

    Looks like a picture for a clickbait ad. “These Are the Customs Of Time. #7 Is Making With Historic.”

    8
  7. Leo Desrochers

    In 1987 I believe this bus was my neighbor parked along San Francisco’s panhandle. the rear extension was a garage for his BMW motorcycle ,It was green in color and powered by a Plymouth fury 318 and it’s automatic 727 transmission with a 2 speed dump truck rear end.
    It was owned by a hippie named dancing bear.

    17
    • Nathan

      There used to be one just like this sitting in a field in the mid 80’s on the way up to Sears point raceway… wonder if this is it??
      weird how it has ended up in Oregon.

      6
      • glen

        I’m thinking if you saw one just like this, it was this. How many like this could there possibly be?

        3
    • Norman Forrester

      Building these things must have been a thing back then. Someone should host a FB page where we all can post pics of these thingsnear us. I have two in my area, one with a bug on top. I may have to tresspass to get a good pic.

      1
  8. Dovi65

    Would make a great motor home conversion. Just remove those ridicuolous VW, & Chevy add-ons. Get a more modern diesel power plant. Tho that asking price has to drop by close to $17K

    3
    • Norman Forrester

      “a great motor home conversion?” The rust repair alone would preclude this project from anything but “great.”

      I admit, it’s pretty darn cool regardless.

      5
    • James

      Cool find! Sell the second floor to one of those crazy 23 window people and pay for the entire restoration of the bus!!

      6
  9. Mark

    It’s “hippie”

    3
  10. Chris M.

    Was this the Manson families motorhome?

    11
  11. Grandpa Lou

    This just goes to prove how absurd the multi window van prices have become. Truly amazing that the well healed of today who crave these,are not,nor probably have never been the kind of people who made them famous.Somewhat hypocritical if you ask me.

    6
  12. Joe Machado

    Well, that’s one VW bus not in the way as I travel the country.
    Hated them things. Always in the way. Always trying to pass another vehicle up a grade at 1/1000th of a mile an hour. The sun would set before they completed the pass.
    Loaded, bet fuel mileage was worse than drag racing a Hemi!
    Were they sold for about $20. at one time? Used.
    Was fun to watch them change lanes in the wind, as driver tried to overcorrect while driving, or aiming.

    8
    • Norman Forrester

      Joe, in your description about always passing, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that.

      But I know what you mean, Joe. Somewhat comparable – I drove a ’77 Vanagon for a while one summer. Driving it was sorta like a go-cart when accelerating; your gas foot was all of the way to the floor even, and especially, in city driving.

      4
      • Joe Machado

        Mr Forrester, I was driving the big rigs in the 60’s, 70’s when the VW busses were always in the way. Hippies would laugh from holding us up.
        Question: I have 2 granddaughters in College and they spell the name with one R. Forester.
        Found a Dodge dealer in, I think, Nebraska. Forrester Dodge.
        Wanted to get the girls license plate frames as they both drive Dodges. You related to the dealer?

      • Norman Forrester

        Joe,

        Ya, my friend, the owner of the ’77 Vanagon, would sit in the left hwy lane right at the speed limit and piss everyone off righteously claiming “hey, I’m doing the speed limit…” Pissed me off too and I was embarassed to be riding with him as we were being flipped off.

        No, don’t believe I’m related to Forrester Dodge. I’m more of a Ford guy anyway : )

        2
      • Brian M

        I had an 82 Vanagon, auto with air. Once at highway speed it cruised nicely. Getting to that speed——well. I was (jokingly) told that the speedometer was an extra-cost option, replacing the calendar which was the usual velocity measuring device. Of course, as with any of the VW busses and early Ford Econolines and Corvair Greenbriers, you were guaranteed to be first at the scene of the accident with your seating position.

        4
    • Garrett

      There have always been two kinds of VW bus: those that have caught on fire, and those that have yet to catch on fire. At least this one is not likely to ignite in the current configuration.

      1
  13. rusty nutz

    It sat for years in a goat field north of Dayton ,Oregon , I remember seeing it every time at the interchange .

    8
  14. Adam Wright

    Believe it to not, I’ve seen this bus. I was leaving Rod Emory’s in McMinnville and saw this thing nearby, very cool.

    5
  15. Terry R Melvin

    $19K for THAT?? And it doesn’t even run?? You’ve got to be kidding..The owner would have to pay me $500 to drag it away. Barn Find, you’ve really done it this time.

    10
  16. rusty nutz

    right there at the interchange with highway 18 ? in the field with the goats & a hay maze ?

    1
    • grant

      Yup! I’ve seen it there also. Was working out there two years ago, it was there then anyhow. Not sure when it got to Bend.

      2
  17. Chebby Member

    Cool idea but even for free it’s a massive money pit. Look at how poorly those roof ornaments were grafted on.

    4
  18. gbvette62

    The story of “Further” is fairly well known. There have been a number of news stories about it, a documentary (Ken Kesey’s Magic Trip), a movie and mentions in a number of books about the 60’s.

    Further is a bus owned by author Ken Kesey, that he toured the country with in the 60’s. He first used the bus to travel to the 1964 Worlds Fair, with a group of friends from the west coast. LSD and other psychedelic drugs were supposedly a big part of Kesey and his friends travels in Further (Timothy Leary was one of Kesey’s friends). One of Further’s trips was to Woodstock in 69.

    Years later Kesey’s son built a second Further, but the family still has the original one too, and it was restored a few years ago. I don’t think this bus has anything to do with Kesey or his bus, and the seller doesn’t come out and say it’s a Kesey bus, but does try to intimate that it may be related to the Kesey’s (Further III? he says).

    Here is the original Further.
    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/furthur50/furthur-bus-50th-anniversary-trip

    12
    • Robert White

      If you watch the documentary Kesey shows his rotted out Woodstock bus that was made famous sitting beside his barn rotting out with lichens attached. There is no way the orginial bus was restored given what was show on the documentary.

      One of Keysey’s bus riders never made it back from the acid trip as she was hospitalized with acute psychosis during his trip. Keysey & hippie ensemble abandoned their fellow tripster on acid on route to visit Leary.

      Keysey immortalized the yellow school bus for 60s counterculture but he did not accomplish much past that IMHO.

      He was just a dangerous guy with a supply of LSD.

      Bob

      9
      • grant

        Well, and a hell of an author.

        4
      • Jeff

        He was just a great guy who expanded the minds of the people – probably one of the most important guys of the 20th century –
        What a long strange trip it’s been!

        1
  19. SMS

    As a kid In the ‘60’s, I saw a cleaned up and working K12. Still remember that massive and classy looking truck.

    I see that in the poor bus. Would love to see it cleaned up and made into a clean camper with maybe a pop top. Don’t remember seeing a K series bus on the road in years.

    3
  20. Troy s

    Nostalgia for that period of time has absolutely no limits. I don’t think too many people would want to relive All of it all over again. Just bits and pieces.
    Maybe this was driven to Altamont speedway, the one-eighty of Woodstock…fun times right?

    1
    • DavidL

      I think you’ve hit the nail on the head and that’s what the seller is hoping for. “Get a piece of the 60’s right here folks. Who knows what kind of … naughtiness happened here.” I could go on.

  21. IkeyHeyman Member

    This brings back some memories: when I was in my 20’s, I went in with two other guys on an old GMC-powered school bus. We spent a month turning it into a “camper” and then hit the road with visions of fun and adventure dancing in our heads. After two or three breakdowns, the novelty started to wear off, and after a big blowup one day, I ended up standing on the side of I-87 in New York watching the bus disappear over the horizon. I recently found out that one of the guys still has the bus on his property, uses it for storage.

    7
  22. Patrick Farmer

    This thing looks like the Grapes of Wrath. Where is the No. 2 washtub, washboard and stripper pole? It has basket seats!! The two buckets were in use sweeping out the roaches and used condomints. $20,000! Thats some good shoot their smoking. Maybe, the $20,000 is needed to pay for the rest of the VW Microbus. Do you know what the definition of a Corvette motor is? Any 350 that is for sale. This one pegs the BSometer.

    10
  23. Norman Forrester

    Author states: “Given how many 23-window project owners are often left looking for good replacement glass in the roof-line windows, seeing what looks like mostly intact panes makes me believe this Bus has a chance at being extracted from its perch atop the International.” Why not just remove the glass as it sits?

    4
  24. Classic Steel

    Well like hemi road runners more are on the road than made as well as more attended wood stock than did.

    Whats the height on the beast ? Will it clear a bridge ?

    Transplant the top to another vdub and scrap the rest.

    6
    • Norman Forrester

      Good point, Classic. As for counterfeits, I’d add GTOs, Shelbys, myriad SSs to the list. But I fail to understand that the rusty top of a bus is worth anything. You really wanna take the effort to blow-torch this decrepit bus hulk off of a classic hippie bus? And then what do you have? Still only the (worthless?) top only of a VW bus. I ain’t no VW expert but again, why not just scavenge what’s valuable (perhaps a piece of glass or two) and leave this cool relic sitting as it is. Respectively IMHO of course.

      2
    • Joe Machado

      At least bridges have clearance signs. Gas stations dont always before you enter the property.
      Seen others, especially large camping trailers, with higher roof mounted air conditioners, knock down canopies in stations. Bet you tube has a few.
      Goin to Boise to get a car. Saw that Barn Finds is located there.
      Huuuummmmm

      3
  25. DETROIT LAND YACHT

    I’m the biggest restomod guy out there..but I want whoever did this arrested for crimes against style. Neither of the three vehicles involved deserved this.Nothing to save here folks.Send in the recyclers.

    3
    • Robert White

      1937 was the height of Art Deco era art, and this so-called ‘bus’ is not a reasonable depiction of the Art Deco era due to the add on roof adornments. I, for one, fully agree that the stylist needs to be sanctioned for this bastardization of the Art Deco era artifact of culture.

      Bob

      2
      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Definitely not a ’37. It’s from the K-series from the war period. Howard pointed out that the grill says it’s a ’47…

        4
      • Norman Forrester

        It’s a hippie bus! They were not customizers. They did not piece this together for the art of the vehicle but to make a cheap scavanged school buss into something that is usable to them. There are two like this in my area and they are a cool examples from the decades ago counterculture – of what hippies and poor folk could do on the cheap.

        4
  26. BlondeUXB Member

    Over the top…

    4
  27. Sean

    Same year and model as Fairbanks 147 from Into the Wild?

    2
    • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

      Nope, that was one of the lesser gross weight trucks and a smaller chassis but it was an International. I heard the film crew had to source one of their own to recreate the bus in order to shoot some scenes in the movie as the original was pretty rough and used posthumously as a shrine to the dead hiker. Spicoli was the producer of the film, based on the true story of the rich, ivy league McCanless boy.

      1
    • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

      Here is a photo of the movie replica — Evidently it sits at the entrance to the Denali National Forest for people to have their pictures taken. Sad that it may never have been made famous if it weren’t for the untimely death of McCandless.

  28. David Conwill

    I love this. I wonder how much I could recoup by removing the VW bits and selling them off? The balance would be great to rehab into a retro RV. Maybe with a curved-Plexiglas skylight in place of the Transporter.

    4
  29. Norman Forrester

    Assuming you could get $100 for each piece of usable glass (you’d still need to clean, buff, and weatherstrip them) that leaves you not much left to rehab this hulk.

    2
  30. John P.

    Buy it for the VW aspect assuming the roof isn’t fully rusted. Surgically remove it and rebuild the 23 window. Then, patch the roof of the big bus and live in it after your wife learns you bought the pileup. Finish converting a lesser VW bus into a 23 window and show the wife your crazy idea paid off. 😇

    4
    • Norman Forrester

      How much do you think a “converted” VW bus would be worth? I’d imagine 50 grand would be just a start getting a converted VW bus in a salable condition (add the cost of the donor VW chassis/body too – assuming it is not the rust bucket that this top is). I’d also imagine another 50 grand as a start in getting the ’47 bus back on the road.

      1
  31. RexFox

    I saw a few of these VW-topped school buses back in the day. In fact, a neighbor in Coos Bay had an older version International with a 21 window VW welded on top. He was a goldsmith and used the bus as his home and shop when out on the road. When back at the bay, he parked next to house on a foundation where he had a kitchen and sitting room. The bus was used as his shop and deluxe open-top bedroom. His was done with a much higher level of craftsmanship. The International was still powered by a straight six. It was really slow moving and he had to be very careful driving under overpasses.

    1
    • Steve RM

      The guy in Coos Bay was a great jeweler. I visited his place in Coos Bay (actually on the bay between Empire and Charleston) many times. He made our wedding rings and a couple other pieces for us. Great guy, great jeweler, and great bus.

      2
      • RexFox

        Yeah, Crab Flats; I loved living there, but my girlfriend/wife/ex-wife did not… I believe the goldsmith’s name was Doug.

        1
  32. George sapia

    1947 not 37

    6
  33. Del

    For that price it better include a Rolex

    3
  34. John

    The perfect example of the outcome of excessive drug use, from initial design/build right through to pricing of the somewhat completed project.
    Please pass me another joint and some mushrooms…

    4
  35. Sal

    I’ll pass on this thing at any price, though the crazy person in me would love to inherit it.

    I’ve always wanted to build my own motor coach, but every time I sit down to calculate costs….

    I realize a hotel is cheaper.

    5
  36. Bubba5

    Moments after viewing the first interior picture I contracted Herpes.

    5
    • Norman Forrester

      Good one, Bubba!

      1
    • Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

      If you look closely at the photo of the stand up shower, you see a patch of tape over a burned area. My guess is a lot of hippies attempted to fornicate in there with a candle burning longer than their amorous sugar cube high.

      1
  37. Roy L.

    Someone should do society a favor and put that thing out of it’s misery.

    1
  38. Little_Cars Little_Cars Member

    Someone wrote “how many of these could their be?” Well, in middle Tennessee alone I know of two similar vehicles. A GMC or Chevy “Partridge Family” bus with the VW window van welded on top, and another with a Dodge A100 window van cap on its roof. None are Internationals, however. Both were driving on the streets as recently as the 1990s. I saw the one with the Dodge cap in a field not far from my home last year… DIY projects that stood the test of time (and acid trips).

    3

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