Last off the Line – 1971 VW Bay Window Bus

Last night, I stumbled on an article saying that VW Type 2 production, which ended in 1979 in Germany and 1994 in Mexico, is finally being halted in Brazil after 56 total years of production (!!). This will have made it the longest running production model in automotive history. Up to 78hp from the original 28, and with various modernizing touches, you still can’t escape the look and feel of the old bus everyone is used to seeing. Brazilian production is being phased out due to new safety regulations, but that won’t keep VW from charging $35,000 for the last 600 built. Nevermind that kind of nonsense, we can find you one for a tenth of the price, with this 1971 bay window bus in Joplin, MS for $3800.

1971 VW Type 2 Bus left

These look particularly good in two tone with the usual white on top and a muted blue below, or the early 1970s safety colors like bright orange, blue, and green. This one shows a little wear and tear, but looks generally straight. While the 23-windown buses are going for crazy money, it’s still surprising that finding a reasonably solid, running bus for around $3000 is quite difficult.

1971 VW Type 2 Bus engine

The bus is running a twin carb 1600 that runs well, and has replaced the rear brakes. Front pads are included, but not installed. Without a license plate, I would expect this has been off the road for a while, so plan on replacing regular maintenance parts like fluids, hoses, filters, and possibly hydraulics.

1971 VW Type 2 Bus front

The nose looks pretty solid, and would benefit greatly from having the spare tire (presently inside the van), aka front impact protection, remounted on its bracket. Neat fog lights on the front – are these period Bosch or Hella units? The front doors don’t appear to have any rust perforation in their bottoms, so maybe that’s a good indicator that the other visible rust on this van is just surface corrosion.

1971 VW Type 2 Bus interior

Urgh, interior is cluttered with junk. A day spent tidying this up would no doubt bring worlds of improvement. Rubber floor mats and vinyl seats are a lot easier to clean up than cloth or leather seats and carpeting. The visible door panels don’t look too bad, but you’ll want to eventually tidy these up and redo all the seats.

Fare well, type 2!

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2 Responses to “Last off the Line – 1971 VW Bay Window Bus”

  1. Laura Bland Says:

    I bought this bus April 10 2014, with LOTS N LOTS of work she is coming along with 3 weeks of work n lots of new parts I am hoping to have her on the road very soon. I do wish I had more background info last inspection was 1996 so not sure where she has been & wish I knew. I have tried to contact the past owners but no luck.

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