1960 Volkswagen Deluxe '23-Window' Microbus

Sold For $207,200

RM | Sotheby's - NEW YORK - ICONS 2017


Chassis No.
Engine No.
686862
5925263
  • The most desirable Microbus variant with canvas sunroof “Samba” option
  • Multiple class wins in West Coast concours, including Hillsborough in 2014
  • Fully restored to the original color combination and specification
Please note that this lot is titled as a 1961.
Tell a longhaired, counterculture youth dressed in beads and fringe that one day the VW bus they drove across the country from Woodstock to Haight-Ashbury would be a collectible, and you would have been told to “get real, man!”

For a company that mass manufactured the “people’s cars,” Volkswagen has its fair share of well-loved models. One of the most iconic (second to the Beetle, of course), and certainly the most evocative of an era, is its ever-practical Type 2. Back when peace signs and flower-power ruled the world, the van to own was the Deluxe Microbus.

Anyone who is anyone knows that in the world of vintage Volkswagen buses, it’s all about the windows – and the more the merrier. Five per side, eight skylights, the desirable split-screen windshield, a giant rear windshield, plus what may be the coolest pair of curved rear corner windows, and one has the “23-Window” – more glass than metal! Called the “Samba” or “Alpine” in Europe, it was the addition of the skylights, plus the canvas sunroof that exposed an expansive 2/3 of the roof to the open air that made the Microbus perfect for camping out wherever one might happen to find themselves.

Offered here is a stunning example of the hugely collectible Type 2 Microbus. Originally delivered to Los Angeles, California, as certified by the Volkswagen Zertifikat of Authenticity, this Deluxe bus is fully at home amid the palm trees and shining sun of the West Coast. Still present on the car are the original non-standard options for North America: reversing lights, laminated windscreen, points for seatbelts, sealed-beam headlights, and of course a speedometer in miles-per-hour. Identified on the certificate as a Type 241, the Deluxe Microbus offered here is a correct left-hand drive nine-passenger example, with the outwardly hinged doors typical of cargo vans. It is also equipped with the so-called “safari windows” which provide a delightful breeze through the cabin.

Recently restored by Napa Valley Restorations, one of California’s premier restoration facilities, to original specification, this Deluxe is perhaps even more stunning than when it arrived on the West Coast in 1960. Found for the current owner with all original parts except the engine, a two-year “open checkbook” restoration began. Absolutely no detail was missed; extreme care was even taken to find a correct type, 40-hp date-correct engine. New old-stock parts such as the roof rack, properly dated, and numbered glass windows, reversing lights, and correct radio were diligently sourced. Small upgrades such as the factory leather seat option, along with a full coat of clear gloss paint, make this Microbus a clear stunner. Concours judges around California clearly agreed, as post restoration the Deluxe swept a host of awards at every event it entered. Accessories include a proper tool roll, a classic VW logo ignition key, and an original church key used to open the motor and gas doors.

Restored properly when it was still possible to do such a thing, this Deluxe Microbus is a blast from the past with all of the magic of the 1960s. With fans young and old alike, the owner of a beautiful bus such as this will never fail to make friends. Ideal for either cruising down to the beach or camping with the whole family, the Volkswagen Deluxe 23-window Microbus is a classic that is here to stay.



Lot Number
121
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