This 1967 VW Bus Is Ready To Conquer Summer

When you think of hippie and surfer culture, the things that pop into your head are freedom, a carefree attitude, peace and love, and a particular vehicle. I am, of course, talking about the legendary Volkswagen Bus.
1967 VW Type 2 11 photos
Photo: ZD2/Bring a Trailer
1967 VW Type 21967 VW Type 21967 VW Type 21967 VW Type 21967 VW Type 21967 VW Type 21967 VW Type 21967 VW Type 21967 VW Type 21967 VW Type 2
So, what makes this bubbly car so likable? Before answering that question, we should take a look at how it came to life. Quite contrary to its sunshine-fueled vibe, it was born in Germany, after the war.

The idea was created by a Dutch Volkswagen importer. The story goes that he visited a VW factory and saw the utility vehicles they used to transport parts. Upon seeing them, he had an idea. He got to the drawing board and created a really simple, bare-bones van.

He presented that sketch to the Volkswagen board, and they gave the green light. Thus, in 1949, the first prototype was created, ready to make history.

1967 VW Type 2
Photo: ZD2/Bring a Trailer
They took said prototype to a wind tunnel, and, to improve efficiency, they added two things that would become trademarks of the VW Bus - the split windscreen and the V-shaped roofline.

The VW Bus also brought to the table a revolutionary design. It had a cab-over design, meaning that the driver seat was placed directly over the front axle. Combine that with a rear-engine design, and you have great visibility and a lot of space for passengers or whatever it was that you wanted to haul with it.

So, in 1950, production started. It was called the Type 2, but popularly known as the Bus. The variations you could get this in were endless, so I’ll try to keep it simple with the main configurations. You had a Combi, which, as the name implies, was a combination between a cargo vehicle and a people hauler.

You could also get a Transporter, which was a van-only, made for commercial use, and a Microbus. The Microbus was the more luxury-oriented variant of the Bus. Based on this Microbus, you also had the “Samba,” which came in 21- and 23-window variants, for all the bragging rights.

1967 VW Type 2
Photo: ZD2/Bring a Trailer
Circling back to what I said at the beginning of this article, what made them so popular for hippies and surfers? The answer is pretty simple. They were cheap to maintain, spacious and the happy-go-lucky look made them a statement against the big, gas-guzzling American cars.

America’s love story with the cute Bus was, unfortunately, short-lived, because of the Chicken Tax. As hilarious as that may sound, the Chicken Tax was, and bear with me, don’t laugh, an extra tariff placed by France and Germany on American chicken produce.

As retaliation, America placed a 25% import tax on European potato starch, dextrin, brandy, and for whatever reason, light trucks. This killed the VW Bus in the states. There are some second-generation ones out there, but good luck finding them.

The Bus we are talking about today is, to call it by its full name, the 1967 Volkswagen Type 2 21-Window Sunroof Deluxe - quite a mouthful. While, yes, someone might be able to one-up you at the bar with their 23-window Samba, this one is still really cool, so let's dive right in.

1967 VW Type 2
Photo: ZD2/Bring a Trailer
This one is from 1967, the last year for this first generation. This Bus isn’t standard, but it certainly looks the part. First of all, the mechanical side of things received upgrades. It has disk brakes on all four corners and, the main attraction, a 1.8 liter (110 ci) air-cooled flat-four engine.

This upgraded engine comes in to save the day, as the original power plant for the Bus was severely underpowered. I’m talking about 40 hp (41 ps) at the most.

We don’t have an exact power figure for this replacement 1.8, but what we do know is that it can’t be any slower than the original and that it is mated to a 4-speed manual transmission.

With the aforementioned 4-wheel disk brakes, we have a set of 16-inch Fuchs-style wheels. Complementing those shiny wheels, we have a two-tone paint, with a white top and a sort of sea-foam green bottom. The bumpers are also painted white, and you have safari windows and a retractable white cloth sunroof.

1967 VW Type 2
Photo: ZD2/Bring a Trailer
Opening the double swing-out rear doors, a gray and white upholstery reveals itself over the three rows of sitting. Up front, you have a changed stereo and not much more – just a big white steering wheel and a speedometer.

This Bus is up for auction in Sun Lakes, Arizona, and it currently sits at a cool 33,000 dollars. The seller bought it in 2004, and all the refurbishment work has been done since then, under his ownership. With it, you get photos from the refurbishment process and a clean Colorado title.

The Volkswagen Type 2, as a vehicle itself, is not that extraordinary. It is a basic, bubbly van. But we fall in love with cars because of their soul and character, and the VW Bus has them.
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About the author: Călin Iosif
Călin Iosif profile photo

Călin’s origin story is being exposed to Top Gear when he was very young. Watching too much of Clarkson, Hammond and May argue on TV turned him into Petrolhead (an automotive journalist with a soft spot for old pieces of... cars, old cars).
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