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This Volkswagen Type 2 Sunroof Deluxe 21-Window Samba Is the Real-Deal, Full of Surprises
Samba was the most luxurious version of the Volkswagen Bus, with its 21-window configuration (23 windows initially) and the retractable sunroof. No wonder many Type 2s imported from Brazil were modified to look like one, with varying degrees of success. But this is the real deal, and it has been completely restored to a better-than-new condition.

This Volkswagen Type 2 Sunroof Deluxe 21-Window Samba Is the Real-Deal, Full of Surprises

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The first generation of the Volkswagen Type 2 is, no doubt, the most successful car Volkswagen ever made, at least in the U.S. The hippy bus was not just a vehicle; it was a philosophy, an institution, if you will. The T1 was so loved that seeing one gives you goosebumps even today. This also explains why they are so precious and are changing hands for insane amounts of money.

If they don’t seem so rare today, it’s because the Bus in its T1 form continued to be built in Brazil long after Europe and U.S. production stopped. Many Brazilian Buses are imported into the U.S. every day, often after a conversion to make them look like the Samba. We’ve seen many of these copy-cat Brazilian Buses, but this is the first original Samba we came across in a long time.

This 1965 Sunroof Deluxe T1 was acquired by the owner in 2012 and completely rebuilt starting in 2020 as part of a personal project. Rebuilt is not a figure of speech in this case. The Samba’s body was stripped to bare metal on a rotisserie, followed by rust repairs and sheet metal replacement. The repaint was done in factory red and beige, and the reupholstering of the interior followed factory specifications.

Most functional components were replaced or upgraded, so this is as much of a daily driver as a show car. After looking carefully at all the 300+ pictures in the original gallery on Bring a Trailer, we must tell you we’re utterly impressed. This Samba looks better than new, a real eye feast everywhere you look. The restoration work has managed to keep it authentic, with no out-of-place gadgets. And yet, it is as modern as it can be without spoiling the mirage.

Just to give you an idea of the level of detail of this restoration, note that custom seat frames were fabricated following the originals. The stereo is a Retrosound unit that looks just like the original radio and feeds four aftermarket speakers. These are the only parts that don’t look like 1965. Thankfully, they’re in the trunk. The seating arrangement accommodates seven passengers, and all the seats are fitted with safety belts.

The electrical system has been converted to 12 volts from the original 6 volts, and the suspension, braking, and steering systems have been upgraded to modern standards. For instance, there are disc brakes on the front wheels now, affording a decent stopping power. All brake lines and the master cylinder are new, as are the suspension components. The ZF steering box was also reconditioned.

But the most significant upgrade is in the engine compartment, where a replacement 1.9-liter Scat DP flat-four crate engine was installed instead of the old powerplant. The valves were adjusted, and the oil was changed in preparation for the sale. A Scat-built Rancho Performance four-speed manual transaxle sits between the engine and the rear wheels.

The original engine is still available and is offered along with the Samba to whoever wins the auction on Bring a Trailer. The 1965 Volkswagen Type 2 Sunroof Deluxe 21-Window sells with 80 pages of receipts, restoration photographs, and even an Authentication Certificate from Volkswagen Classic Parts. The Samba has started a bidding war, with the highest offer of $60,000 received five days before the auction closes.

Editor's note: This article was not sponsored or supported by a third-party.

 
 
 
 
 

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