Mar 22 2012
I can not remember the first time that i decided that my dream car was a 1970 Volkswagen Van, but it has been all throughout my childhood. I did grow up watching Scooby Doo, and it was one of my favorite cartoon shows growing up. It was not because of this show that i fell in love with the Volkswagen Van, but whenever i have to describe my dream car to someone, i reference the popular cartoon. My parents always tell people that i was born in the wrong decade due to my sense of style and my dream car choice. Unfortunately in the state of Virginia these vans were not very popular and therefore difficult to find in good shape these days.
After searching the internet for awhile i found some of these vans on the website Auto Trader, thesamba.com and oldbug.com. I am sure there are some newspapers where people have posted this type of car for sale but at the time of my research i did not find any. Most of the cars that i was able to find were from online car selling websites. For the following websites this is the price range that i found to be pretty close all across the board. The price range of these vehicles depend on the restoration that other owners have done and the shape that they are currently in.
Auto Trader ( full restoration) – $ 29,990
-( somewhat restored) – about $7,000
-( very rusty) – $600
Oldbug.com ( needs some work) – $16, 900
Now there are many different type of Volkswagen Vans to choose from but i am going to focus on my favorite make and model which is the Type II, T1 1969 Samba Bus, more commonly known as the “Hippie Bus”. This van is produced by German automakers and they began to build this particular style in the 1950’s. The Dutch importer Ben Pon, who’s first vision of this van was a doodle sketch in 1947. He was looking for a car that could sustain the weight of 1,500 lbs. The van was marketed for touring the alps as well. The popularity of this van grew in the 1960’s during the counterculture movement. The highest production year for this style van was in 1971. Along side the Samba Bus, they also made the Volkswagen Transporter series, which have a slightly different look than the Samba Bus series.
All of the vans had a longitudinal rear engine, rear-wheel drive, manual transmission and were available in six colors. This particular model has four skylight windows on each side of the van, and four windows for backseat passengers on each side of the van. Some models didn’t have skylight windows or had two backseat passenger windows on each side of the van. This model is my favorite because it has so many windows and has the white V shape decoration on the front of the van. Not all of the series that they made had the Volkswagen emblem placed in the front, but i think it adds a little something to the appearance. Now when it comes to the interior of the van, it can range from a standard look to a customized job. The standard bus came with foldout seat arrangements for sleeping, plywood cabinetry for storage, ice box, water storage pump, electrical hookups, curtains and laminated folding tables.
I would love to at some point in my life get this van. It makes me think of a time in history where people were going through a change that was focused on being care free. The rest of the activities of the 1970’s are not on my to do list, but i liked the aspect of having a large van where you can fit many people in and take a road trip. The stigma that has been placed on these cars makes the idea of owning one even more fun to me. Of course i would have to perfect my skills at driving a manual.
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