1966 VW Split Window Bus Kombi Van Station Wagon Volkswagen

Condition: Used
Make: Volkswagen
Model: Bus/Vanagon
Year: 1966
Mileage: 350,000
VIN: 236032987
Color: Multi/Rainbow
Engine: VW GTI 1.8 liter
Cylinders: 4
Fuel: Gasoline
Transmission: Manual
Drive type: RWD
Drive side: Left-hand drive
Vehicle Title: Clear
Item location: Boulder, Colorado, United States

Listed by
Private seller

Description of 1966 Volkswagen Bus/Vanagon

This is certainly one of the more unusual VW vans you'll come across.Most noticable of course is the paint job. Hand-done decades ago by a group of Boulder hippies (with the aid of a vat of mushroom tea) it's a piece of true period art, and certainly unique. This van saw many a Dead show, and a few rainbow gatherings. It also proudly provided transportation and logistical support for many social, political, and environmental direct actions and protests. Also, this van was heavily modified to make it a more practical vehicle for every day use. Most of these busses have ended up as weekend vehicles at best; this one has been my sole car and primary transportation since 1985. I am the third owner since factory-new. With the mods I have done, it cruises down the highway at reasonable speeds, climbs mountain roads without crawling, is reliable, has good heat, and the water cooling means no concerns about overheating on those summer road trips. If your goal is to do a complete restoration, extra work will be required to re-fit the original systems. As-is, it's a great and fun vehicle for road trips, camping, climbing or surfing transportation, etc. Or you could restore the body while keeping all the mechanical modifications. As such, it would be an excellent and very interesting example of the kinds of things some of us where doing back in the day to get the most out of our VWs. I personally did all of the mods myself, over 20 years ago. I was a VW Registered Master Technician at the time, working at a VW dealership.
This van started as a hard-top camper, which means that it had a full camper interior, but no pop-top. I removed most of the camper fixtures over the years, but I did keep the bed. I still have some of the cabinetry in storage, but you should know that that has been modified as well (extra doors added, etc.).
So here are the major modifications:
ENGINE: 1.8 liter water-cooled in-line four, out of a 1984 VW Rabbit GTI. This is one of the most bulletproof engines ever built, and it has twice the horsepower that the stock 1500cc air-cooled engine had. Uses the CIS injection system from the Rabbit.
COOLING SYSTEM: VW Vanagon radiator. Twin cooling fans from Saab 900. As it turns out, this radiator is overkill for this installation, and the fans rarely come on, even in traffic. The radiator is mounted on the left side of the van, at the rear. This was intended as a temporary "proof-of-concept" location, to be better integrated into the body after I knew everything worked well. Everything did indeed work well, including the cooling system. I never did get around to doing a more esthetically-pleasing radiator mounting.
HEATING SYSTEM: Two heater core/fan units. One is mounted between the front seats down in the underseat storage area, and plumbed into the stock heater tubes. This ensures good defrost to the windshield, through the stock outlets. The other core/fan unit is mounted under the rear seat to heat the rear cabin. Controls for both are on the dash.
TRANSAXLE: Specially-built IRS-type, with a Super-Diff, extra large drive flanges (to accomodate Porsche 930 CV joints) an altered ring and pinion ratio to provide appropriate gearing for this vehicle, and strengthened gears.
REAR SUSPENSION: Changed from swing-axle style to IRS, using kit from Bus Boys. Custom wheel axles, to accomodate Porsche 930 CV joints; these are required to allow the high axle angle that comes with running at stock height.
FRONT SUSPENSION: The entire front beam from a later bus is installed. This beam has ball joints instead of king pins, and allows the use of disc brakes.
REAR BRAKES: Vanagon parts (much larger than stock).
FRONT BRAKES: Disc brake set-up from a 1979 van.
WHEELS: From 1979 VW van. This avoids the problems associated with mounting tires on the original wide-bolt-pattern wheels.
Condition-wise, the engine runs great, the transmission is in great condition (I went through it a year or two ago) the electrics all work (except for a few interior lights and the fuel gauge) and it drives down the road just as it should. The tires are the correct ones for these vans, and in very good condition. There are plenty of dents, and some rust in numerous areas. Mostly these old split window vans fall into one of two categories: Either original and not drivable, or restored and not driven much. This one is different. As stated earlier, this has been my daily driver for all the decades I have owned it. It has been well-used and it shows. I have generally fixed stuff when it broke, but I have not pampered it, and to be honest, I haven't spent any time keeping up on cosmetics, rust, or minor systems (such as that fuel gauge) in recent years.
So why am I selling it after so many years of ownership, so many road trips, and all the work I put into it? Honestly, I have some major medical bills to cover and I am hoping this will help. Also, it's time to pass this van on to someone who will feel inspired to love it and perhaps take it to the next level. To spruce it up and take it on some more road trips. Maybe to finally integrate that big radiator into the bodywork in a more graceful manner. Is that you? How could this thing not be a ton of fun??
Buyer is responsible for pickup or shipping. I am happy to deliver it to a shipping company within an hour of Boulder, Colorado, but buyer must make all arrangements. Honestly, you could fly out and drive it home; it'd be a great first adventure! That said, it is 50 years old, and while it has always gotten me where I was going, I does not come with any sort of warrantee or guarantees.
Deposit can be paid via Paypal, but the remainder must be paid in cash or cashier's check. If cashier's check, we will be taking it to my bank to ensure authenticity before title is signed over and vehicle delivered.
No returns on this item.