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6 December 2017

1960 Volkswagen Deluxe '23-Window' Microbus

  • Chassis no. 686862
  • Engine no. 5925263

Without Reserve

Please note that this lot is titled as a 1961.

  • 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

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.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

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United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

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Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

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United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

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Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

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Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

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California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

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California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

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California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

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United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

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Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

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United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

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Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

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California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

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United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more