The Volkswagen Type 2 pickup truck is beloved by VW fanatics, in either its single-cab or double-cab versions, for both its utility and its cool hippie vibe. Just one thing, though; like all unmodified Types 2 models, it’s mighty slow.
That very underpowered nature is a badge of courage for some VW bus, van and pickup drivers, who pride themselves in going against the tide in this hurried world. “Slow moving vehicle” bumper stickers are not so much a warning to other drivers as a purposeful boast.
The Pick of the Day is a 1969 Volkswagen Type 2 single-cab pickup that takes a different route with custom upgrades that boost performance and drivability.
“This was completely updated several years ago with a powerful 2.2-liter engine and equipped with a freeway-friendly gearing that makes this a pleasure to drive,” according to the dealer Laguna Beach, California, advertising the VW on ClassicCars.com.
That large displacement for the air-cooled flat-4 engine might sound unlikely, but a quick Google search revealed several companies that build VW performance engines in such displacements, and even larger. While the seller does not specify the horsepower rating of this engine, such powerplants can be tuned to make more than twice the output of the original 1.6-liter engine, rated at around 66 horsepower.
The other piece of the equation is the 4-speed manual transmission, which has had its gearing altered to provide higher speeds and less-frenetic highway cruising. VW folk often call a taller 4th gear a “freeway flier,” although this sounds as if more than just 4th gear has been upped. Potential buyers would need to inquire.
The bright-red VW is of the second-generation Type 2, the so-called “bay-window” models because of the broad windshields that replaced the two-piece split windshields of the first-gen. While the earlier Type 2s are more desired and valuable mainly because of their classic style, the bay windows are roomier and have plenty of style of their own.
Other modifications of this pickup include a lowered suspension, shaved body trim, Porsche-style aluminum wheels and a locking pass-through compartment built under the pickup bed, the seller notes. The interior is completely custom with a spartan industrial look and a thick-rimmed, small-diameter steering wheel, as well as a hot audio system.
While this VW might cause purists to scowl, it seems like a well-built and nicely presented custom pickup that’s ready to roll at highway speeds. Hill climbing should also be vastly improved.
The asking price is $29,995.
To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.