HomePick of the DayPick of the Day: 1971 Volkswagen bus ready for a road trip

Pick of the Day: 1971 Volkswagen bus ready for a road trip

Camping-ready vehicle has been resurrected and restored


There’s something about seeing a vintage Volkswagen van/bus/camper (aka Transporter/Microbus/Kombi) rolling down the road that makes me smile. 

Turns out that I’m not alone.

“The best thing about this bus is that it seems to shift your mood the moment you get behind the wheel,” writes the private owner of the Pick of the Day, a 1971 Volkswagen bus being advertised on ClassicCars.com.

“It’s nearly impossible to be unhappy driving it,” the seller continues. “I don’t know if it’s the smiles and waves I get from everyone from little kids to grandparents, or if it’s the bright and happy cosmetic restoration, all I know is that it’s lifted my spirit on more than one occasion. 

“As a mother of four, I can tell you that the little kids’ imaginations explode when they ride in it – it feels like a theme-park ride to them. And the teens love its hip factor and infinite Instagrammability. 

“As an adult – I have loved using it as a mobile beachside office during the pandemic – a hotspot and a camping table and a sack lunch kept this entrepreneur productive and at peace. 

“It’s a great date-night getaway or road-trip camper. It has hauled donations to the Boys and Girls Club and heaps of surfers home from beach camp. This car has been so much fun. 

“I have loved taking care of her, and restoring her. She has been a really amazing family car and now that kids are flying the coop it’s time for mom to restore her next classic car. Thinking of some kind of convertible that I make electric…”

The boxy van is in Santa Monica, California, and the seller notes that it’s a second-generation Type 2, also known as the Bay-Window van, so called because of the large windshield “that gives you bigger views.”

“This particular model is also more powerful than its predecessors and it starts right up and has plenty of get-up-and-go,” the seller adds. “I have had so many of its working parts restored, it is road-trip-worthy and ready for camping, a day at the beach, or everyday driving.”

Type 2 vans were produced for the 1968 through 1980 model years, the seller points out. For 1971, VW Transporters were equipped with a 1,600cc 4-cylinder engine rated at 60 horsepower

“When I bought it, it had a bad paint job and some rust underneath,” she continues. “It ran, but needed love to keep it going. I spent the next year and a half checking everything off of the list and finding the best mechanics and experts for each aspect of it.”

The car has been restored inside and out, with such features as JBugs custom upholstery “installed by a leading LA upholstery firm.” There’s a bed for sleeping.  All-leather seats in white. New carpet. Retro-style stereo “with awesome speakers,” and cables for using computers. 

“New paint — also did all rust repair, stripped and sanded away old paint and rust, and resealed everything. All necessary mechanical work — replaced seals and gaskets, fixed clutch, replaced brakes, starter replaced, new door locks, rebuilt transmission, gas gauge, and horn restored. Performed regular maintenance.”

It appears that except for tires that will need to be replaced before too long, the seller says, the VW is ready to go.

“When I bought the car, it had 56,637 miles on it,” the seller notes. “Now it has 57,744. Only 1,107 miles in 4 years; this thing has been well taken care of and stored. For us, it’s a fun novelty car that we drive on weekends to the beach — just a few miles away.” 

The ’71 VW van is being offered for $27,500. To view this vehicle on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day.

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


  1. Have you ever driven a VW bus on a road trip? Be ready for climbing hilly highways, you’ll be going up them maybe 30 mph while everyone is trying to pass you at highway speeds. Not much fun getting honked at along with THE finger.

  2. Nice job on the restoration.In 1971,I bought that camper for $3000 and it had 20k miles.The only problem with this model is that you can’t stand up in it and believe me that is important.
    Another thing,those engines always had oil leaks and remember they had no radiator so there was chance to cool the engine if you blew all your oil.
    I finally switched and went to Ford and Chevy vans.Good luck on your sale.


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