1. 1959 Volkswagen 23-Window Samba Microbus

  2. 1959 Volkswagen 23-Window Samba Microbus

  3. 1959 Volkswagen 23-Window Samba Microbus

  4. 1959 Volkswagen 23-Window Samba Microbus

  5. 1959 Volkswagen 23-Window Samba Microbus

  6. 1959 Volkswagen 23-Window Samba Microbus

  7. 1959 Volkswagen 23-Window Samba Microbus

  8. 1959 Volkswagen 23-Window Samba Microbus

  9. 1959 Volkswagen 23-Window Samba Microbus

  10. 1959 Volkswagen 23-Window Samba Microbus

Lot Number
52
1959 Volkswagen 23-Window Samba Microbus
The Pacific Grove Auction

Offered Without Reserve

ESTIMATE: $150,000 - $200,000
CHASSIS NO: 397019
• Factory-correct and fresh restoration throughout
• Upgraded to a single-port 1.6-litre engine
• Original Mango Green/Pearl White paint scheme
• All new glass and rubber throughout all 23 windows
• Provided with over $135,000 in restoration receipts
• Under 100 miles since restoration

1,600 cc air-cooled OHV horizontally-opposed four-cylinder engine, 60 HP, four-speed manual gearbox in rear transaxle, torsion bar suspension with rear swing axles and hydraulic shock absorbers, four-wheel hydraulic drum brakes; wheelbase: 94.5”


Known as the ‘Type 2,” the design of Volkswagen’s Beetle-derived Transporter is credited to VW importer Ben Pon, who introduced Holland to the curious little Volkswagen. Mr. Pon made the first generally acknowledged rough sketches predicting the boxy Type 2 Transporter as early as 1947. Beginning with eight Transporters displayed publicly by late 1949, the first-generation Volkswagen Type 2 Transporters soon entered production and sold in ever-growing numbers until the first-generation models were phased out after 1967. The upscale 23-window Sunroof Deluxe Microbus, popular known as a “Samba,” was designed with Alpine sightseeing and mountain touring in mind, and this machine now stands ready for that same mission.

This outstanding example from 1959 is immaculately restored in the correct configuration with seating for eight. This bus was the recipient of an open checkbook rotisserie restoration by a marque specialist, with receipts provided. The owner finished it in the original and eye-catching Volkswagen Mango Green (Color Code L346) with Pearl White (L87) two-tone paint. The results are outstanding both inside and out, and even the classic ‘VW’ logo up front is properly color-coordinated. This rare 23-window Samba bus features the model’s deluxe-level trim in beautiful, highly-polished condition with a tasteful maroon accent stripe. The U.S.-specification front and rear bumpers are complete with over-rider bows, matched by the 15-inch color-correct wheels with chrome hubcaps and whitewall tires. It draws attention wherever it is shown and will be a big hit with your friends and family enjoying the spacious and airy rear cabin. After all, what other vehicle offers the passengers a 23-window view and huge sliding cloth sunroof. No fewer than eight of the windows are skylights, and eight are pop-out side windows. The driver and front passenger will enjoy the front ‘Safari’ style pop-out windshields and the inviting, brand-new and very lovely Saddle and Ivory interior includes new floor mats, door panels, and a new German mohair headliner. The owner also reports investing in all new glass throughout the vehicle and all new rubber as well, with a clean and very sharp original “radio-delete” dash. Add all new suspension, brakes, a new electrical-wiring harness, and all lamps, and you can see why this ‘Samba’ makes such a great impression on everyone with an interest in classic Volkswagens. With all that work done, a fresh and rust-free Samba deserves a stellar driveline restoration, so the original 1,192 cc four-cylinder engine was upgraded to a freshly rebuilt 1,600 cc single-port unit, mated to the original four-speed manual gearbox. The entire bus was rewired to a 12-volt system as well for heightened reliability. This combination nicely endows the ‘Samba’ the ability to drive with modern traffic on any road. It is fully ready for a little sightseeing, or maybe an outing to the winery or beach as originally intended, and it’s definitely fun to arrive at a concert or any other enjoyable event with this classic beauty.

It was in Monterey a decade or so ago that the 23-window versions of the Microbus came to prominence, as a few collectors bid them into the stratosphere and simply had to have a quality example for their collection. Often large vehicle or Porsche collections sought them for team vehicles or as cool race support vans. Well-restored for the collection of a serious enthusiast, this 23-window is fully done to an incredible standard, allowing the new owner to simply enjoy driving it, or show it at nearly any event he or she might choose. It’s a great opportunity to acquire a vehicle that’s fun to drive, easy to maintain, and has an iconic presence everywhere it goes.

1959 Volkswagen 23-Window Samba Microbus
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