Take that hippies.
In the 1960’s, the Volkswagen Type 2 was the poster child of the hippie movement. Fast-forward to Monday, February 23rd, 2015 when this restored, white-over-paprika-red 1960 Type 2 Samba sold at an Australian auction for an eye-watering $157,000. How did that happen?
Well, Volkswagen Type 2 values have been on the rise lately. Though there are many versions with different names such as Transporter, Kombi or Microbus, depending on the body style, this particular model checks all the boxes. For one thing it’s a Samba, the most luxurious version of the Type 2; it’s also the early 23-window model, which is the rarest of the rare. The 21-window version, as seen on Gabriel Iglesias’ Samba 2, is a far more common sight. Also, just look at the thing; it’s a beautifully-restored red-on-white, right-hand-drive model that looks like it rolled off the assembly line yesterday.
Under the hood trunk lid lies the running-gear and the 1.6-liter flat-four engine from Volkswagen’s first model, the Beetle (also known as the Type 1). The output and displacement of the Type 2’s engine grew over time but this 34 horsepower example is one of the peppiest and most highly-regarded examples of the four-banger. The model features a retractable fabric roof and the Samba’s signature split front windows that are capable of being opened.
To note, the Type 2 was first introduced by VW in 1949 and was originally sold as a van, bus or pickup. As the years rolled by, VW made other versions of the Type 2 such as ambulances, campers, and other whacky models. Amazingly, the Type 2 stayed in production for 63 years, with production finally winding down in Brazil in December of 2013 after 63 years and 3.5 million units sold worldwide. To date, it is the second-longest running ever in production, with the Type 1 holding that honour.
The $157,000 auction price is believed to be a record for Australia and the 1960 model year of the Type 2. Today, the six-figure auction prices for the vehicle are not uncommon, with the highest price paid to date being $217,800 (including the buyer’s fee) for a 1963 23-Window model at a Barrett-Jackson auction in 2011.