1963 VW Samba sets record at auction

At Barrett-Jackson's recent Orange County, California auctions, a 1964 Rolls-Royce Silver Cloud III James Young sedan went for $159,500, a 2005 Ford GT sold for $165,000 and a 1970 Dodge Hemi Challenger cleared $215,600. Topping them all, and every other car for the weekend: a 1963 Volkswagen Samba Microbus, sold for $217,800 inclusive of bidder's fee.

Even though Sambas, which were the top-of-the-line first generation bus and made for Alpine touring, have strong values, no one appears to be sure why this one beat everything else on offer. It's restored to "much-better-than-new condition," but that still doesn't explain why it set a record for any VW bus at auction. We can only wonder where and when it will pop up for auction again, since for that kind of coin, we don't imagine it will show up at any Magic Bus Extravaganzas or follow Phish around...


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 34 Comments
      dukeisduke
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'd like to see a full gallery on this one. It's an awful lot for one of those, but it's got it all - the fabric sunroof, the windows in the roof, the whole nine yards.
      goober1424
      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm not particularly a fan of the microbus, but that is a rather beautiful example. I'm guessing some hippies turned dot-com millionaires got themselves in a bidding war.
      artandcolour2010
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think goober1424 is right, a bidding war must have occurred. These Microbuses can stir up a lot of emotion, whether of ones family, or youth, or first love, whatever. This one is nigh on perfect and the color combination is subtle and beautiful. So many were more obvious two-tones, like red-and-white, or blue-and-white, that this combo is special, and almost contemporary looking. I'm thinking this won't be seen at another auction for quite some time.
      JRupke
      • 3 Years Ago
      Think about it: Orange County. Californians love their VW Bus. At least that is my guess as to why it went for so much more.
      Sean
      • 3 Years Ago
      autoblog, stop trying to use the lingo if you don't know how to. the bus didn't hammer for 217,800, that is the final price after all commission fees are tallied. it 'hammered' for much less.
      larshafner
      • 3 Years Ago
      amazing car!
      jsmnpreit
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Volkswagen design the bus in very different and stylish manner. http://www.motorexpress.net/
      Christy Ellen
      • 2 Months Ago

      This is probably the best orange county vw to sell at auction ever! I've always been in love with the VW busses and would still like to own one of my own to this day!

      RB
      • 3 Years Ago
      Well I love 23 window buses but that's just stupid!
      delsolo1
      • 3 Years Ago
      I can only guess the winning bidder was our military.
      sbaldrickz28
      • 3 Years Ago
      This has to be someone that doesn't remember how bad these drove and how easy they were to tun over when they were new. I remember siting in these when I was a kid waiting for our fastback to be fixed at the dealer with my dad. I got alot of seat time in them because it seemed we were always at the dealer getting it fixed. These buses were really cool though.
      Jobe
      • 3 Years Ago
      The hippie comments are so played out. The" hippies" that havent died yet are yuppie seinors who dont give a damn about culture. Most bus owners are quite young. Im 25 myself, Its not the same, VW's are a part of a different culture today. you dont have to do drugs or hug trees to appretiate a unique automobile like this. There are actually still some people left on this planet that dont persue the mainstream Cliché automobiles that are deemed COOL by sheer performance, or Status. To a few, Being a True Individual means so much more. I for one, Have never had so much fun driving a vehicle. Its not a car. Its a experience that you cant discrible. whether it be me and my wife taking a road trip to the lake relaxed on the bench seat with our son playing in the spacecous passenger compartment. Or me and a mess of freinds cruising around slow with the safari windows open with a loaded cooler on the roof rack. Its a never ending history book. comparing it to that ford gt is like comparing a marrage to a affair. They have absolutly opposite intentions. and neither can fill the shoe of the other. -Jobe
        tadees
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jobe
        Your RanDom use of capitalization and OverAll poOr use of grammar speaks voLumes about your mentaLity. You're unique...just like every one else.
        alyssa
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jobe
        Nice. Makes me want one! Sounds like godamn paradise. Tadees, get laaaaaaaaaid.
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