Air-cooled Volkswagens are seemingly going up in value every day so finding one at a generic used car lot is becoming more and more uncommon. There are still some left, as evidenced by this purple Bus that we spotted in front of a small dealership on the outskirts of Salt Lake City.
Like all used cars, this Bus has its fair share of pros and cons. Starting with the positive, it’s more or less complete, the Pancake engine is in tip-top shape, the Bus runs and drives (according to the ad taped to the window) and it is set up as a camper with a bed, a sink, several cabinets and even a stove, if memory serves.
As far as the negatives go, bay window Buses are known to rust around the windshield and this one perfectly illustrates that tendency. On the passenger side of the front end the rust has been amplified by crumpled sheetmetal, meaning the entire nose panel probably needs to be replaced. Thankfully, new panels are available from a wide variety of aftermarket vendors and are usually relatively reasonably priced. The rest of it isn’t exactly sound but it’s not any rustier than you’d expect for an unrestored 40-year old vehicle that’s presumably spent the bulk of its life in Utah.
Finally, this Bus fitted with an automatic transmission, a feature that can be either a pro or a con depending on the buyer. Also, the original color was covered by a coat of purple many moons ago, which again can swing either way on the scale of pros and cons.
We don’t doubt this Bus will end up finding a new home because the market is so strong right now. Is this a project you’d be willing to take on, or would you look for another slightly cleaner example that’s not purple and that has three pedals? Personally, we could deal with rust, we could deal with driving a purple Bus and we could deal with driving an automatic Bus but all three combined is a little too much when all is said and done.