1973 VW Kombi Bus

Price: US $8,500.00 Item location: Clermont, Florida, United States
  • Condition: Used
  • Make: Volkswagen
  • Model: Bus/Vanagon
  • Type: Standard Passenger Van
  • Trim: Clean, shaved handles
  • Year: 1973
  • Mileage: 0
  • VIN: 2232251404
  • Color: Creme
  • Engine size: 4.3L Chevy V6
  • Number of cylinders: 6
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Transmission: Automatic
  • Vehicle Title: Salvage
  • Want to buy? Contact seller!

1973 Volkswagen Bus/Vanagon

OK, here goes. I'm going to try and describe our bus the best I can but I'm sure you will have questions which I encourage you to email to me.
Up for sale is our 1973 VW Kombi custom bus/van. We built this almost 10 years ago by starting with a standard Kombi and a 1983 Chevy Blazer. The bus was in pretty poor shape but had a clean title. I started by stripping the chassis/frame from the Kombi and the body off the Blazer. The chassis was then shortened approx. 6 inches and fit to the Kombi to make it look pretty much stock except for the Chevy rims and tires.
The Kombi had a good amount of rust all around the lower panels and everything was replaced with new metal including the slider, support columns, floor, etc.. Being that we were converting the bus over to a mid mounted V6, the 4.3L from the Blazer, the floor was beefed up and modified so that it could be located directly behind the front seats. A dog house was built to cover the engine and everything inside was heavily insulated to minimize noise, etc. This proved to be very effective such that normal conversations could be carried on between those in the front seat and those in the rear while traveling at 70mph. Bucket seats were used in the front and rear for a total passenger capacity of 4.
At the time, we wanted to make this a working bus for some special animatronics that we were playing with so we added a DC air conditioner unit on top that would keep us cool while parked at shows, and a Custom Air AC unit on the engine with dual condensers front and aft that kept us really cool while traveling. The windows were dark shaded all around and the door handles were all removed for a sleek modern look. It also had a pneumatic cylinder on the side door so that my wife could easily open and close it.
Anyway, we finished the bus around 2005 and put it on the road licensed as a 1973 Kombi. No problem getting it insured and it turned out to be a very reliable tow vehicle for our sons pride and joy, Herbie. We traveled all over the state of Florida and to our favorite car show in Mississippi, Crusin-the-Coast pulling Herbie at speeds up to 70mphwith plenty of towing capacity thanks to the tow package, etc.. Of course the bus would reach speeds over 90 very easy as well and my wife felt perfectly comfortable towing with the bus on Cruise (on-board cruise control).
This is probably a good time to explain the suitcase located in front of the bus. As much as I wanted and planned on cooling the engine with the radiator located just forward of the engine, it proved to be impossible to cool during towing with the heat coming off the highway. So instead, we built a case that would hold the radiator and cooling evaporator for the AC unit and made it look like a suitcase. It even has panels that can be slipped in place with travel stickers so that while at shows, no one every expected what was really in there.
OK, lets fast forward to today. Approx. 2 years ago while working on the carburetor, a series of events took place that caught the bus on fire. Failing to put the fire out in time, it totally consumed the interior, broke out a couple of windows, and caused a couple of wrinkles in the metal roof. Because we did not have the facility to store the bus inside for collectible insurance,we had to take out conventional insurancewhich we thought was fine at the time.
We originally put over $23k in building the busnot including my labor, and had the receipts to prove it. However, since the insurancewas conventional, they only offered us about half that amount and we finally settled on buying it back from them, but now with a clean salvage title which is not uncommon for custom vehicles. Our intentions were to rebuild "The Beast" as my wife called it and we started in that direction. Now, 2 years later, we are convinced that we no longer need the bus and have decided to sell it.
For reconstruction, I startedby stripping the entire inside of the bus and having the inside and outside roof line and all other areas that had any fire damage, media blasted. The inside roof was coated with Eastman's Rust Inhibitor and the outside with Zinc Chromate Epoxy to keep it from rusting while restoration was going on. We also covered it with a new cover to protect it from the elements.
The engine was pulled and professionally rebuilt by a reputable company in Orlando, FL whoguaranteed their work for three years. The transmission, a 3 speed turbo, was also pulled and thoroughly checked for any damage. Of course, everything inside was damaged by the fire so I started looking for replacement parts and was fortunate enough to find a donor where I picked up a nice crack free dash, steering wheel, instrument cluster, handles, etc., everything I thought that would be needed to complete the job. I did also find a pair of bucket seats but I'm not sure how good they will be (fit and comfort)although they look fine.
Well, to make a long story short, like I said earlier, due to reassessing our need and my health, we have decided to sell. The pictures here only give you a quick look at what this very custom vehicle is like and what it can be once again. I have done a lot of the up front work and was going to take it down to the paint shop but convinced myself to sell it before I got that far since the new owner will probably want to change the color anyway..
I've already put over $6k in the rework and I'm willing to let it go to the highest bidder. I welcome all questions and if you are anywhere close to Central Florida (Orlando), I would be glad to show it to you personally. As for delivery, the buyer is responsible for vehicle pickup or shipping but I will alsobe glad to deliver it up to 400 miles away at $1.25/mile. Payment must be made by money order or cahiers check with a down payment of $500.00 within 3 days of winning the bid.