15 Window - 63 VW Deluxe Microbus - German

Price: - Item location: Tucson, Arizona, United States
  • Condition: Used
  • Make: Volkswagen
  • Model: Bus/Vanagon
  • SubModel: Deluxe
  • Type: Deluxe
  • Year: 1963
  • Mileage: 999,999
  • VIN: 1115625
  • Engine size: 1600cc
  • Number of cylinders: 4
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Transmission: Manual
  • Drive type: RWD
  • Drive side: Left-hand drive
  • Vehicle Title: Clear
  • Want to buy? Contact seller!

1963 Volkswagen Bus/Vanagon

Up for sale is my 15 window 1963 VW Deluxe Microbus. It is German, manufactured in May of 1963 for the US market. This bus is ready for restoration and comes with some new sheet-metal panels that I purchased a few years ago.
Given the body, frame, and general condition I think if your going to restore this rare-bird you will be very happy. The title is free and clear and in my name. Note that the VIN# match both on the tag and chassis-stamp so no-worries, this is original German. And I referenced the body-code(see the VIN tag) and it is indeed a Deluxe Microbus.
The Engine:
The bus is powered by a 1600cc air-cooled motor with an external oil-cooler(with thermostatically-controlled fan) and filter for the Arizona heat. Although the engine-case was align-bored in the late 90s it still has full oil-pressure, 42-50psi when cold and never less than 20psi given desert temperatures that exceed 110. The cylinder heads & cylinders were replaced back in 2011 but have not seen > 2000 miles. The engine does not smoke with only the typical minor leaks from the oil-filter plate screws. Further the crankshaft has no detectable end-play(thrust) and no oil on the clutch or bell housing. The distributor was been replaced in 2014 with one with vacuum advance & electronic ignition. The carburetor was replaced in 2011 with an aftermarket one from EMPI. Generator brushes & bearings were also replaced some time back(2004-2005), charges and cools great. In short you've got a good non-original motor here.
The Transaxle:
Has been rebuild with a German Klingenberg 4:12 ring & pinion set and new main-shaft bearings. This is referred to commonly as a freeway-flyer but I'm not one for labels. It cruses down the highway 70-75mph w/o issue or funny noises with 205/75/r15 tires. The gear-reduction boxes have been replaced with ones from the late-model(64-67) as these are more reliable, easier to service, and easier to find parts for as the 63 is a unique year. I do have the original reduction boxes and transaxle, and they will be included with this auction. The clutch was also replaced and the clutch-arm was upgraded for the newer more-reliable style. In short you've got a great transaxle here and I take pride in that..
The bulkhead:
As you can see from the photos someone cut-out the upper bulkhead to convert this into a walk-though. I purchased a salvage bulkhead and cleaned and neutralized all the rust with a flap-wheel, rotary-tool, phosphoric-acid etch & primer, and final coat of grey-primer. While it's still going to need some metal/filler work for the small areas near the doors(like where the m-code plate should be) it is a good piece. You may note that the lower-portion by the lower-bulkhead seam has some corrosion but you will be trimming that off anyway. Note from the photos that the bulkhead is not welded-in place yet and is sitting a few centimeters high.
Rockers & Running-board:
The drivers-side lower outer rocker panel has cancer. But from the photos of the inside & outside you'll note that its minor and I am including a new outer-rocker panel
From the photos you can see that a non-stock running-board & rocker-panel was welded below the cargo-doors. If you are going to restore this to original you will find it very easy to remove, just grid-off the few spot welds. But if you intend to use this in a utilitarian fashion I think you will find this indispensable as you can now transport 4X8 sheet-rock, plywood, and other large flat items that won't fit inside. Its also very strong and durable, made from diamond-plate steel and tested with nearly 600lbs(3 friends standing on it).
Rear corners:
The drivers-rear upper corner and upper-side was hit many years back(before I owned it) and was never repaired correctly from a restoration perspective although it looks nice. So I purchased the new corner(inner & outer) metal and is included with this auction. Have a look at the photos as I've tried to make this clear as possible and you can compare to the passenger-side rear corner which is undamaged top-to-bottom.
The drivers-rear lower corner was hit some time ago and I replaced the bumper & bumper mounts. Have a look at the photo and note that I am including a new sheet-metal corner just for that.
Although you cannot see it from any photo the battery-tray was rotten, likely due to a prior battery-fluid leak many years ago. I have a piece of metal under the batter now for support but I'm also including a new battery-tray and you can see that in the photos.
Heater & undercarriage:
From the photos of the undercarriage you will see that I installed a gasoline heater-furnace that came-out of a 78 Transporter (note the 2nd exhaust pipe). In no-way is it made permanent or welded and removing it is straight-forward should you choose to. I've not used it in some-time as it's not needed in Arizona, but when I did it worked really well. It was so warm at one-point that I was afraid it was going to crack the windshield glass but it never did. Whats really nice is that you can run it w/o the engine running too, great for road-trips. If you decide to keep this heater in the bus I would relocate the fan motor proper, as I've had to replace the motor brushes in the fan 2X already due to moisture getting into it. So I would move it to the inside.
In general the undercarriage is great-shape given its year and is obviously lived out west most of it's life.
Brakes, tires & Suspension:
Brakes are very good and the rear drums, cylinders, shoes & HW kits were purchased new when I replaced/rebuild the gear-reduction boxes. Master-cylinder was recently replaced and front wheel-cylinders were rebuild with new seal kits.
Tires all have lots of good tread with some minor side-wall cracking due to age and sun exposure. You'll also note from the photo it comes with a spare.
I've kept the front-beams and front wheel bearings well-greased over the years, topped-off and sealed the steering-box. Torsion-bar bushings have been replaced, shocks are 10+ years old but still good, no visible leaks.
Lights & electrical
All lights(including interior, signals, brights, horn, wipers) work although the running-light bulbs & headlamp lens are missing. One of my jailbars is not original but close. The VW symbol on the nose is not original but one from 1970 I believe. The speedometer is disconnected but worked when disconnected many years ago. So needless to say the mileage is unknown. Given the high-value of a working one I would rebuild it before reconnecting. I'm not entirely sure about the clock but I don't think it every worked however I've never taken the time to look at it, you may be in luck here.
Original transaxle & gear reduction boxes, note the reduction boxes were only used for 1 year - 1963 and very hard-to-find if you restoring to original.
Original splash plates for the rear-bumpers, not shown in the photo but in very good-shape. Will require cleanup & painting.
2 polycarbonate corner window glass, one is good and one has a small crack. Note that both corners have glass installed.
2 original pop-out frames. Note that the 2 back window are reverted to the non-deluxe style but I have both original frames, but not the chrome latches.
Engine heater-boxes * elbows. In hot climates I think it's best to leave these off so more air is pushed across the cylinder heads. And with the gas furnace I've did the typical bypass but I have these boxes and they are in good-shape, so let me know if you want them. I've also got a few boxes with mechanical odd-and-ends, just let me know you want them.
In-general if you don't see it in the photos I don't have it(or had it and was stolen - ugh), but some things you may not be able to see like the 2 front coat-hooks and interior light assemblies are original.
I have one of the original side-view mirror glass but needs to be re-backed with silver paint. Note that both side view mirrors are made of reflective plexi-glass and not original.
The front driver vent window is also polycarbonate glass as the original was cracked.
If you live locally and would like to come and see the bus, go for a test-drive just let me know and we can arrange that. If you need any more photos of something specific not shown please contact me and I'll get you one provided it does not require myself turning a wrench or pulling-out my jack. Please reach-out if you have any questions or you need clarification on anything.
If you win this auction you will need to either pick-up or arrange for transport. I recommend closed-transport but that's entirely up-to-you. Also note a $1000.00 deposit is required within 24 hours. Full payment is due in 7 days.