Ratty Rescue: This Panel Has Us BUZZ’n

While we wait impatiently for the production version of the I.D. Buzz Cargo, here’s a little something to get your (gas) motor running: a 1959 Type 2 Panel Van. It’s a little rough around the edges, which is perfect for a Ratty Rescue.

As we covered in our recent Find Of The Day, classic Volkswagen Microbuses are going for stupid-high amounts on the open market. Some splitties have commanded six-figure sums, and these big-money Busses aren’t just 21/23-window Deluxe models. As the top-trim versions become rarer, the price for lesser models creeps up too.

But if you want to slide behind the wheel of an early split-window Microbus, the ticket to entry could be the panel vans. We’re not sure why they go for considerably less, the only difference is they can’t haul as many people (in traditional seats that is), but well-restored versions can be found for around $30K. By Bus standards that pretty much a bargain.

And here we have a great example of a diamond-in-the-rough. This early 1959 Panel is in overall good condition. Sure there are some dings on the corners, and the rockers look a little wavy, but the body panels look smooth, the doors line up with the body stampings, and the overall van looks very solid. Have we mentioned the sturdy looking bed in the back? We’ll avoid the classic turn of phrase around swaying vans. You’re welcome.

The seller states this splittie is in fine working order. It has an entirely new brake system, KYB shocks, model-year-correct wheels, and a new 6-volt battery. There’s even a 1600cc engine out back, so this little Bus has a bit more power than the flat-four that came with the van. Want more power? How about dropping in a couple extra cylinders like the Porsche-powered Panel we featured earlier this week? Here’s a used 911 2.0 aircooled engine for a mere $4000.

For a mere $18,500 you too can enter the almost-a-sure-thing investment world of Type 2 ownership. See the Bus yourself in Los Molinos, California, or just peep at the pictures in the classified ad on thesamba.com.

If the van’s a rocking, maybe those new KYB shocks aren’t so great after all.