Ending Soon: What We’re Watching

Last week’s What We’re Watching post seemed to be a hit, so I’ve lined up another group of auctions. This time, they’re all affordable no reserve classics (or soon to be?). Care to wager on what each will sell at? Let’s start with a 5-speed Euro Porsche 928.

Click for Details: 1981 Porsche 928

It’s far from perfect, but here’s a 1981 Porsche 928 5-speed in Euro trim. The BBS wheels might look more at home on an early E39 540i, the paint is tired and the engine hasn’t run in some time (and what the heck is up with that shifter surround???) but hey, at time of writing the whole package can you yours for $3,000. Certainly it’s worth at least that in parts?

Click for Details: 1960 Volkswagen Bus

I said “affordable”, right? Well, with VIN tags of 23 Window Sambas selling for upwards of $11,000, this no reserve auction on a lovely restored ’60 seems like a deal. The color combination and condition are spot on, and it will be interesting to see where it ends.

Click for Details: 1993 BMW 740iL

Back to great values, and this 1993 BMW 740iL seems ready to please. It’s got lower mileage, the great E32 shape, a nice color combination and very good overall condition. Usually the big money has been reserved for the follow-up E38, so I think someone will get a great deal on this very nice ’93.

Click for Details: 1988 BMW M5

There’s been a lot of speculation on the 80s BMW M market, so seeing a no reserve auction on an M5 is both rare and offers us the chance to litmus test the market. Usually the cars that come up in no reserve format aren’t the nicest ones out there, but this one generally looks great.…

Iranian Invasion: 1973 Mercedes-Benz O 302

File this one under something you don’t see everyday. What you’re looking at is a 1973 Mercedes-Benz O 302 bus produced under license from Daimler in Teheran, Iran. After the buses were built at the Iran National factory, a handful were transported nearly 2,400 miles to then-Communist Romania to be used as buses for state sponsored activities in the late-’60s and early-’70s. As the normal fate of old buses goes, the majority of these O 302 people movers were used for nearly a million miles then hauled off to the scrap yard. This 1973 was a lucky survivor because of a man named Alexandru Constantinescu, who bought the old run down bus in 2009 then undertook a three year restoration to bring it into new glory. Now that he’s had his fun, it’s time to let it go to the next owner.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1973 Mercedes-Benz O 302 on eBay

Year: 1973
Model: O 302
Engine: 8.7 liter 6-cylinder
Transmission: 6-speed manual
Mileage: 440,000 mi
Price: $133,000 Buy It Now

One of the first coaches built by Mercedes-Benz, O302, manufactured under licence in the Irannational factory in Teheran, in the ’70s. It was fully restored between 2009 and 2012 by a private restoration team. The bus was restored in conformity with the original blueprints, using the original parts, trim elements, carpeting and upholstery employing premium materials.
The bodywork has some little flaws, visual, no dents, no paintwork issues, and for more details, including pictures of the restoration work, or any doubt, please contact me via email.
The coach is fully working, ready for any kind of trip, having participated in many Exhibitions, Shows or any Classic car festivals, appearing in a few magazines, articles, and even in a car channel’s YouTube video.

Now I’m not exactly an expert in the O 302.

Wilder West: 1973 Volkswagen Microbus Wild Westerner

The Volkswagen Van was, and is, a part of our culture. It’s like Peter Frampton Comes Alive!, Pet Rocks and Star Wars; not the best of their ilk, but they enjoy near universal popularity. The VW Van appeared everywhere. It was ubiquitous with the Hippie movement. It was counter-culture, yet eminently practical as transportation. It was pretty uncool as a design, and yet massively cool. And, it should come as no surprise that it has created a cult-like following.

Yet, we infrequently look at them. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because they’re cliche?

I learned how to drive in a VW Microbus. It had no clutch, so you had to start in gear. If you were really clever you could get into second, but most of the time I just felt pretty special crawling around the fields behind my house in first. But I feel no particular attachment to the model, unlike my first car.

Still, they make me smile, and when I came across this lightly modified one, I wanted to take a closer look. I’m not sure if it was the Porsche Phonedial wheels or the color scheme that most attracted me, but I have to admit I was a bit surprised when I looked closer:

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1973 Volkswagen Bus Wild Westerner on eBay

1972 Volkswagen Type 2 Tandem Axle Flatbed

 

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Custom conversions can either go really well, or really poorly. Most of the time it is really poorly. But not today. What started life as a Volkswagen Type 2 factory single cab dropside pick-up is now a flatbed hauler with an extra axle thrown on there for good measure. Now before you get excited about that extra axle, it’s only along for the ride as it looks like only the second axle is functional. Once I started digging into the (sparse) information on this T2,  it was built and used to be a working car hauler — save for one big problem. So let’s check out this once Californian T2 that now resides in the Netherlands.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1972 Volkswagen T2 Tandem Axle Flatbed on Classic Trader

2013 Volkswagen Transporter “56 Years Last Edition”

Fellow GCFSB contributor Nate features a lot of Volkswagen people movers, many of which are the T2 like you see here. However, most people are not aware that this particular Volkswagen just ceased production. That’s right, you could buy a new Volkswagen T2 Transporter in certain markets up until 2013. To mark the end of this very long production run, VW decided to commemorate the event with a special edition model, “56 Anos Kombi Last Edition.” Fifty six years. More than half a century with minimal changes. Outlasted the beloved Beetle. That’s just a few points the T2 notches up on its resume. This example of the ultimate T2 for sale in Monaco has yet to cross the 2,000 mile mark, so for those who can register this van legally in their country, you have one more chance to buy a new Bus.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2013 Volkswagen Transporter 56 Years Last Edition on Classic Driver

1979 Mercedes-Benz N1300

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I’ve written up a lot of Mercedes Sprinters, and have been especially excited when I find cool survivors from the old O309/0319 era. This, however, is a new one, a Spanish-built N1300 that served as the smaller counterpart to the full-size 309 vans, and it’s covered just 20k miles in its 37 years. The quality is so spectacular – and flush with ’70s style for better or worse – that it looks like one of those over-the-top VW restomods we’ve seen. The big roof-mounted luggage rack and chrome visor make it look ready to do runs from the airport to the hills in Guatemala (these were primarily used in the South American market) while the interior looks basic but very nice. It even has a little wooden table between the train-style seats doing its best impression of a Westy’s fold out surface. It’s too nice (and barely big enough inside) to convert to a camper and the 85hp from the OM615 diesel four will make highway speeds achievable only on the flats, so this isn’t going to leap to the top of dream adventure vans. Whatever you decide to do with it, you’ll have one of the most interesting looking vans on the road.

Click for details: 1979 Mercedes-Benz N1300 on eBay

1971 Volkswagen DoKa

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Click for details: 1971 Volkswagen DoKa on eBay

I love the VW T3 DoKa, especially in Syncro trim, but today we have a beautiful example of the earlier T2 DoKa. It’s about as utilitarian as a 50hp air-cooled truck can be, seating 6 and with plenty of bed to haul light but voluminous loads. With year-old exterior paint and a brand-new rebuild, this Bustruck is sure to garner lots of attention. The interior displays its 46 years a little more clearly, with some original paint and decades of use showing through. The seats look to be in good shape though. A nice carpet set would probably clean that up the floors a bit, but overall the interior keeps this from being a total resto-creampuff. In my eyes that’s for the best because you can look good while putting it to work, but the seller is still expecting over $20k for it. …

1964 Volkswagen Type 2 Double Cab

If it weren’t for trade wars, we might still be able to buy Volkswagen commercial vehicles in the US to this day. Every time I see articles on social media from Volkswagen touting new developments with their Transporter range, I pine for the days when you could still buy a Eurovan stateside. Sure, these vans always lurked at the back of the showroom, but I always marveled at how functional and sturdy they were. With everyone clamoring to buy SUVs this was an unorthodox choice for a people mover, but you still seem them on the road occasionally. Something about them still appeals to the inner anorak in me.

Dial back a few decades before the Chicken Tax came into effect, and you could spec a pickup body based on the old Volkswagen Bus. This 1964 Type 2 Double Cab for sale in Minnesota has an upgraded 12 volt electrical system, newly rebuilt 1600cc motor and wears a patina that wouldn’t make you shy using it for hauling duties.

CLICK FOR DETAILS: 1964 Volkswagen Type 2 Double Cab on eBay

Convertible Week: 1976 Volkswagen Ragtop Bus

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Few things say “summer love” like a ragtop VW Bus, elevating the free-love van to the next level by opening up the whole roof like the tin can that it is and creating huge apertures allowing for the sun to flow in and your favorite herbal vapors to flow out. This bus has been beautifully restored with a level of modification that helps it look exceptional without going over the top. The exterior looks perfect in tan and black over Porsche Empi wheels and is backed up by a 2.0-liter Porsche motor. The interior nicely flips the color scheme for black leather and tan piping on a limo-style dual couch setup in the back, creating a very inviting space to chill. The tasteful and detail-oriented restoration means the seller is probably looking for a hefty price, but in return for the value of several bricks of contraband you’ll get one of the nicest T2 Buses we’ve seen.

Click for details: 1976 Volkswagen Bus on eBay

1965 Volkswagen Bus EZ Camper

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Our last visit into VW Bus-land was with a couple of extreme restomods much more focused on looks than function. Today’s is just as gorgeous but a bit more original. Inside and out it appears like-new, but the dark green and white combo keeps it from looking too much like an overdone toy. It also comes with the EZ Camper package, making it the perfect machine for roadtrips or, as the seller aptly cites, concerts. It may not have quite the usability of the T3 Westies I so often feature here, but that doesn’t mean it wouldn’t be a huge amount of fun. 60s Buses are going for crazy money these days so you’ll have to decide if the classic VW Van is worth that much to you. If it is, this is the one I’d go for.

Click for details: 1965 Volkswagen Bus on eBay