Bamboo Bus: 1973 Volkswagen Transporter – Sold?

by | Nov 2023 | Craigslist ClassiFINDS, Truckin Tuesday

(To stop the slideshow and expand the pictures, click on the current photograph below)

December 19, Update – While this “ClassiFIND” expired recently, given the seller’s history, we suspect it may not actually be sold yet.  For now, we’re labeling this ride “Sold?” However, we will keep an eye out for an updated listing. In the interim, please reach out either by email or call Rudy directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

November 24, 2023 Update – After sitting out for three months following the expiration of their last Craigslist ad, the seller of this unique 1973 Volkswagen Bus posted a fresh listing. While the pictures and description carry over, the seller lowered their asking price from $36,500 to $32,000.

September 5, 2023, Update – We confirmed the listing for this “ClassiFIND” expired, so with no replacement found, we’re assuming this ride is “Sold?” While this one got away, please reach out either by email or call us directly if you’d like to be informed when we come across something similar.

The last time I checked, Arizona was and remains landlocked.  The closest place to surf that we’re aware of is the California coast, which is a six-hour drive away.  Consequently, we wonder whether the seller of this beige 1973 Volkswagen Transporter for sale, first spotted in July 2023 on Craigslist in Mesa, Arizona, really drives their “Tin Top” converted to a day camper that far to surf.

With a brand new 1915 cc engine, a detailed undercarriage featuring front disc brakes, and a nicely updated bamboo interior, we have no reason to believe this beige bus would have any trouble making the round trip.  While not a true Westfalia camper, the seller has their Tin Top set to sleep two people but does not feature the typical Westfalia camping essentials like a refrigerator or fixed stove.

Last offered for $32,000 (the original ask was $36,500), Classic.com, the analytics and search engine for the collector car market, confirms the seller’s ask is at the high end for non-original VW Campers.  By clicking on the green dots in the graph below, you can get a sense of what comparable examples sold for in the past rolling twelve months:

As a second data point, the  Collector Car Market Review Online Tool reveals the seller’s ask lands well above this guide’s #1 “Excellent” appraisal of $30,000 for even a full-blown Westafalia camper, so it will be interesting to see whether the seller will find themselves lowering their asking price before their unique Bus finds a new home.

The 1973 Volkswagen Transporter, also known as the VW Type 2 or T2, is an iconic minivan and one of the most recognizable vehicles in automotive history. It is part of Volkswagen’s second generation of Transporter models manufactured from 1967 to 1979.

The design of the 1973 Transporter remained largely unchanged from the previous models. It features a classic boxy shape with a flat front and distinctive round headlights, which became a defining characteristic of the VW Type 2. The rear-engine layout and rear-wheel-drive configuration contributed to its unique appearance. The large windshield and windows provide excellent visibility and make the cabin feel spacious and airy.  The 1973 Volkswagen Transporter came in various body configurations to suit different needs. The most common ones were the standard panel van and the versatile Microbus. The Microbus, often called the “Kombi” or “Campervan,” gained immense popularity as a camper, family hauler, and symbol of the 1960s and 1970s counterculture.

The interior of the Transporter was simple and functional. It featured a front cabin for the driver and front passenger, with basic but comfortable seats. The dashboard was straightforward, with large, easy-to-read gauges and controls. Depending on the model, the center aisle provided access to the rear seating area or cargo space.

For the Microbus version, the interior layout was more flexible. The rear seats could be folded down or removed entirely, creating a spacious area that could accommodate a small kitchenette, sleeping space, and storage cabinets. This made the Microbus an ideal vehicle for camping and road trips.

The 1973 Volkswagen Transporter was available with a range of air-cooled flat-four engines. The engine options varied depending on the region, but the most common ones were the 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter engines, with power outputs ranging from around 47 to 70 horsepower. These engines were known for their reliability and were relatively easy to maintain.

Driving a Transporter was a unique experience due to its rear-engine layout. While it offered good traction on slippery roads due to the weight distribution, it also made the steering feel different from front-engine vehicles. The ride quality was generally comfortable, making it suitable for long journeys.

The 1973 Volkswagen Transporter holds a special place in automotive history, as it was not only a practical and versatile vehicle but also a symbol of the counterculture movement of the 1960s and 1970s. It became an icon for hippies, surfers, and adventurers, epitomizing the spirit of freedom and exploration.  Over the years, the VW Transporter has earned a dedicated fan base and continues to be a sought-after collectible classic. Volkswagen’s Type 2 laid the foundation for modern-day camper vans, inspiring many other manufacturers to create similar vehicles.

In conclusion, the 1973 Volkswagen Transporter is a beloved and timeless minivan that combines practicality and unmistakable charm. Its iconic design, reliable engineering, and cultural significance have made it an enduring symbol of adventure and exploration on the open road.

The Beetlejuice150 YouTube Channel features this classic 1973 Volkswagen Transporter commercial announcing the availability of an automatic transmission:

Between the nicely-upgraded bamboo interior, the detailed undercarriage, and a new 1915cc flat-four, this 1973 Volkswagen Transporter for sale is one of the nicer tin tops we’ve come across.  We tend to agree with the seller’s assertion that “the first person who sees it will buy it.” However, the only question is whether they will be willing to pay the seller’s current asking price.

If you are serious about buying this Transporter, you can start the conversation by using the contact information provided by the seller in their Craigslist ad.  When you connect, please mention that you saw their vintage Tin Top featured here on GuysWithRides.com. Good luck with the purchase!

Here’s the seller’s description:

“I have to say goodbye to my baby. 1973 VW Bus tin- top day camper- transporter. Seats 6 people or sleeps 2. This beautiful bus has every bell and whistle. New 1915cc high-performance engine with dual weber carburetors that are brand new.  Cooling system with fan and switch and all the gauges. Extremely well-maintained and mechanically sound can drive this anywhere.  Has an upgraded $3000 interior from a bamboomwagons. Com. Upgraded alpine stereo system with amp and subs. New Hankook tires. Disc brakes, new shocks and much more. Absolutely nothing wrong with this bus.  A lot of extra stuff that comes with it, including a portable toilet, stove, chairs and more. I have all receipts. The first person that sees this bus will buy it!

Show or go: what would you do with this 1973 Volkswagen Transporter for sale?  Please comment below and let us know!

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