In 1955 Volkswagen Transporters were nothing more than commercial vehicles, albeit strange and relatively rare commercial vehicles—at least in the US. Volkswagen hadn't yet captured American hearts with their clever advertising and few people even knew what they were. Even so, a few Volkswagens did make it over to this country that year, like this Panel Bus currently listed on Ebay.
According to the auction, this 1955 "Barndoor" Panel Bus is the oldest walkthrough VW Bus, a claim that makes sense considering the fact only two are known to exist. Although it's clear this Panel Bus is obviously very rare, unless you speak old Volkswagen it can be a little difficult to determine exactly what that statement means.
Volkswagen Buses built through March of 1955 are referred to as "Barndoors" because of their oversized engine lids (almost twice as large as Buses built after). All Barndoor Buses are rare these days, but this one is equipped with the particularly rare walkthrough option, which means instead of a bench seat up front there are two separated bucket seats with enough space to literally walk through.
Combine these two rare options with the original vintage advertising, period correct condition and the clean overall condition of this Bus and it's enough to make a vintage Volkswagen lover go wild. We can't imagine that when this Bus was originally purchased anyone would imagine how collectible and desirable it would be over five decades later.
Although the desirability of this original Volkswagen is still baffling to some (not us—we love it), it's hard for anyone to argue with the bidding. Already at $27,600 with over two days left on the auction, it's clear this Bus is anything but just another old commercial vehicle.