The original Volkswagen Type 2 gained the nickname “Splitty” for its aerodynamically intended split windshield. Our Nice Price or Crack Pipe contender panel carries that sobriquet, and a lot more, but would you expect its price to make it sell lickity split?
Based on decades of SciFi movie indoctrination, today we expect Unidentified Flying Objects to generally be saucer shaped. Many knowledgeable and frightened readers pointed out that last Friday’s 1991 Audi V8 Quattro had the inscrutably designed front brakes nicknamed UFOs for their inverted, saucer-shaped halo disc design.
That, and the fact that the seller chose to regurgitate the Wikipedia page for the model rather than talk about that particular car’s condition led to a monumental 88% Crack Pipe loss for its equally monumental price.
Today let’s go with something just as German, even more expensive… but a whole lot slower. First however, a little history.
U.S. auto makers turned over their production lines, as well as the raw materials for making cars, to the war effort on February 9, 1942. On the other side of the conflict, things were a little different. The Germans continued cranking out cars, mostly Beetle-based Type 62 Kubelwagens but a few Beetles themselves, all the way until August 7, 1944 when allied bombing threatened to flatten the factory.
Fast forward to the end of the war in Europe. Under the direction of the British, and the auspices of the Marshall Plan, VW restarted Beetle production, a mere eight months after the end of hostilities. The Type 1 Beetle proved hugely successful in getting Europe back on the highways, so much so in fact that it maxed out the company’s production capacity.
It was several years later, when capacity had been freed up that a Dutch importer named Ben Pon, while on a factory visit, had the brainstorm of a commercial vehicle based on the type 1 platform and sold the company on the idea. The resulting Type 2 ended up not sharing the platform of the Type 1, but it did share the car’s engine, wheelbase and a lot of other ancillary parts - check out those crazy sideways Beetle headlights.
Here’s a funny thing about the original Type 2, it looks like a brick, right? And you’d think that it would have the aerodynamics of one, especially in relation to the curvy and seemingly low frontal area Beetle.
Here’s that funny thing; for the Type 2, Volkswagen went to the wind tunnel at the University of Braunschweig to hone the aerodynamics. That resulted in the iconic and beloved split windscreen and a Cd of 0.44 which is in fact lower than the Beetle’s Cd of 0.48. Take that Ferdinand Porsche!
This 1967 “Splitty” hails from the final model year of the first generation of German Type 2s. The model continued production in Brazil, but the Hanover factory switched over to the second generation for the 1968 model year.
It’s also a Panel Delivery which means it was originally affected by the U.S. trade war Chicken tax, a 25% tariff on imported light trucks imposed in the sixties to counter European tariffs on American chickens.
That’s all history when it comes to this Type 2, and from the looks of the pics in the seller’s Tumblr page, as well as the ad’s description, this Splitty has a lot of history itself.
Now painted a shade of mint green it features a mid-body pop-up roof for added head room. It also has had all the big bits - bumpers and nose badge - painted black instead of the more typical white. Above that VW emblem is the namesake split windscreen and it should be noted that these had another archaic feature in the door glass which slides back jack instead of rolling down.
The van has been brought back to life with new paint inside and out, and the interior is a mix of hippie hovel and VW fanatic dream. All the bodywork - which included the removal of a set of jalousie windows in the off-side panel - was completed about 10 years ago. The ad says that the 2bbl-fed 1600-cc engine “runs like a champ” and there is a plethora of new and updated parts thrown in for good measure.
The sellers say the VW is up for sale because they have bought an old house and that they need the cash for that non-mobile home. As you are no doubt aware, prices on Splittys have gotten crazy of late, especially on the 21-window Samba Buses. This one eschews both a huge window count and - perhaps related - a crazy price.
Actually, that’s up to you to decide how crazy a price this Type 2 carries. The ad says that it has been reduced and right now it sits at $22,500. What do you think about that price? Is that a deal to get your flower power on? Or, is that price a hippie dippy shakedown?
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