22 February 2017

Hungry like a Wolfe? Sink your teeth into American Pickers’ Coyote Killer VW bus

If you’re hoping to get your paws on American Pickers’ unique “Coyote Killer” Volkswagen bus, it’ll take a Wolfe pact.

Mike Wolfe, co-star of the History Channel series about a pair of antique treasure hunters from Iowa, purchased the unusual 1966 VW bus while shooting an episode of the show in Texas last year. Customized to hunt for coyotes preying on livestock, the “Coyote Killer” was discovered in rough shape. Among its many needs: an engine rebuild, electrical work, glass replacement and new tires. Wolfe and the seller agreed on $2,700.

Months later, the VW is repaired and ready for cruising – or chasing coyotes, if you’re into that sort of thing. Wolfe attempted to sell it twice on eBay in January, but the bidding fell short of the reserve both times, first at $9,400 and then $9,301. The bus is now listed on The Samba for $24,000, offering a pretty good idea of just how much it cost to bring it back to life.

The Coyote Killer has a new 1,776-cc engine, built by California’s Brothers VW Machine Shop, which features dual Weber 40 IDFs, remote oil filter and thermostatically controlled electric oil cooler. It also has a new Rancho-built Pro Street transmission, and all the following parts are new, too: fuel tank and sending unit, tires, brake system, front door panels, front seats and pads, starter, and drag link and pivot pin. We’re also happy to report that, although the show made a big deal of the VW’s unpleasant smell when it was discovered, the bus is now “minty fresh.”

Rich Ewald, selling the Killer on Wolfe’s behalf, writes: “If Coyote Killer isn’t your thing, it’s an easy fix to put back to stock… (The) hard part’s already done... Just need fender wells from Gerson and donor skin to fix roof.”

We’re wondering who would go to all that trouble? Isn’t the Killer’s provenance its most important asset? If you had the money to buy it, would you return it to stock or leave it as is?

11 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Jim Kansas City Metro February 23, 2017 at 13:55
    Just because you sink a lot of $$$ in to a vehicle doesn't mean you will get it back when selling. Ask me how I know, I've sold a few where I made a little money and some I broke even or even lost a few dollars but I repaired / restored / modified them because I love them not to make money.
  • 2
    mark buckingham, va February 23, 2017 at 14:32
    geez---like we need more wild animal killers out there! sad. :-(
  • 3
    Ron Venice, Fl February 23, 2017 at 15:50
    they got a steal at $2700. Busses are crazy dollars now. One last thing, no wonder they needed to seriously up the HP with that back bumper and roof rack. Dig it.
  • 4
    Ingvar Sueberkrop Tennessee February 23, 2017 at 16:00
    My brother had a new one back in the day and I worked on it all the time. They are ill handling and good at putting the driver through the windshield on frontal impact. I would melt it down and make a Pinto or Vega out of it.
  • 5
    Barry Atwood Maine February 23, 2017 at 17:11
    Is it just me or is it wierd that there are NO pics of the restored version? At least none right up front as in "before and after".
  • 6
    Brian Gould MICHIGAN February 23, 2017 at 18:04
    Why?
  • 7
    Erik Jensen Dana Point Ca. February 23, 2017 at 18:15
    Definately re skin the top and the rear fender wells and more. People all around my area are trying to get these things back to as original as possible and are willing to spend to do it. The old off road look was a late 60s-early 70s Mexico surf trip necessity back then but now we have other choices for that. These are worth to much money now to leave in restored. Although I drive an all orig 49 gmc 1ton truck I do have respect for these earlier busses restored right.
  • 8
    adam chambers ontario canada February 23, 2017 at 21:28
    wouldn't change a thing,i would drive it like it is.
  • 9
    paolo everywhere and yet nowhere February 24, 2017 at 07:15
    Just as likely used a a blind for hunting wild pigs and Javelinas The steel keeps you away from animals tusks. They are likely to charge when cornered or wounded or have piglets about. They are smart but can be taken staking out watering holes. Coyotes on the other hand and are very wary with excellent eyesite. Very hard to ambush and good luke keeping up with one in that thing. Maybe that's why the guy sold it.. On the other hand it's perfect for hunting armadillos. Only a Texan can put this thing to use. Looks bad-ass though.
  • 10
    Ed Ontario Canada February 24, 2017 at 07:55
    I'd leave it alone. No more coyotes in my back yard!
  • 11
    skysle NJ March 22, 2017 at 13:33
    Hey Barry Awood from the great state of Maine, Did you look at the pics and read the article? Other than a sweep out and wipe down the reno is the engine! So, it's before and after. Sweet ride

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