Potential buyers rolled the dice on Mike Wolfe’s 1962 Volkswagen bus, and the gamble cost someone an extra $5100.
Wolfe, a well-known car enthusiast who stars on TV’s American Pickers, offered the patina-laden VW bus for $30,000 on The Samba while also accepting bids on eBay, where the Type 2 sold for $35,100. Bidding passed $30K on November 30, four days before the 10-day eBay auction ended. The bus received 78 bids, but after it reached $30,788.88, only two bidders remained in the running.
The average value of a 1962 Volkswagen Type 2 in #3 (Good) condition is $27,900. Many would consider Wolfe’s light blue bus a bit closer to #4 (Fair) condition, but it is in better condition than it appears—particularly mechanically. Hagerty Valuation Editor Andrew Newton wasn’t surprised by the sale price, even if the hesitation to buy it off The Samba ultimately cost the buyer $5K.
“I don’t think the celebrity-ish factor made much of a difference, since it’s a fair price to pay for the charm factor,” Newton says. “Buses of this era are fairly valuable in any condition, and this one has a lot of appeal in that it has the patina on top but is mechanically sound underneath—which some enthusiasts really love. All things considered, it seems like a strong but not unreasonable price.”
According to the eBay and Samba descriptions, the Type 2’s 40-horsepower, 1192cc engine was rebuilt by the Brothers VW Machine Shop in Ontario, California, and runs well. It is mated to a T3 transmission built by Rancho.
With plenty of patina blended with its light-blue paint, the slightly lowered, seven-door VW has plenty of character. And now a new owner.