With this VW, I confused the cops and pulled a James Bond move.
Yesterday morning, I took this custom Safari-build VW transporter for a quick test jog. As I merged onto the freeway, I squeezed the throttle. It lurched like I was at a county fair tractor pull. I quickly approached a bright red Italian sports car and the driver did a double take as I pulled alongside him. I paced him for a bit until our local law enforcement officer decided to check out the scene.
He signaled the other driver to pull over and I could almost see a strange and confused expression on the driver’s face. I found myself alone on the freeway for a bit until a domestic vehicle with a large vinyl satanic graphic on the side started tailgating me. I did what every VW bus owner has wanted to do. I slipped down to 3rd gear and throttled down. In seconds, he disappeared in my inky black cloud.
Truly one of the best test-drives I’ve had in a long time.
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Turbo Diesel (TDI) Kennedy Engine Conversion
“Safari” Bus with Bows for Cover
Original Dual Locker Treasure Doors
Recent Refurbishment /Fresh Drivetrain
VIN # 26507xxxx**
87,400 Miles on Odometer
Less than 1,000 Miles on Full Engine Rebuild/Restoration
Light Grey (L345) with Dark Green Trim Accents
Mesh Grey Upholstery (83)
4-Speed Manual Transmission with Freeway 4th Gear
Clean and Clear Indiana Title
Straight and Dry Chassis
The VW Type 2 Transporter was first introduced in 1950. The first generation (T1) continued production through 1967. Many different variants of this bus were developed. However, the single cab with its flat-bed pickup and drop gate sides was particularly practical. It became popular alternative for many mobile tradesman, especially with the covered wagon style and dual lockers for storage. Although very economical, they were certainly not quick, especially compared to today’s modern traffic. This example solves that problem by combining all the charm of the vintage look with a much needed power upgrade, reliability, practicality, and fuel economy.
This Single Cab was built on December 11th, 1964 and delivered to the U.S. via Seattle, Washington. It was ordered new with the following factory equipment:
- North America Export
- USA Sealed Beam Headlights
- Tarp and Bows for Single Cab Bed
- Second Locker Hatch for Single Cab
Originally, this bus was sold new in California where it lived the majority of its life. Eventually, it was relocated to New York and finally to Connersville, Indiana. It had been sitting for some time until about 8-years ago a long time VW enthusiast in Indiana located this bus and bought it. It sat at his shop for over 5-years until he finally got around to beginning the restoration. Apparently, someone had started the restoration and done part of the metal work. However, much more was needed. I recently had a long conversation with the builder, and he gave me the details on the history and the build. Initially, he was going to build a SoCal-look lowered single cab, but he decided to go a different direction. 30-years prior, he had been heavily involved in the off-road jamboree scene and thought it would be great to build something that was more functional and different. He did not want to build a garage queen, but rather a cool looking VW that could act as a workhorse by hauling and towing as well as look great at local shows. For decades, he has been taking on similar projects. He takes his time and builds something cool. He is well respected among many in the vintage VW community for building unique, special, and high quality examples. Unfortunately, his last two builds (including this one) had to be sold when finished due to mounting healthcare bills.
Highlights of this build include:
Full rebuild on 1997 Passat 1.9L TDI engine:
- Rebuilt complete engine (top and bottom) for increased reliability
- H-beam connecting rods
- Double spring heads by diesel specialist
- Upgraded pistons and cylinders
- Oversized injectors
- Stock turbo
- Emissions delete ECU with stage 1 tune
Additional highlights include:
- Griffin aluminum radiator under middle of bed floor
- All AN aluminum fittings and lines
- Custom fabricated exhaust system exiting through engine cover
- Remote cabin heater with fans and water lines
Kennedy Engineering transaxle adapter kit
- Benco (new) transaxle custom built
- 3:44 ring and pinion
- .082 4th gear for freeway driving
- Erco gears
- New clutch kit/flywheel
Additional highlights include:
- Electric powered bumper winch
- New stock gas tank retrofitted for diesel fuel
- Restored body and chassis of transporter
- Full bare metal repaint
- Bumper mounted fog-lights
- Rare 30’s spotlight retrofitted with LED
Custom slide out locker drawers
- Wood trimmed bed with textured bed liner
- Restored upholstery
- Restored 6V Ghia clock and converted to AA battery
- Battery powered clock
- Dash A/C chargers with volt meter
- Custom auxiliary lighted gauge pod on ceiling
- Rebuilt stock front bus suspension
- Fresh steering box
- Stock front and rear torsion bars
- Coil over rear shocks to handle extra load/towing
- 30mm lift to clear tires (achieved by using beetle nose cone on transmission)
- Rebuilt stock brake system
- New EMPI front disc brake conversion kit included
- New complete front floor
- TSL Super Swamper tires (5) 29 x 8.50 – 15”
He ended up selling this VW over a year ago to a close family friend of ours in Portland, Oregon. While visiting them last year, I had the opportunity to spend some time with this VW. I was impressed how good it looked and how much fun it was to drive. I’ve experienced my fair share of vintage VWs and although charming and well built, they tend to lack the performance necessary to just keep up with modern traffic. The builder of this example solved that problem by installing the TDI engine with the Kennedy transaxle kit. This allows for a modern VW diesel engine to fit a vintage VW bus. This turbodiesel engine was completely rebuilt using the best parts to ensure reliability. It produces around 130 horsepower and well over 200 pound feet of torque at 20 pounds of boost. This is more than double the horsepower of the original engine and triple the torque.
This Single Cab is in excellent condition and ready to be enjoyed. The body looks great with minimal signs of use. The chassis and cab have been redone and show no signs of damage or rust. The cab floor was replaced with an entire new piece. The dog bones were also replaced. The chassis is very dry with no signs of corrosion. The side locker doors have recently been replaced with high quality replacement doors. The pass-through storage area has wooden drawers that smoothly slide out and allow for plenty of storage. There is a small area of rust on the front support for the front clip. It’s not structural to the overall vehicle and very minor. It appears all the glass is original and in great shape. The bed has a textured lining to protect it with new wood strips for loading. The bows on the bed are also refurbished and in good shape. The door rubbers are new and stick a bit when opening and closing. The factory vin stamping, M-code plate, and vin plate are all correct and original. All the exterior lights and winch work properly. The large spotlight is a rare brass unit from a 1930’s Chevrolet. It has been retrofitted with an LED unit that provides plenty of additional lighting for backroad driving. All 5-wheels have been restored and are wearing new tires. The brake system is completely restored and fresh.
The interior is equally as nice and restored at the same time as the rest of the transporter. The upholstery looks correct with no signs of wear. The rubber floor mats are new. The door panels fit nicely. The speedometer and clock both work properly. The gauge light also works. The cab light has been upgraded to LED and works properly. The extra gauge cluster mounted above on the fresh air vent includes boost, water temp, and oil pressure gauges. The boost gauge does not operate as it needs hard mounted lines instead of rubber. The gauges all light up properly. The remote heater core installed on the dash works and has auxiliary fan controls to quickly heat up the cabin. The power controls for the winch are located on the dash parcel tray and they work as well. A combination volt meter, A/C charger, and USB charger are mounted on the dash. The volt readings are always on but have minimal draw.
This VW truly hauls in every sense of the word. It starts easily on the first try and holds an even idle. The throttle response is immediate and the gobs of torque are felt as this bus easily keeps up with traffic. The transmission shifts smoothly with no grinding or slipping. The steering is surprisingly light even with the oversized tires. And, the road noise is relatively quieter than I expected. It tracks straight and is easy to cruise down the highway. The brakes work fine and require a bit extra leg to operate. The included disc brake upgrade kit would be a nice addition and certainly a must if you choose to tow. This transporter not only turns heads and looks great at your local car event, but it is also very practical as it can haul and tow a considerable amount. Plus, while cruising along the highway, it gets 36 mpg.
This VW comes with extra keys, EMPI front disc brake conversion kit, misc. extra rubber / trim inside storage bin, and vintage 1965 Indiana license plate.
**Note: VIN and other numbers withheld to protect against fraud. All numbers including VIN, Engine, and color will be provided to serious buyers.
1965 VW Single Cab Safari with 1.9L Turbo Diesel Engine
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Paul at 714-335-4911 or firstname.lastname@example.org
This vehicle is sold “as-is” with no warranty, written or implied. In some cases, the vehicle does have the remaining factory warranty still in place and will be described above if that is the case. All taxes and fees are the responsibility of the buyer and are not included in the listed price. All vehicle sales will require a $170 administration fee. The vehicle listed is described to the best of our ability. The information is based on our own research and statements made to us by the previous owner(s). To the best of our knowledge, the above information is accurate. We are not responsible for errors in our description of options or any other details. The above-mentioned vehicle is used and can be expected to show some wear and tear. It is not a brand new vehicle. We do welcome all local pre-purchase inspections on vehicles in order to verify condition.
We appreciate the countless calls from brokers and dealers. As much as we would love to quickly “wholesale” this car to industry partners so they can make a quick profit, the car is on consignment (as are all of our offerings) and the owners have the final say.
If you have actually taken the time to read this far in our detailed description, I can’t imagine there are any questions you may have. However, if there is something I missed or you would prefer to hear the warm sound of a human voice (mine) reiterating the research I’ve provided above, I would be happy to help.
If you put our company name in Google (AutoKennel®) you will see that we have been a long-time part of the Porsche community and have worked extremely hard to earn the positive reputation you will find. Feel free to reach out to our local PCA chapter (www.pcaocr.org) and the board members are familiar with us. Most in the club have known us for most of our 25-year membership involvement. Of course, if you would like more references, you will find countless testimonials on our website as well.
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