Matt RaibleMatt Raible is a Web Developer and Java Champion. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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Over 10 years ago, I wrote my first blog post. Since then, I've authored books, had kids, traveled the world, found Trish and blogged about it all.

[VW Bus] Could this be the one?

A 21-window Volkswagen Bus showed up on eBay this morning - and I could "buy it now" for $9,650. If you look at it, you'll think I'm crazy. $9000 for a old beater of a bus - let alone a VW?! The problem is that these things are pretty rare. The 23-windows are even harder to find. The last 23-window on eBay went for $32,000! Granted it was a bit older and a little better shape - but still, that's ridiculous. The difference between this one and previous ones is that you can "buy it now" for under $10,000. Julie is all for it and thinks it'd be a great 30th birthday present (my birthday is in July). Also, it's in San Diego - where her sister lives, so she'd love an excuse to go out there. If I do buy it, it sure would be fun to road trip across the country to bring it home!

Hmmm, if I could buy my dream car today and DU wins the National Championship tonight...

Update: Woooo HOOOOO - DU WON!!! I told myself earlier today that if they won, I'd buy the bus. So w/in 2 minutes of the win, I bought it! What a day. ;-)

Green CheckYou purchased the item using Buy It Now!

Update 2: On Sunday: it figures, buyer's remorse is starting to flood my brain. The good thing is that it's not because of my purchase. It's because a 1965 21-window showed up on eBay today for much less. It's got 6 more days until the auction ends, and it's at $360 right now. The nice thing about this newest one is that it's already been stripped for restoration. Oh well, I still think I made a good decision yesterday. And as long as Julie does too - I'm golden... ;0)

Posted in The Bus at Apr 10 2004, 09:34:30 AM MDT 10 Comments

My step-sibling purchased a VW Bus, and although it has propelled him to a level of beatnik-fame unsurpassed in the trendy highschool he attends, he learned first hand the amount of cajoling required to get a old bus started on a cold MI morning, no matter how good of shape. The Bus still frequently stalls out, and a roadtrip takes much longer than one might expect, because of the errr... sluggishness. Anyways, best luck if you do decide to purchase it!

Posted by Scott on April 10, 2004 at 09:29 PM MDT #

Yeah - I do realize that an original bus is (for the most part) a piece of shit. I'm buying one to restore it over the next several years. A new hobby to get me off the computer. I restored a couple Bugs in high school and I've re-built 5 VW engines - so I have a bit of a history with it. With the bus I buy (this one or another), the engine will certainly quit working w/in the first 6 months and I won't be able to drive it in the winter. It's a summer vehicle (in Colorado at least), and I'm willing to accept that.

I do have big plans for my <em>project bus</em> - including a Porsche 911 (or 914) engine, a new heating system, a modern interior, new suspension, wheels, etc. I plan on only doing a little bit at a time, so it'll be done about the time T-Rex is finished in Denver (est. 2008).

Posted by Matt Raible on April 10, 2004 at 09:41 PM MDT #

Cool! I'd love to hear more about your plans for the bus-- especially what you plan to do with the outside and interior. I'm a bit surprised that you'd want one as stripped-down as the "buyer's remorse" bus you mentioned. (BTW, it's already at $1,000 so you probably made the right decision on the one you bought.) What do you intend to do with the windows and paint job?

I've fantasized about reconditioning an Airstream Trailer. But, since I live in a city right now, it's just a pipedream.

Posted by simulate on April 11, 2004 at 06:25 PM MDT #

Simulate - I believe this bus will end up as stripped down as the "buyer's remorse" bus someday. This is simply the best way to give it an immaculate paint job and I might do a "pan-off" restoration. Pan-off simply means that the body is separated from the pan, and all the nuts-n-bolts are replaced. As for the windows, I'll probably keep them and possibly tint them a bit. I'd like to put in a set of Safari windows and paint it a classic two-tone: yellow, orange or green(w/ white) sounds good right now.

Posted by Matt Raible on April 11, 2004 at 07:31 PM MDT #

nice wheels matt!

Posted by chris on April 11, 2004 at 08:51 PM MDT #

Sounds like a cool hobby. An expensive, time-consuming, cool hobby. I also have to say Damn! I just turned 30 last week and all I got was a new electric razor and a trip to Vegas. Way under your $9000 present. I need to get my wife to read your blog... ;)

Posted by Erik on April 12, 2004 at 02:41 PM MDT #

Sweet deal!!! Wanna sell it? Wise investment at a fair price. Got any other investments going up 25% a year?

Posted by Dude on July 26, 2004 at 10:09 PM MDT #

If you haven't already seen this site, you'll want to: it'd be a perfect project to undertake during your restoration: It may get you out in your bus more during the colder times of year, which is desirable since buses don't like to sit ... Cheers, Jake

Posted by Jake on July 29, 2004 at 05:46 PM MDT #

Thanks Jake! I was planning on just driving it in the Spring - Fall, but this might allow me a little Winter driving as well. Now I just need to find some sort of A/C solution. Driving it around when its 100 out is painful. ;-)

Posted by Matt Raible on July 29, 2004 at 06:39 PM MDT #

A properly maintained VW bus is stone reliable- I've been driving buses in the summer months for the last 15 years... There is no such thing as a pan off resto when it comes to buses- its a unit body. Please consider doing a somewhat stock resto on this thing it is a valuable bus after all...and keep in mind anytime you're dealing with a Split, a resto is major $$. If you want a fun driver with acceptable power and all that convienience stuff, I would recommend you look at a nice mid seventies Camper bus with the type 4 motor and fuel injection, or an earlier baywindow (68-72), which are less powerful but easier to work on.

Posted by Stefan on March 29, 2005 at 04:25 PM MST #

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