Used Car of the Day: 1971 Volkswagen Transporter

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

As I've mentioned a few times when writing this feature, I try to pick interesting stuff, even if the vehicle needs to be restored.

That is the case with this 1971 Volkswagen Transporter.

It clearly needs restoration. There's a manual transmission and a 1,600 cc engine.

The seller says the title is in hand and the seats are in good condition.

There's not much else to the ad copy, but we can tell you the ask is $11,500 and the vehicle is located in Knoxville, Tennessee.

[Images: Seller]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for, CarFax,, High Gear Media, Torque News,,, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as,, and He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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3 of 27 comments
  • RobbyG RobbyG on Feb 27, 2024

    "Seats are in good condition, covers on them for looks."

    If you post the advertising pictures with blankets covering the seats that appear to have been made by the original owners "Nana", I wouldn't even want to see what this sellers' idea of "good condition" is.

    Personally I have never understood the appeal of these. Never have been in one, but almost everyone is in agreement that they are noisy, dangerously unsafe, and slower than a pregnant turtle.

    Shame about the undercarriage and all the rust. Still, this one will sell. It has always amazed me the prices that these things go for.

    • Wjtinfwb Wjtinfwb on Feb 28, 2024

      If you've never been in one, you've missed one of the most exhilarating cars ever released to the public. I worked for a small daily rental car outfit by the Miami airport in the late '70s The owner was a car with a strong affinity for Mercedes but liked VW as well. His friend owned a VW dealer in Miami and somehow the two decided to fill the fleet with VW products in '77-'78. Mostly Rabbits, some Dasher's, a Beetle convertible, Scirocco and...a Transporter Bus for the airport shuttle. Dark Brown over brown "leatherette" interior with the flat 4, a 4-speed stick poking up between the seats and a huge sliding sunroof. Seated 7, if you could find 7 brave souls. One day I was dispatched to MIA to pick up a group and their luggage and take them to the Mutiny hotel in Coconut Grove. The Mutiny was notorious for partying and the group I picked up, a Brit Glam Rock band was already in the groove. I was advised to hurry them to the Mutiny, so we sped away from the terminal in the packed VW. Like most airports, MIA has a series of ramps and curves entering and exiting the airport, the loaded VW chugged up the ramps, but absolutely flew down them as the brakes were marginal. Entering the last gentle curve a bit too hot, I could feel the back of the van lift, get light and begin to come around. Drifting a loaded VW van with a loaded Brit band at the Miami airport was not in my plan for the day. As I sawed at the huge wheel to stabilize the bus, one of the ban members let out a hoot and accused me of trying to kill a band no one had ever heard of. The rest of the trip was uneventful, once at the Mutiny I helped the guys get their luggage sorted and tipped the doorman since that was not in the band's repertoire. With that, one of the members came to me, told me to leave the car and come up to their rooms on the top floor. The customer is aways right, so up I went. 90 minutes later I was gulping hot coffee in the VW on a 90-degree Miami day trying to get my focus back to head back to work. The VW Bus, Rocks! Find one and let me know if you agree.

  • ToolGuy ToolGuy on Feb 28, 2024

    T2 was 1967 to 1979 (I'm told).

    My uncle had one of these (at a time; I think he went through 2 or 3) and a lot of kids.

    At extended family gatherings when it was time to leave (but not really), he would make a pronouncement to 'load em up' and his kids would have to go sit in the 'bus' but the adults would keep jawboning for a quarter hour which left us (the other kids) standing around awkwardly looking upon our imprisoned relatives.

    Story time over.

    (Later he worked as a new car salesman and then a service writer. Make of that what you will.)

  • Ajla It's weird how surveys comes to conclusions like this when about 100% of the responses then mock the results.
  • Jkross22 It very much depends on the dealer. Just bought a replacement for the CX9. A local dealer gave a $500 discount on a CPO car while another one gave a few thousand dollar discount but was out of the area and we had to drive 5 hours to get. The local dealer still seems to think it's 2022 and cars appreciate when sitting on the lot. I wish them luck.
  • Ajla "and the $34K price doesn't seem too steep." Respectfully disagree. This would be okay at $29K. $34k clangs into way too much.
  • FreedMike i puUut pUniZhR sTikKr oNn mY KoMMpAs aNd nOW i hEeR Eegle SkReem. (And no one knows it's made in Mexico.)
  • SCE to AUX What a farce.Besides, "patriotism" has been redefined a hundred different ways in the last 20+ years. Disagree with one of them, and you're a traitor.And for starters, Jeep is a Stellantis brand with its HQ in the Netherlands. If this persistent myth about patriotism is ever cracked, the brand is doomed.