The first Volkswagen buses were built between 1949 and 1967. Up until 1956 they were primarily manufactured in Wolfsburg, Germany. They then moved production to a new factory in Hanover. German Volkswagen plants ceased production of the Samba Buses in 1967 however, production continued in Brazil through 1975. More commonly known as ‘splitties’, these split-window buses have an all-too familiar split windshield and a large VW emblem on the front.
The 1958 Volkswagen T1 Deluxe Samba Bus had a whopping 23 windows! Considered spacious even by today’s standards, the Samba was 4.8 cubic meters (170 cubic feet) and came in many different options. A new Samba could be purchased as a standard or deluxe, single or double cab, and could be customized with paneling and two-tone paint. The “hippie” culture of the 1960’s brought a surging popularity of the Volkswagen buses in the United States. The capacity for storage, free-spirited attitude of its drivers, and limitless options made it an icon of that generation. Even now it is a collector favorite. Due to the number produced, they are also still affordable to a beginning collector. The 1958 Volkswagen T1 Deluxe Samba Bus now goes for £28000 – £35000 in private sale, and many can be found available online.