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My quest for a 23-window – question
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markeaton Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2021 11:48 am    Post subject: My quest for a 23-window – question Reply with quote

All-

I doubt I am alone in the desire to own the “samba”. We all see the prices and it is well out of reach for most of us.
Of course there are the ones that need TONS of work. For me personally, the work doesn’t scare me off. BUT… I am not a welder or paint guy. I am okay at most of the other facets of restoration.

I do have a couple of good friends that are welders and fitters and have worked on automobiles. I’ve prodded one of them and they are willing to engage in the long and costly project should I ever find one.
Of course it’s the endeavor of getting one in as best shape as possible at a reasonable cost.

My question is really, do drawings, plans, blueprints, etc. exist for say an early-mid 1960’s 23-window detailing overall bus dimensions for the frame, pillars, doors, window frames, etc. ?
What escapes me is how does one know if say, for example, sections of frames are out of line and we need to know if to pull tighter, or cut and re-weld, or replace and be certain a replacement sheet metal placement is accurate?

I have seen loads of great pics on the site with some great work, but not able to put my fingers on anything definitive. Maybe nothing does exist, but thought I would ask.

Thank you
-Mark
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2021 12:01 pm    Post subject: Re: My quest for a 23-window – question Reply with quote

I meant to mention, I did find this: https://www.thesamba.com/vw/archives/manuals/split_bus_dimensions/split_bus_dimensions.pdf

But wondering if a complete document/book exists?
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2021 12:58 pm    Post subject: Re: My quest for a 23-window – question Reply with quote

could always go this route and buy a "kit bus"

https://classicsteelbody.com/collections/bodies/products/complete-steel-bus-body-sunroof-roof-1
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markeaton Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2021 1:02 pm    Post subject: Re: My quest for a 23-window – question Reply with quote

I actually just discovered them a few weeks ago looking at metal spare parts.

But, it's the old original one I want Smile

Although I can see buying some things from them and WW as part of the restoration.
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NUTSFORBUSES
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2021 2:04 pm    Post subject: Re: My quest for a 23-window – question Reply with quote

I've had buses for over 40 years, unless you are familiar w them I would not go there. The costs will really hit you down the road. I now have a 21 and even in good shape it is still a challenge-time-money-time-money.

Knowing the cost of just the differences like skylights and roof, headliner, belly pans and all those mechanicals that go with it.

Rust buckets are still expensive and you will be completely rebuilding it.
If you are sourcing it to an accurate restore it will cost an arm and a leg.

My 21 is a street machine I drive as much as I can, but accuracy is not my goal-180 HP 4 wheel disc's IRS and on and on it goes.
Fun is my goal,, my friend had a PERFECT 23-he was afraid to drive it-it did sell for 220k and his O2 levels rose to normal. Good luck in your quest. If you're married, get a divorce now before you start. One thing I must point out is an 11 13 21 or 23 have the same feel except for a lot more wind/noise with a ragtop, and a shit load of windex.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2021 4:13 pm    Post subject: Re: My quest for a 23-window – question Reply with quote

it seems to me that you would be better off buying a "standard" in good condition, and converting it, extra windows are easy, grumpy's will put in a correct sunroof and skylight windows, and belly pans. All you need now is a complete interior, new deluxe trim, and so on.

Your welder friends are going to still be plenty helpful doing rust repair, welding in the extra side windows, rear corners with windows, etc, belly pans, you name it.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2021 4:57 pm    Post subject: Re: My quest for a 23-window – question Reply with quote

mandraks wrote:
it seems to me that you would be better off buying a "standard" in good condition, and converting it, extra windows are easy, grumpy's will put in a correct sunroof and skylight windows, and belly pans. All you need now is a complete interior, new deluxe trim, and so on.

I agree, But I can't stand it when guys ruin a nice camper or what ever to "get the Look". I think it also ruins the value.
Think about what a Shelby CLONE is worth. Crying or Very sad

Maybe consider a Bazillion Bus/Brazil so it don't hurt so much.
Grumpy's makes some very nice parts, but its far from cheap once the glue is dried on that new headliner. Pans, roof parts, skylights, canvas, seals, all the labor/holes, headliner/s, installed and sewn-I see 6 to 8k just above the drip edge. Buy Brazilian, then install the pans b/c the only pans in Brazil are in the kitchen.
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Lind
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2021 6:28 pm    Post subject: Re: My quest for a 23-window – question Reply with quote

If you want to own an original 23 window, don't go shopping with less than $100k. A cheap original 23 window will cost you more in the end and not be as nice of a bus.

If you can be happy with a clone, then you can save maybe $25k-$50k off the total costs of the bus.

A cheap bus is not good, and a good bus is not cheap.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2021 8:31 pm    Post subject: Re: My quest for a 23-window – question Reply with quote

Lind wrote:
If you want to own an original 23 window, don't go shopping with less than $100k. A cheap original 23 window will cost you more in the end and not be as nice of a bus.

If you can be happy with a clone, then you can save maybe $25k-$50k off the total costs of the bus.

A cheap bus is not good, and a good bus is not cheap.


Quoted for truth. It's always been this way, only the dollar amt has changed. You used to be able to find decent ones in the wild but that's mostly gone now.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2021 9:39 pm    Post subject: Re: My quest for a 23-window – question Reply with quote

Lind knows things

Listen to Lind
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2021 4:32 am    Post subject: Re: My quest for a 23-window – question Reply with quote

Thank you all for the feedback. Very good food for thought.

I currently just wrapped up a full restore for a 1967 13-window. That was my first bus (I've have two other beetles I worked on for restore). But I have the "bus bug".

I realize that it might never happen (getting a 23-window), but living in NH, I have this dream of riding thru the back roads of New England and stumbling upon that rare find in a barn.... and then I woke up Smile
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2021 4:51 am    Post subject: Re: My quest for a 23-window – question Reply with quote

Just wrapped it up last week.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2021 5:34 am    Post subject: Re: My quest for a 23-window – question Reply with quote

Reading thru all the comments... suppose I did decide to use Grumpy's metal roof/window parts to make my 13-window to a 21-window.

Does that do anything to the value of the bus I have? I know a lot of VW "purists" would probably not want to pay a fair market value if I ever sold it since it was altered.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2021 11:01 am    Post subject: Re: My quest for a 23-window – question Reply with quote

markeaton wrote:
Reading thru all the comments... suppose I did decide to use Grumpy's metal roof/window parts to make my 13-window to a 21-window.

Does that do anything to the value of the bus I have? I know a lot of VW "purists" would probably not want to pay a fair market value if I ever sold it since it was altered.
It would substantially increase the value of your bus, as well as the fun factor.

Purists would never buy your bus anyway, their tastes are usually for earlier and unrestored buses.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2021 11:04 am    Post subject: Re: My quest for a 23-window – question Reply with quote

Thanks Lind !!!
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2021 11:34 am    Post subject: Re: My quest for a 23-window – question Reply with quote

markeaton wrote:
Reading thru all the comments... suppose I did decide to use Grumpy's metal roof/window parts to make my 13-window to a 21-window.

Does that do anything to the value of the bus I have? I know a lot of VW "purists" would probably not want to pay a fair market value if I ever sold it since it was altered.


Pretty much what Lind said. It would definitely increase the value of your bus given what the general market considers a valuable bus (a bus with "all the windows").

I don't really mind when people take a 13 window and convert it to a 21 window. I only get annoyed when people take a 15 window and convert it to a 23 window Mad
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2021 11:53 am    Post subject: Re: My quest for a 23-window – question Reply with quote

As I mentioned, I have really enjoyed the bus restoration project. In my experience, I found it MUCH easier to work on than a beetle.

I just thought a full resto on a genuine 23 would be a blast and feed my new found bus addiction Smile

But maybe a 21-window conversion might be the compromise.

Thanks again to all for replies. Very helpful and eye opening.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2021 12:11 pm    Post subject: Re: My quest for a 23-window – question Reply with quote

Grumpy's parts are First rate stuff, that said, the cost for parts are one thing. Assembly is another. Will you use OG skylights? cost 400 vs 1500 (I have a set of 8 nearly new cond. in green) Canvas vs Vinyl<not much diff. roof rails and mechanicals > $1800. skylight seals $200 German. Then you have all the interior headliner & headliner for ragtop upholstery. What is left is metal roof cost and welding and it looks like you expect to paint. Big expense after buying a Bus.

I think you will increase the value, but you may end-up putting much more into then getting out if you sell.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2021 12:22 pm    Post subject: Re: My quest for a 23-window – question Reply with quote

Check your PM
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 17, 2021 3:41 pm    Post subject: Re: My quest for a 23-window – question Reply with quote

markeaton wrote:


I realize that it might never happen (getting a 23-window), but living in NH, I have this dream of riding thru the back roads of New England and stumbling upon that rare find in a barn.... and then I woke up Smile


For a long, long time there was a 23 in Newmarket at a now-gone body shop/junkyard right at corner of 108 & 85. He wanted $1600 for it back in the early 90s. AFAIK, it got crushed with all the beetles and T3s when the property sold 1998-2000. It was rough but complete. I wish I had a time machine Sad
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