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Buyer's Remorse - Big Time

I bought the wrong $%^&* bus!

Woodstock Bus

We launched the social media on our Woodstock bus project! We’re hoping to connect with people who share our interest in the journey and people who might help the project along.

The early response has been – like all things VW Bus – joyful. People have been encouraging, understanding and deeply into it.

And then…

Amanda got an Instagram message from a supportive follower who knew a lot about buses and had clearly taken a very close look at our project.

He brought some BAD news.

The bus we bought for the project appeared out of no where right at the very end of the road of our 3 month search for the original bus. I saw it in a field in Tennessee at the great Circle Yer Wagens event. The patina on the bus in that field was so beautiful; DIY white paint job, over the original blue and 40 years of rust in the Southern sun made the bus look like America incarnate. When I squinted my eyes in the hot sun I swear I could almost see Dr. Bob’s designs dancing through.

So we bought it at a good price. Put that much money into it again to get it running and on the road. Got it down to Fallon at East Coast VW Restorations for body work. And over the last week did the disassembly to get it ready for Dr. Bob to paint. Amanda put some of those disassembly photos up on social media and that’s where the trouble was revealed. I had done my research. But I didn’t do a good enough job. I knew the split window bus design was the same through the sixties. I knew there were small differences in the door handles, turn signal lights, and sideview mirrors through the years. And I knew there were different interior layouts (walk through/ non-walkthrough) I checked all this carefully. What I didn’t know, and our new friend pointed out… as kindly as possible… was that the back window got bigger over the years. Our Early 1965 Bus had a much bigger window than Dr. Bob’s late 1963. This was going to interfere with the art design in a big way. Well, I thought, and tried to comfort Amanda, we could just weld in a 63 window. Not ideal but… Then things got worse. It wasn’t just the window. Our new friend pointed out that the whole back door and doorframe was redesigned in 1964. Though I’m sure it was for good reason. And I’m sure someone out there will be able to explain why. It changed everything about the back end of the bus and, if we continued, would make a mess of the original art. I’ve thought it through in every way and talked it over with Amanda. We’ve come to a decision. We’re going to have to sell the bus we have and start over.

Maybe this is a sign that we need to keep looking for the original bus a little longer.

But time is running out fast. We got to find a salvageable 1963 to bring back. It’s the right thing to do if we’re going to ‘keep it 100’ with this project.

So, tomorrow we start over.


If you know someone who’d like to buy a really nice 1965 split with a great story we gotta move this one.

And if you know the whereabouts of a 1963 11 window waiting to be discovered, well, we need to talk.

John Wesley

Smaller window and hatch of a 1963 VW bus
Larger window and hatch of a 1965 VW bus
VW bus windows, 63 versus 65
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