About an hour north of [REDACTED] is a place known as [REDACTED]. What was many decades ago a junkyard is now a tourist attraction with several acres of forest intertwined with classic cars and trucks dating from the earliest years of motoring up to the gas crisis of the early 70s. Trails zigzag between them and folk art is scattered amongst the vast property. It’s a unique place filled with cars both obscure and sought after, but as a tourist attraction, the sense of discovery one gets when finding something on his own is mostly lost… that is unless you look beyond the scrappy muscle cars and Bel-Airs that are conveniently placed and look deeper into the vegetation and rows of inaccessible relics piled on top of one another. Here is where you’ll find that sense of discovery.
There are many Volkswagens littered along the trails and peeking through the wrecks of other, more domestic vehicles but there is one very special Type-2 in [REDACTED] that is tucked deep amidst rotting pickup trucks and Econoline vans as if it weren’t one of the most sought after VWs of all time. The Volkswagen type 2 Samba 23 window microbus or Deluxe here in North America is certainly the rarest of the Type 2s. according to sunsetclassics.com only 5% of type 2s were sambas, and one samba was produced for every 5 of the rare Type-2 pickups. Restored examples of the 23 window bus can fetch well over two hundred thousand dollars at auction, but its desirability goes beyond rarity. The eight contoured skylight windows, curved rear corner windows, and a large open hole that takes up two thirds of the roof give the Samba what I imagine is a very open passenger experience. In fact, the legend goes that the Samba was specifically designed to provide great views while touring the Swiss Alps.
Mother nature and time have molested this Samba, but even in this condition it’s an impressive sight and likely still worth a few thousand dollars. the cloth sunroof has deteriorated, so the once impressive interior is now at the mercy of nature and living up to its greenhouse-like appearance. The doors have rusted off of their hinges, and one would assume that the floor is rotten but the vehicle is mostly all there and still recognizable as a 23 window Samba. Is it a shame that its rotting away in the forest? Maybe, but it was also great to be able to discover one of these icons in untouched condition.
I’d like to thank Oppo member Who Is The Leader for suggesting I visit [REDACTED].