VW Bus T1 Samba: Spectacular barn find in Hanover


This barn find is a little sensation

This barn find is a little sensation

The 29-year-old Martin Dreher from southern Brandenburg has not just bought any kind of car care case, but a VW T1 bus, special model "Samba". And a Samba bus is one of the classics for which every new construction is worthwhile. Source: WORLD / Kevin Knauer


There are no more barn finds? This Samba Bulli turned up in Hanover after 30 years of idle time – in its original condition. The VW scene thought it was a joke at first, but the wreck is real.

NLooked at soberly, without the rose-tinted glasses of a classic car enthusiast, this shabby VW would be Bus a case for the junkyard. The engine does not run, the interior is dilapidated, but what weighs even more heavily: the body has been eaten away by corrosion, some sheet metal parts are as crispy as puff pastry.

"There are certainly not a few people for whom this vehicle is just a pile of junk," admits Martin Dreher. But the 29-year-old from southern Brandenburg has not just bought any car care case, but a VW T1, special model "Samba". And a Samba bus is one of the classics for which every new construction is worthwhile – no matter how ruinous the basic substance.

While other classics go to the scrap press because rebuilding is no longer economically viable, Samba repairers are only just getting warmed up. In the restored condition, the coveted Bullis now cost well over 100,000 euros. The return on a successful rebuild is therefore bold.

VW Bus T1 Samba: Spectacular barn find in Hanover-hanover

The Samba is considered the ultimate among fans of the VW T1. Initially the bus had 23 windows, later copies (including this barn find) had a larger rear hatchpe only 21 windows

Source: Haiko Prengel

Only real with 23 windows – or later with 21 windows: the T1 special edition Samba was presented in 1951 at the first post-war IAA in Frankfurt am Main. The noble version had a folding sunroof and nine seats. The window bus also differed from the normal T1 Transporter in its chrome-plated hubcaps, the polished VW emblem on the front and a two-tone paintwork. In addition, the interior was not quite as spartan.

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The Bulli in Brandenburg is a late Samba from 1965. It has two fewer windows because the tailgate was bigger. In 1967 the production of the T1 should end and the successor model T2 should come onto the market.

Martin Dreher has all the papers for the vehicle history of his Samba. Then the T1 was delivered from the VW plant in Hanover to Braunschweig in September 1965. And from then on served a housewife as a vehicle. This is what it says in the vehicle registration document, in which the occupations of the vehicle owner were also specified at the time.

After more than 30 years, the deep slumber came to an end

For the paintwork, the lady had chosen the neat combination of Titian red and beige-gray and ordered a few extras: a parking heater, a so-called "steering starter lock" and ram protection bumpers. In the years that followed, the Samba was to change hands a few times, but it would always remain in Lower Saxony. In 1987 the 1.5 liter boxer four-cylinder went into temporary retirement. The bus was deregistered on February 23, for six D-Marks, as can be seen from the deregistration certificate that was still in existence.

The Bulli was recently awakened from its long slumber, after standing in a hall in Hanover for over 30 years. The owner had decided to part with the bus. He gave the vehicle to his nephew, a car mechanic from Berlin. But he couldn’t do anything with the Bulli and asked a few VW specialists what they could ask for such a Samba wreck in condition 5.

VW Bus T1 Samba: Spectacular barn find in Hanover-This barn find little sensation

The classic car does not offer much comfort, and also little passive safety. The steering column can become a dangerous stick in an accident

Source: Haiko Prengel

As it turned out, an astonishing amount of money. Because the special thing about the wrecked Bulli is that it is an untampered Samba in largely original condition and in the first paint – only a few places were welded and painted over. In addition, there is the comprehensive vehicle history.

“There are actually no longer such vehicle finds on the market,” says Lucas Kohlruss. The Berliner has specialized in the marketing of historic VW buses with his company Old Bulli Berlin. Most of the T1 and T2 have long been found. Only in North America does Kohlruss now and then still find a well-preserved specimen.

Bought for a high five-digit amount

A samba that was first delivered in Germany and has stayed here – such a find is something very special, says Kohlruss. Especially since the number of blenders is growing: in the meantime, ordinary T1 vans have a window roof welded onto them. Then the fakes are sold as original samba. Other examples are overpriced conversions from Brazil, where the T1 was also built.

In the VW scene, the news of the samba from Hanover spread like wildfire. Some thought the rumor about the Samba Bulli with a complete history was a joke. Martin Dreher called the seller promptly because he had been looking for a samba for a long time.

VW Bus T1 Samba: Spectacular barn find in Hanover-find

Shifting gears, brakes, accelerator: you didn’t need much more to drive 60 years ago

Source: Haiko Prengel

The inspection of the vehicle showed that the news of the barn find was not a fake, but the substance was real. Dreher did not hesitate and bought the window bus for a high five-figure sum.

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For the purchase price, the Brandenburger could also have treated himself to a new car in the upper middle class. But he decided on the Samba with the status grade 5. Now the 29-year-old wants to look around for a specialist company that should restore his beloved bus.

After that, the wreck should look like it was peeled out of the egg again, just as it did when it was delivered in September 1965. Sounds like an ambitious restoration project. On the other hand, autumn has just started. So the perfect time to start such a resuscitation project.

VW Bus T1 Samba: Spectacular barn find in Hanover-find

Welding alone will not be enough here: the rusted doors are crispy like a French croissant

Source: Martin Dreher

VW Bus T1 Samba: Spectacular barn find in Hanover-find

The 1.5 liter boxer engine has an output of 44 hp. That’s enough to accelerate from zero to eighty in a leisurely 40 seconds

Source: Haiko Prengel

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12 thoughts on “VW Bus T1 Samba: Spectacular barn find in Hanover”

  1. Six weeks ago I had the privilege to ride in a real Samba from 1956. You can feel every bump in the road and the noise level is record-breaking. And still pure driving pleasure. In addition, you easily feel 40 years younger.

  2. "The return on a successful rebuild is therefore bold." Is that her? Probably not. Perhaps Mr. Dreher should have looked for a specialist before buying. Before he invested a high five-figure sum in the value of a new upper mid-range car. In figures, that should probably correspond to 50,000 euros, where the Audi A6, BMW 5 Series and Mercedes E-Class start.
    Added to this are the working hours of the specialist company still to be selected, you won’t get a talented tin artist for less than 130 euros. The way the car looks in the pictures, taking into account the presumed view of the underside, 400 hours should be realistic. Makes another 50,000 euros. This means that the car is neither painted nor the technology revised, nor are the necessary spare parts, which mostly have to be reproduced and then laboriously adapted so that the box does not look like a corrugated iron hut.
    And when the thing is finished, you can drive an old van for well over 100,000 euros. Have fun!

  3. For the Samba they really pay more than € 100,000, even if I can hardly understand it.

    A technically gifted hobby mechanic can restore such a bus at home and if you can’t count the hours there is a nice penny left over in the end, even if you give up paintwork or saddlery.
    There are also many out there who put € 20-30k in vehicles that are only worth € 15-20k afterwards. A Bulli like this makes more sense from an economic point of view

  4. There was never a T1, the vehicle was called Type2, only the successor was then called T2. Doesn’t change the fact that they are great cars. Back then, I really enjoyed driving my T2.

  5. Ugly car with the characteristics of a horse-drawn carriage. But of course everyone has to decide for themselves. But the prices that are paid for it are completely off the mark. They even snatched Grandpa’s ancient t3 out of our hands, one wonders sometimes..

  6. Hello, first of all I would like to congratulate the new owner on his Samba. I think the cars are very beautiful, it was never my dream. I just think the prices are cool, a high five-digit amount for the purchase, and then the restoration … I think there will be a huge amount in the room afterwards. But no matter, I’m happy for the new owner and wish him patience and perseverance, because I restore oldtimers myself, I know that sometimes lust and frustration are close together … At my 50th I treated myself to my dream motorcycle as a basis for restoration. A Honda CB750 Four from 1972. It will be ready this year. I bought it for 2000 euros, it was complete, but had to be restored. I’m 57 now and I’m done with almost everything. But just the new 4-4 exhaust system (original) and the overhaul of the engine with original parts cost me a small fortune (for some in the oldie scene maybe peanuts, for me it was a lot of money, a lot of privation, but it is my dream) . I sold an original Herkules moped for the paint job (Original Candy Gold) … Two years ago I fulfilled my four-wheeled dream. A Citroën DS or an ID 19 B Confort built in 1961, original condition from second hand and from the south of France, with 86,000 kilometers. Ok, it’s the easy version, but I don’t mind. It’s that shape, just plain beautiful, just plain divine. And no one has tried it yet … that’s good. The car does not have to be welded, the original paint can remain, with all its dents and scratches. So life is. Due to the long service life (20 years), I have to complete the technology. The interior is very well preserved (it just needs to be reupholstered) so I can concentrate on the technology. Sometimes I am already in the car and dream of driving it. I love her. My madam And when I’m 60, we’ll take it to Provence. AU Revoir

  7. Really great, such a find! A big thank you to those who did not scrap the vehicle!
    These pictures remind me of my special bus in blue-beige that I drove in the early 1970s. After the conversion to a camping bus, I was able to live in the vehicle.
    I am happy every time I see such historic vehicles!
    Afterwards I’ll look in the basement for an old VW brochure from this VW bus that I still have lying around somewhere.

    The sun is shining into the room, that fits in with the positive mood!

    Have a good time!

  8. Well, at the time of the abolition of the DM, you could still shoot such parts, with a little luck, for a three-digit euro amount. When the British then shot themselves at the buses, the prices rose to 30,000 – 40,000 euros for a model in condition 3. What is required today is simply absurd. Still a lot of fun for the owner.

  9. So I did something wrong – when I was 29 I didn’t have a medium 5-digit amount for a hobby – into which I certainly have to put another 30k until it’s finished.

  10. And I did even more wrong because I wouldn’t have the money 20 years later, now at 49 …


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