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    2005 Saleen S7 Twin Turbo: $682k

    Price Beater: Derelict 356A Speedster Brings $538k?!

    Gray Market Yields Green: ’72 BMW 3.0 CSL Pulls $187k

    Japanese Icon: ’73 Nissan Skyline GT-R ‘Kenmeri’ — $176k

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    Over 200 cars that sold at auction covered in every issue of SCM. Our market reports include detailed information about the vehicle, including VIN, condition, options, and expert analysis from SCM's auction reporters.

    SCM Platinum is the largest database of collector cars sold at auction. Over 150,000 vehicles, including over 59,000 with detailed write-ups from our auction reporters.

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  • Glovebox Notes

    SCM doesn't just cover collector cars. Every week, SCM reviews a brand new car online and in our newsletters, and there are new reviews every month in the magazine. Thinking of buying a new car? Check out our reviews!

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  • Insider’s Guide to Concours d’Elegance

    The 2014 guide includes a calendar of events and detailed descriptions of 21 featured concours.

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Recent Blog Posts

  • The Best First Sports Car +

    This is a question that comes up all the time. Sometimes I'm asked, "What's the best first Alfa Romeo or Ferrari?" Other times it is just, "I'm thinking of getting into vintage sports cars. Which one would I have the most fun with?" There are many layers to these types Read More
  • Honda Knows How to Make a Commercial +

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  • Bidding and Touring With One Good Arm +

    Mitch Silver was ready for me last Saturday at the Portland Expo Center. I asked if I could have a left-arm bidder's paddle, and he said yes. Tuesday I'd had rotator-cuff surgery, and my right arm was in a sling. That wasn't going to stop me from seeing if the Read More
  • Not Having a Good Day +

    (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v2.3"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));He got fired later that dayMore videos? LIKE >> ZOO WeeklyPosted by ZOO Weekly on Tuesday, January 20, 2015 Read More
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    Fall is here. It's time to start shuffling the SCM cars around, putting the convertibles away for the winter and making sure the coupes and sedans are ready to go. Here's a quick look at the status of the cars in the SCM fleet: The 1965 Alfa Romeo Giulia Spider Veloce (pictured Read More
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Collector Car News

  • Keno Brothers Bring 1969 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 N.A.R.T. Daytona Coupe to Market +

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    Barrett-Jackson will host a new auction in the Northeastern United States at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut, June 23-25, 2016. Mohegan Sun, one of the most spectacular entertainment, gaming, dining and shopping destinations in North America, will host the three-day collector car auction and lifestyle event for visitors from around Read More
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1965 volkswagen 21 window deluxe micro bus

When the boxy Volkswagen Transporter arrived on American shores in 1949, its effect and influence was immediate. Using standard Beetle components, it was easy to maintain and was one of the best ways to move small groups of people.

Dubbed the "Micro Bus," Volkswagen's unique Transporter survived through the decades and evolved into several different vehicles. Its combination of economy and practicality made it a hit with the flower-power generation of the 1960s.

The rarest of the Micro Buses is the 21-Window Walk-Through, shown here. It was in many ways the Cadillac of VW buses, as it was adorned with lots of trim and amenities absent on other buses. The standard configuration provided a bench front seat, but the Walk-Through was fitted with two separate front seats so the passenger could walk to the back of the bus without exiting.

This two-owner, California black-plate, 31,000-mile, rust-free Volkswagen received a no-expense-spared restoration by its previous owner. Single-stage urethane paint, completely redone brightwork, and new wide whitewalls help make this example a show winner. Running on a 12-volt electrical system and prepared for any adventure with its deluxe tool kit and spare tire, no detail was missed for either ease of operation or pleasure of ownership.

Complete with its factory sliding sunroof and a fully restored custom luggage rack, this Micro Bus is fit for any locale, be it a concours field or an afternoon at the beach. Finished in two-tone turquoise with a light gray interior, it is attractively equipped with such deluxe features as a chrome ashtray, original Sapphire push-button AM radio, coat hooks, grab rails and jail bars on the rear windows.

{analysis}{auto}184{/auto} This VW bus sold for $38,500, including buyer's premium, at RM's Monterey auction, August 17, 2002.

Although one of the slowest, most ill-handling vehicles imaginable, I must admit that I smile every time I see one of these at auction, or, far more rarely, going down the road. The shape has an innate, near-Bauhaus purity to it, and if restored to the same standard to which they were originally built-they have a level of fit and finish matched only by Mercedes-they are a visual delight.

Driving one, however, is a different matter altogether. Wildly underpowered, and with positively terrifying "high-speed" handling, it's hard to imagine one on today's 80-mph expressways, buffeted by the gargantuan eight-passenger SUVs that are their spiritual successors. The advent of the 42-hp 1500-cc engine in 1963-initially an option, but fitted in most buses that came to the US-raised the top speed to 65 mph. Travelling at that speed was so scary that the factory installed a governor on the carburetor in 1964. And this was before eager lawyers and the DOT were keeping carmakers on their toes.

Despite their mechanical flaws, Micro Buses possessed two powerful virtues when new: they were cheap as dirt and could easily haul all manner of things. When I owned one, I would load my Penton 125-cc motocross bike into the back and head off to the track. Strangely enough, the high-priced tin can here loses both virtues. This Deluxe Samba model has loads of expensive and hard-to-restore trim items, such as full-length "deco" strips of alloy with rubber inserts, complex bumpers and 21 windows. And at nearly $40,000, it is now a relatively expensive toy. With its fully trimmed interior, I doubt anyone will be hauling anything in it except bags of receipts from its restoration.

Tracking this particular vehicle through the SCM Gold database does provide some information of interest. Unsold at $29,000 at Barrett-Jackson's 2001 Petersen Museum auction in Los Angeles, it sold for $24,840 at the same venue the next year. The purchaser was a savvy SCM subscriber with a reputation for turning out brilliantly done Jaguars. He worked his detailing magic on the Micro Bus, added a period luggage rack, and just two months later and 300 miles up the California coast, sold it for nearly $14,000 more. (Of course, his take was less once commissions are factored in, but nonetheless, I'm sure the seller is satisfied with the outcome.)

I don't believe VW Micro Bus prices are on a significant upward trend. Nicely done ones like this have been in the $30,000-$40,000 range for the past decade. The key here is the underlying model (21- or 23- window buses only, please) and the level of the restoration. Anything less than perfection, and the value plummets to the high teens.

As with many iconic collectibles, these vehicles have risen above their intended purpose to be symbols of an era, reminders of a different time. Before we got day jobs, started wearing neckties and having families that rode around in Chrysler minivans, we wore bell-bottoms, listened to the Grateful Dead and went from concert to concert in VW Micro Buses. In a gangly sort of way, this Micro Bus takes us back to that era. This price, considering the venue, shouldn't be that surprising. After all, icons aren't cheap, especially in Monterey.-Jim Schrager

(Historical and descriptive information courtesy of RM Auctions.){/analysis}

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