1960 Volkswagen Double-Cab Pickup

No such critter like this was available new from Volkswagen—no matter how many option boxes were checked off

Introduced in 1950, the Volkswagen Type 2 effectively doubled the product line of the thriving German car company. Utilizing the same rear-engine air-cooled format as the overwhelmingly successful Beetle, the various Type 2 models featured new dimensions of passenger and cargo space in an ingeniously designed lightweight structure.

Single- and double-cab versions were sold in staggering numbers in Europe, but U.S. President Lyndon Johnson placed a heavy tariff on the importation of European vehicles that could be classified as light trucks, leaving very few of these models available in the U.S., and that’s why they’re such a rare sight today.

This beautifully restored 1960 Double-Cab Pickup is the work of a well-known Southern California VW enthusiast who for years had a special project in mind: the faithful creation of a Volkswagen model never offered by the factory. The completed truck has been the subject of numerous print articles which chronicle the year-long restoration and the realization of the owner’s dream: a Double-Cab Type 2 bedecked in a deluxe trim that had only been available for the Samba passenger van.

One article states that, after an exhaustive search, this rare 1960 Double Cab was purchased at a VW swapmeet in 2003 and preparations for a full restoration were begun. The transporter was disassembled and catalogued, and sections of rust in the floors and substructure were carefully removed and replaced with correct body sections. The owner restored the major components at his home shop, while the body was finished by Leonardo’s Body Shop in Garden Grove, CA, in the VW color combination of Chestnut Brown over Sealing Wax Red.

The interior, in the style of a deluxe original, was trimmed by Kustom 1 Upholstery in Orange, CA. The stock bumpers have been carefully polished, chrome plated and finished with rare factory corner guards, providing a custom-tailored look. A deluxe, color-keyed aluminum molding encircles the body just above the paint division line and a custom wood-slatted rack adorns the roof. For extra power, the engine was upgraded to a 1,600-cc unit, yet the engine bay retains a stock appearance with period engine shrouds and an original oil-bath air filter. Large logo wheel covers and Samba-style hinged front and rear windows were added to complete the deluxe package.

This strikingly beautiful, one-of-a-kind commercial Volkswagen wears the hard-to-find tiny trim pieces that set a restoration apart and would be a wonderful accent to any collection. A show car in its own right, it is also a highly useful and capable machine.

B. Mitchell Carlson

SCM Senior Auction Analyst

Brian wrote his first auction report for Old Cars Weekly in 1990 and has contributed his colorful commentary in Sports Car Market since 1998. His work appears regularly in Kelley Blue Book, and also in a handful of marque-specific publications. Carlson shuns what he calls “single-marque tunnel vision” and takes great pride in his “vehicular diversity.” He attends about two dozen auctions per year, but he broke away to roar around Oregon with Paul Hardiman in SCM’s Dodge Viper and Porsche 911 Turbo in the 2015 Northwest Passage.

Posted in German