I’m really glad to see this posted at the Cohort, by NickyD, because I’ve seen one or two of these extended VW buses myself back in the day. It was a solution to those VW bus loyalists that just had to have more interior space; like about twice as much, in this extended and raised one. Let’s face it; living out of a stock Transporter just doesn’t cut it after a while; they are cozy. But the solution is just a cutting torch and a welder away.
If you’re wondering how a poor little VW engine can push this rig down the road…don’t; it obviously doesn’t have one. The radiator up on the roof is the give-away.
What exactly is hiding back there in the engine compartment? Hard to say; I know Toyota R-series fours have been put to use for this purpose as well as other water-cooled inline fours, but I seem to remember the engine compartment door not closing on them. So maybe it’s a Subaru boxer. I suppose it could even be a VW Wasserboxer from a T3, but that somehow doesn’t seem quite right. SBC? Naw…
My first exposure to an extended VW bus was in an old magazine, like Popular Mechanix or such, that I was perusing at the downtown Baltimore library, having hooked school and ridden on an Old Look GM bus from Towson. It was from about 1959 or so, and it showed a very ambitious mega-bus built up from three old mid-50s buses, including an upper deck comprised of the upper half of one bus, including its windshield. And how was it propelled? By two complete back-to-back rear sections, meaning two rear axles and two complete 36 hp drive trains. The builder said it could run on either or both engines, but both were generally employed, given the weight and air resistance. What that article didn’t explain is how the driver shifted the two transmissions. Hmmm.
I wish I could find that article, but that could be quite an undertaking. In the meantime, this I’ll content myself with this one. There was a time in my life when I would dream about vans like this, but I” leave it to others to make these kinds of day dreams into reality.