1969 Volkswagen Type 2 Single Cab (SC) pickup owned by Gary Henderson
WHAT MAKES IT INTERESTING
As VW increased sales of its postwar “Beetle,” known as the Type 1, the company decided to introduce a utilitarian panel van, the Type 2, in 1950 that morphed into the familiar Microbus, camper and several other varieties, including this rare, head-turning pickup. The Type 2’s “forward control” design, with the driver riding over the front wheels, was widely copied by European and American manufacturers. Henderson’s pickup has become an unusual sight on American streets thanks in part to a trade war between the U.S., Germany and France. “In 1964,” he says, “Germany and France decided to put an import tariff on poultry from the U.S. Our Congress, in reaction to this, wrote legislation nicknamed the ‘Chicken Tax,’” which curtailed American importation of German light trucks and later caused VW cargo vans and pickups to exit the U.S. market.
HOW LONG HE’S OWNED IT
WHERE HE FOUND IT
It was advertised on an enthusiast site by a California owner.
Henderson’s Single Cab features a striking red and black paint scheme inspired by a similar Type 2 that he saw on a cable TV show. “The SC had little or no rust on the body,” he says. “The truck bed was another story. The previous owner ran a woodworking shop, so the continued use wore out the optional wood slats and cab paint.” He restored the teak slats before the repaint. “All the chrome was in good condition, so that just needed elbow grease. The interior was really beat -- no headliner, ripped seats, etc. This was totally redone.”
TIPS FOR OWNERS
“A VW is a great first-time project to get you into the world of collecting and restoring classic cars,” Henderson advises. “Always keep your pickups garaged. Water is not very kind to these old truck beds.”
“I’ve seen these Single Cabs bring $15,000 to $28,000 online and at auctions,” he says. The NADA Guides puts a "high retail" value of $35,200 on a 1969 VW pickup. Earlier Double Cabs bring even more and a perfectly restored Microbus sold for a record $235,000 last year.
THE BOTTOM LINE
“As I started driving this beautiful VW around town,” Henderson says, “it seems that everyone I met and talked to owned some kind of Volkswagen in their lifetime and were eager to share that. I am always asked how I made this out of a VW bus. Most folks never have seen a VW pickup.”