Want a Volkswagen ID. Buzz? Get a Brand-New 23-Window Microbus
Volkswagen is slowly, very slowly, gearing up to launch its ID. Buzz retro EV van sometime this year. It’s a modern take on the original T1 bus, first put into production in 1950. The reason it has received so much attention, and why VW even decided to make them is due to the popularity of the T1. But did you know you there are completely new T1 bodies made exactly like the original one? There is.
As we’ve seen with vintage Mustangs, Camaros, and trucks, there is a strong market for popular car restoration parts. Once these companies start knocking off one part after another, in time, they have enough to make and sell a complete body. That’s what a company called Golden Star has been doing for several years.
You can’t order them directly from Golden Star, but Classic Steel Body in Sandusky, Ohio, has them for $27,000. While it is a large sum, if you know your VW buses, you know they are prone to rusting. And if you’ve seen the cost of restored T1s, the price doesn’t seem so bad. If, and this is a big if, you have a fairly complete parts car.
Trying to acquire all of the other parts needed for a complete bus one by one will take far more than just getting a perfectly restored one. And you still need to rebuild a lot of what you have. So having a rusted-out or wrecked bus that’s complete makes this an easier proposition.
But the other thing to consider is closer to what we’re looking at here, having an electric VW van like the ID. Buzz. That’s where all of the aftermarket companies that make EV conversions for vintage Volkswagens come in. There are numerous companies offering complete retrofit EV kits that bring these vintage vans closer to modern standards.
True, you won’t have any of the driver-assist and safety features of an ID. Buzz. And you’ll never confuse it with how an ID. Buzz is expected to perform and handle. But at least it improves on the original buses’ extremely anemic performance. Plus, you don’t have to put up with that chirpy exhaust noise. And it runs as clean as a Tesla or Mustang Mach-E. Welcome to the 21st century.
All-new glass for any window you need is available, including the skylights and rear-corner glass. The same goes for all of the rubber seals and grommets. And parts to rebuild the front and rear suspensions have been around since these were new. So in the end, you’ll have a brand-new T1 bus with electric propulsion.
Right now, Volkswagen says the ID. Buzz prices start at $45,000. We expect that to be revised up. And we also expect that you won’t be able to find very many base models. So expect prices to be around $55,000 to $65,000. If you’re a DIY kind of person, you should be able to do this T1 bus build for about that much.
Granted, there are the above-mentioned downsides, but keep in mind that while the prices of ID. Buzz vans will continue to depreciate over the years, your T1 EV bus won’t. It will continue to appreciate, which is like money in the bank. If and when you do this, send MotorBiscuit some pictures so we can share in your old/new bus experience.