New Owner Restores EV Converted VW Microbus Back To Gas Power

Here’s a convoluted story about a guy that purchased a 1967 VW Microbus converted to EV power with the intention of restoring it back to gas-powered originality. 1967 was the last year of the original Microbus. Converting back and forth may or may not be a more common occurrence someday. But in this heady period of electric-powered vehicle adoption, it is surprising someone actually reverse-restored his Microbus baby.

What was wrong with the EV conversion?

1967 VW
1967 VW Microbus conversion | BAT

This Type 2 bus was converted to an EV back in 2011. A professor at Boston College, Dean Edmonds wanted his bus to be electric-powered. He designed how he thought the system should be, and with the help of a company in Brookline, Massachusetts, he soon had his electric bus. Unfortunately, many problems necessitated his abandoning the project.

According to Bring a Trailer, he sold the bus because “the motors fused the solenoids and caused battery failure.” Mr. Edmonds just wasn’t up for chasing down problems within his EV VW bus. So the dilemma facing the new owner from Georgia was what to do with his bricked Microbus.

Would you fix the EV system or restore it?

1967 VW
1967 VW Microbus conversion | BAT

Should he scrap the EV system and start anew? Or should he fly against progress and put it back to stock? That means the infamous VW flat-four stomach pump. Yeah, they can hardly get out of their own way, but they are fun, authentic, and a known powerplant for VWs. What would you do?

For him, it was an easy choice. Pitch the progressive setup and go with what works. But keep in mind, back in 2011 this was a very forward-thinking idea. There were no kits and only a smattering of info to guide your electrification dreams. 

1967 VW
1967 VW Microbus conversion | BAT

So the owner dug in. He started with a 1,750 cc Volkswagen engine with a Freeway Flyer four-speed manual transaxle. Dual carburetors upped the horsepower. For some visuals, he used a lowering kit from Wagons West along with its EMPI disc brake setup. Yeah, that’s not stock, but it is a smart update. 

Now you can own it

1967 VW
1967 VW Microbus conversion | BAT

To put it back to what the 11-window once was, fuel lines and a gas tank were sourced. And all of the tin surrounding the engine was found, too. With that, many miles of sublime motoring memories were in front of him. But some work continued. Last year saw the front shift rod, clutch, and bushings replaced. A new exhaust system also found a home under the bus. 

Having served the current owner well, it popped up on Bring a Trailer. With bidding almost over, it has a $41,000 bid. These Type 2 buses and vans continue to see big numbers with collectors. Though not perfectly accurate to how it came off of the lone in 1967, it is still commanding a good price. 

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