One doesn’t typically think of an old VW bus as an overlanding machine. Of course, you can modify pretty much anything to go off-road, but this 1966 split-window model is, for the most part, completely stock. That doesn’t stop its owner from exploring hard-to-reach destinations, and when he gets there, he even has a wood stove to keep warm during chilly desert nights.
We’re treated to a full walkthrough of the classic VeeDub courtesy of the Drive The Globe YouTube channel. It’s a bit rough on the outside, though owner Peter Vollers loves it just the way it is. It still wears an original shade of Velvet Green, which has turned slightly darker through the decades. Rust spots were actually treated with the same color and blended to match the patina, and Vollers also had safari windows installed in the front at the same time.
The air-cooled engine at the back cranks out around 40 horsepower, sent to the rear wheels through a four-speed manual transmission. Here’s where the overlanding aspect comes into play, as Vollers explains the bus uses a portal axle at the back with surprisingly good articulation. Combined with a low-speed first gear and a set of 27-inch off-road tires, the old Volkswagen does pretty darned well in off-road situations, and we do mean off-road. The video below shows the old bus tackling a rock-strewn trail at Moab.
The interior is also mostly original, right down to the bench seat that folds out into a bed. The wood stove is an add-on, mounted behind the passenger seat with the chimney running straight through the roof. The stove features a flat top for cooking, and according to Vollers, it generates more than enough heat to keep the van warm on cold nights. An additional butane heater mounted between the front seats replaces the stock heater for warming things up while on the road. Other items like the speedometer, horn, and radio are just as they were in 1966.
Classic VW buses like this split-window have dramatically increased in value over the last several years. Vollers says his van could be worth between $50,000 and $60,000, but we suspect his overlanding adventures behind the wheel are nothing short of priceless.