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1954 VW Barndoor Splitscreen Samba

Sep 29, 2022

1954 VW Barndoor Splitscreen Samba

1954 VW Barndoor Splitscreen Samba 23 Window Deluxe


Year of construction 1954. VW Barndoor Splitscreen Samba 23 Window Deluxe for sale in Reading, United Kingdom. Found this one on eBay was posted about 19 days ago and is still online today, extremely rare bus is one of the coolest examples of the model it could be the most valuable of the collectible vintage microbus on the market today, powered by a modernized motor Porsche.

Fully restored and preserved using as many original panels as possible this bus drives better than new with more modern running gear to get the full enjoyment from the bus. All new running gear and sympathetically restored this unique vehicle is for the discerning collector only who knows what it is...

Year 1954
Type T1A
Model 23 Window Deluxe Samba Barndoor
Color Chestnut Brown - Sealing Wax Red
Engine Porsche 2.8ltr engine
Assembly Line Germany
Condition Excellent

Owner says
Extremely rare to the market is this stunning and unique hand sign written 1954 “Barndoor” Splitscreen “Samba”.

Barndoor 23-window Bus

This model is the rarest of the rare being the 23-window variant. Don’t mistake this bus for the more common earlier non “Barndoor” models. The nickname “Barndoor” comes from the larger rear engine cover on the vehicle and NOT the side cargo door (which most people assume the name relates to).

The bus was rescued from the dead in California a few years ago, brought over to the UK, and restored by the new custodian using some of the best builders in the UK. The full restoration to an original condition as possible was key to preserving this bus’s history. Everything was restored other than as much of the original paintwork as possible to keep the originality. A new chassis and main floor pans were needed and so the main structure of the bus is essentially brand new but with all the original outer panels, boot, and wheel linings still able to be rescued. This was a nut and bolt restoration which would have taken far longer than a standard “show” restoration due to the extra work required to save the older panels to preserve the history of this epic bus.

I personally then took over the custodianship of the Quality Sound bus around 2020 and decided to take it to the “next level”.

As part of this “Phase 2” I’ve spent an additional £50k in upgrades and further work on the bus which now allows the bus to cruise at 80mph on the motorway!

These include: Further paint restoration and blending to improve the appearance and hand-done sign writing - work by IRVs restos.

New mechanical overhaul by Harry Harpics: A new Porsche 914 highly tuned engine 2.6 Ltr Type 4 engine with Porsche fan shroud, twin 48 IDF's and a custom-built Vintage Speed exhaust and headers. Taller ratio Limebug IRS gearbox, Harry Harpics EVO IRS clamps and arms. Type 3 rear drums, later front Dog back beam and steering column, Avo adjustable front shocks, CSP front disc kit, dual remote servo, and uprated dual circuit brake master cylinder. External oil filter and cooler with thermostat and cooling fan, fuel tank sender installed, fuel, oil temp, and pressure gauges. Refurbished king & link pins (by Gilly Billy). All 4 wheels were then banded (to give a deeper dish appearance), new tires white walled by Mr. Whitewalls, and lowered a good few inches all around to give that awesome stance! Finally, a new set of Creative Engineering safari’s was fitted as no bus is complete without them! (Original glass retained if required).

The interior of the bus has some pretty special and original parts. When it came to the UK it needed a new sun visor which is a VERY hard part to find. I eventually sourced an NoS (New Old Stock - i.e. rare as rocking horse sh1t!) one which cost £1,800 alone! *Yes, you read that right!* It also has a period correct Blaupunkt radio which is installed but to be fair needs wiring in still, this was around £1,900. There is the rare deluxe clock and original speedo present of course also. The rest of the interior is a camping interior which works well and is very usable, it does still need the headlining though. The seating has a centre removable section which turns the rear seats into a full-size double bed which is extremely comfortable (I’ve camped in it a few times). It has new “jail bars” around the rear windows to protect them from luggage and it also comes with a full set of interior window black-out blinds which are magnetic and attach to the windows to give you a very restful night's sleep when camping… in total darkness! The rear parcel shelf has also been given some love with a new custom mat.

In terms of price, I can also consider selling without the engine & gearbox package for a reduction in the price of around £10k so if you’re thinking you want to go the complete stock approach again then that’s also entirely possible.

Please arrange a viewing or give me a call to discuss this further. I can send more photos via WhatsApp e.t.c. if needed. I’m based nr Reading, RG7.

Below is a more detailed specification for the engine geeks out there ;)
2.6 Ltr engine
Type 4 Crankcase
Machined & ported for Porsche fan shroud Align Bored

Porsche 2.8ltr engine

Machined for larger barrels
Drilled & tapped for cleaning of oil galleys Modified to accept 30mm Melling oil pump
Forged 78mm crankshaft H-beam con rods
103mm barrels & pistons 48mm x 38mm cylinder heads
Modified combustion chambers Welded & modified exhaust ports Ported & polished
Heavy duty valve springs Chromoly valve retainers Cut-to-length
chromoly pushrods
Swivel foot valve adjusters
Modified rocker assemblies 30mm Melling oil pump
Solid camshaft followers Web 86A camshaft
Straight-cut camshaft gears
Modified 200mm flywheel
5-pin dowel adaption Stage 1 Kennedy clutch
Porsche fan kit
Custom engine bay tinware
Inlet manifold drilled & tapped for servo take-off
Twin IDF 48 carburettors
36mm venturi
Tall velocity stacks Full engine breather system External oil cooler & fan kit
Mounted in front of vehicle Operated by thermostat switch Oil thermostat
Modified IRS gearbox
3.88 ring & pinion (by Limebug Ltd.)
IRS suspension conversion
Type 3 wide rear brake drum assemblies
CSP front disc brake conversion
Dual circuit master cylinder & remote servo conversion Modified front axle
Refurbished king & link pins (by Gilly Billy)
Late reconditioned steering box

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