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Last known VW Type 2 Schulwagen emerges after 43 years

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Volkswagen Type 2 Schulwagen

After an astonishing 43 years, the last known Volkswagen Type 2 Schulwagen, a specialized version used for training dealership staff, has finally reappeared.

Collector Lind Bjornsen proudly showcased the fully restored Schulwagen during its public debut last month at Huntington Beach, California, coinciding with the International VW Bus Day celebrations. The event not only honored the iconic Type 2, also known as the Microbus, but also marked the introduction of its modern electric successor—the Volkswagen ID.Buzz—to the U.S. market.

The concept of the Schulwagen, meaning “school vehicle” in German, originated when Volkswagen terminated its contract with U.S. importer Max Hoffman and established its own U.S. division, now known as Volkswagen Group of America. In 1954, VW representatives Will Van De Camp and Geoffrey Lange were tasked with setting up a dealer network in the United States. To achieve this, they dispatched three service tech trainers along with a pair of Type 2 vans the following year. These vans traveled to various dealerships, providing training to staff to work on Beetles and Microbuses. The Schulwagen fleet, based on the Type 2 Kombi model, eventually grew to comprise 14 vehicles, each costing over $5,000—making them the most expensive VW models of their time.

This particular Schulwagen had been stored in an Ohio barn for over four decades before being discovered by Bjornsen. Removing ten layers of paint, he revealed the original Volkswagen of America lettering, as well as some unique features such as a rear workbench, confirming the van’s authenticity. The factory verified that this barn find had been delivered to VW of America in January 1955. A meticulous restoration process lasting five months followed, returning the vehicle to its original condition.

While the beloved ID.Buzz, the electric reincarnation of the VW Bus, is set to arrive in the U.S. market as a 2025 model, enthusiasts will have to wait a bit longer. The new ID.Buzz will boast three rows of seats, a larger battery pack, and a more powerful electric motor compared to the versions available in other markets. Although it won’t be utilized for dealer training like the Schulwagen, the high-end ID.Buzz is expected to carry a hefty price tag of approximately $65,000, placing it among the ranks of the most expensive Volkswagens presently available.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Volkswagen Type 2 Schulwagen

What is the Volkswagen Type 2 Schulwagen?

The Volkswagen Type 2 Schulwagen is a specialized version of the iconic Type 2, also known as the Microbus, used for training dealership staff in the United States during the 1950s.

Who owned the last known Schulwagen?

The last known Volkswagen Type 2 Schulwagen was owned by collector Lind Bjornsen.

Where was the Schulwagen found after 43 years?

The Schulwagen was discovered in an Ohio barn after being stored there for 43 years.

How was the Schulwagen confirmed to be authentic?

The authenticity of the Schulwagen was confirmed by finding the original Volkswagen of America lettering and unique equipment, such as a rear workbench.

What was the purpose of the Schulwagen fleet?

The Schulwagen fleet, comprising 14 vehicles, was sent to dealerships to train staff in servicing Beetles and Microbuses when Volkswagen set up its U.S. division.

When was the Schulwagen restored?

The Schulwagen was restored to its original condition over a five-month period before making its public debut in California.

What was the highlight of the event where the Schulwagen debuted?

The event not only celebrated the Schulwagen’s reappearance but also marked the U.S. debut of the Volkswagen ID.Buzz, an electric successor to the Microbus.

When will the new VW Bus, the ID.Buzz, be available in the U.S.?

The new VW Bus, the ID.Buzz, is scheduled to arrive in the U.S. market next year as a 2025 model.

What features will the ID.Buzz offer in the U.S.?

The ID.Buzz will come with three rows of seats, a larger battery pack, and a more powerful electric motor compared to versions available in other markets.

How does the expected price of the ID.Buzz compare to other VW models?

With an expected price of about $65,000, the ID.Buzz will be among the most expensive Volkswagens currently on sale.

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