Volkswagen - T1 - 1961 Volkswagen - T1 - 1961

Today, the Volkswagen vans are in their sixth generations, with their history dating back to the first half of the 20th century. The van was invented by Ben Pon, who created a design for a vehicle which featured an engine in the back and steering in the front, as opposed to the Volkswagen's 'plattenwagen,' in which  the driver sat on the back of the vehicle, on top of the engine.

Ben Pon's original sketches for the T1 Ben Pon's original sketches for the T1

blog.php-2 Bob Dylan and Suze Rotolo for the cover of Dylan's Freewheelin' on a Greenwich Village street which features a VW van

Using Pon's sketches, Volkswagen created four prototypes for the the Transporter, which they showed to the public between 1947 and 1949.

In 1951, Volkswagen released the Samba. The vehicle boasted 23 windows and a sun roof, as well as the iconic white top design. The van, which was originally created for touring the Alps, is one of the most desirable T1s amongst collectors.

blog.php-3 Volkswagen Type 2 in 2006 movie Little Miss Sunshine

The Westfelia - one of the most durable of the T1s - is also a favorite with collectors. As only 1 000 of the design were released, it is one of the most popular.


Today, thanks to their cult status, T1s can command prices of up to $150 000 at auction.  The most expensive Volkswagen T1 auctioned at Catawiki was this original 1965 Volkswagen Samba Deluxe which sold for $114 500 (€95 000.)

Check out more classic cars up for auction at Catawiki here.

More on selling with Catawiki here.

Register here to get bidding on Catawiki.