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The split window VW family: bug and bus

Split Window VW Bus Bug

The most iconic Volkswagen models are without a doubt the Splitties. Splitties, a nickname born from a passionate love for the split window VW, can be divided into the Split Window VW Bus and the Split Window Bug (also called Split Window Beetle).

The Split window VW Bus is unique in its kind

Everybody knows them: the classic Split Window VW Bus, with its rounded lines and classic splitty windscreen. This is the Volkswagen T1 model.

The basic Volkswagen Kombi or Split Window VW Bus is the 11-window with a split windshield, two front cabin door windows, six rear side windows, and one rear window. However, it is common to refer to different models by the number of their windows.

The Deluxe Split Window VW Bus model featured eight rear side windows and two rear corner windows, making it the 15-window. Meanwhile, the sunroof DeLuxe Bus with its additional eight small skylight windows is, accordingly, the 23-window.

From the 1964 model year, with its wider rear door, the rear corner windows were discontinued, making the latter two the 13-window and 21-window respectively. The 23- and later 21-window variants each carry the nickname ‘Samba’.

Split Window busses are very valuable. During a Scottsdale auction in 2017, a 1965 Deluxe Split 21-Window VW Bus was sold for $302,500.00. Here are some images of this magnificent piece of history.

 Split Window VW Bus 1965 front Split Window VW Bus 1965 rear

The Split Window Bug is a real style icon

The Split Window Bug or Beetle is the successor of the the KDF wagen (later the Volkswagen). The design of the Beetle took place over a number of years, and the KDF wagen was introduced to the world in 1939. In 1946 the first Split Window Bug was made. Production ran until 1953.

The most noticeable feature of the Split Window Bug is the two-piece rear window, also called split window.  All Beetles (except convertibles!) produced until March 1953 were Split Windows and are now highly desirable collector’s cars.

The early split window Beetles had a distinctive dashboard with two glove boxes, one at each end. Midway in 1953 Volkswagen changed the rear split windows of the Beetles and added a slightly larger oval window. This oval window was said to increase visibility out of the rear of the car up to 33%. Since 1958, every Bug has a large window.

A few years ago, in 2014, a VW Bug was sold for $82,500.00 during a Sotheby’s Auction on Amelia Island. It was a 1955 Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet by Karmann, an outstanding restored vehicle with matching numbers, original engine and correct and beautiful colors.

Split Window VW Beetle

Discover all VW Beetle models by year

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