This 1963 VW bus might just be the Forrest Gump of automobiles


The monetary value of a classic car is much easier to determine than the value of its story, but it’s pretty safe to say that this one is priceless. The story, that is. And that makes Carol Ann Rudat’s 1963 Volkswagen Bus/Vanagon irreplaceable. It might just be the Forrest Gump of automobiles.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2018/10/10/1963-vw-bus-forrest-gump-of-automobiles


FORREST is the name of my 75 VW camper. So nice to see an articule about VW instead of muscle or money cars. My grandfathers name was Forrest and my dad’s middle name plus when I got camper running on 2 cylinders. Run Forrest run! I put new 214 Porsche engine in 1980 miles on it now. Great articule! Made me smile and very interesting!


Just a clarification: The term Barndoor is often mistakenly used to refer to the 2 cargo doors on the side of a Bus. A Barndoor Bus refers to Buses produced through the end of February, 1955. The term Barndoor is credited to Jeff Walters and is in reference to the large decklid found on those vehicles.


Somebody had to say it, nothing barndoor about it. It’s a 1963 double door panel with some sort of camper conversion.


This so called conversion you refer to I believe to be original. There was a Mr. Hardening that lived down the street from me when I was small that had one. When he bought it new he showed it to me and it was more or less like this from the best of my memory from the factory. It was cool I just don’t remember it opening up that high in the front. But they were still creme of the crop in their day!


This is just a late panel van with double doors. Converted by Montgomery Ward or Sundial. It is by no stretch stock or from the factory. Not trying to be mean but the lack of basic facts regarding it’s history make the rest of the story questionable.


I’ve been into air-cooled VW’s for over 30 years and as stated earlier this is not a “barn-door” but a double door that was an easy order from your local dealer back in the day. The bus had many names throughout the world i.e. bus, kombi, samba etc. here in the US it was known as the Bus which came in 4 versions from 1950-1967: Standard, Deluxe, Deluxe Micro (21-23 windows and a sliding ragtop ) and Westphalia (the camper). Hers has some aftermarket or home made conversion kit and the side windows are also aftermarket.

As for her story where is the proof: i.e. photos or documentation. If it truly has been sued by the US and it is a “true court case” that documentation would be public record and therefore she should have a copy of it to back up her claims. Or try to have past registrations or something other than her word of mouth otherwise any classic vehicle owner can tell tales of grandeur about their vehicles. Sorry but I’m not believing it.


FYI sbdubya… That VW’s History was documented by the Writer, Jeff Peek, and you can read the Hagerty article here, as was published in their Dec 14, 2017 Article. I seriously doubt that Hagerty would publish misinformation… https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2017/12/14/classic-of-the-month-vw-bus

Cheers, Rob