The Legendary 23 Windowed Volkswagen and.... Chicken tax?
How often do you see a 23 windowed vehicle?
In the US Volkswagen's were classified by how many windows they had. the basic was a 11 windowed Volkswagen called the Kombi. The Deluxe Model of the Kombi came with 15 windows; eight rear side windows and two rear corner windows. Then they had the 23 windowed vehicle; The Samba or if your from Australia the Alpine. During the time period of the Samba's release Volkswagen recommended taking this vehicle on tourist trips over the Alps.
Eventually after the 1964 model year the rear corner windows discontinued making the 15 window the 13 window and the23 window the 21 windowed Volkswagen.
Now if you came here to figure out what the Chicken tax was about your in for a history lesson. Some Volkswagen Type 2 models played a historic role in history in the 1960's known as the Chicken War. France and West Germany placed tariffs on imported chicken from the U.S. Two months after President Johnson took office he proposed a 25%(that's a lot...) tax on potato starch, dextrin, brandy, and light trucks. Basically, the US was imposing taxes on items being imported from Europe to counterbalance the loss in American Chicken Sales in Europe. When this tax became active, Volkswagen cargo vans and pickups disappeared from the U.S Market. They can still be found in the U.S but are rare. Believe it or not the Chicken tax still remains in effect in 2017 however; most vehicles post 1971 have had the import tax paid.
Another fun note is the price difference of these vehicles... The Samba has easily gone for over $150,000 in today's market. While doing research I also read a bizarre case were one went for $250,000. My guess is two guys with lots of money wanted that Samba.
It is pretty amazing honestly, VW especially the Bus, is one of the most customized vehicles of all time, they are very well accepted from full on custom to completely bone stock original. The VW bus, is a rig that you can own and put your personality into it, and in the end it makes everyone smile.
If you want to read more on these vehicles check out the Links below.