‘Pawn Stars’: Rick Discovers a Vintage 1950s Volkswagen

by Victoria Santiago

On an episode of Pawn Stars, Rick Harrison had a beautiful vintage 23-window 1959 Volkswagen Samba show up at the shop. When people are faking 21 and 23-window buses, this Samba was like a needle in a haystack – it was the real deal.

Of course, to verify that the Samba was authentic, Harrison brought in an automobile restoration expert. Bill Tsagrino would check to see what model the bus was, if everything on it was original and if it ran properly. The ’59 Samba was a European model. The bus featured fluted lenses, which just means that the lenses are segmented to redirect the light. The Samba was painted sealing wax red, a popular color that refers to the color used to identify letter senders in the 1600s. “It’s a good-looking bus,” Tsagrino remarked.

The best way to see if the bus is authentic is to check the m-code plate. The m-code plate will let people know what day, month, and country a vehicle was manufactured in. For this specific bus, everything on the m-code plate was correct, which means they had a real 23-window bus on their hands.

Vintage Items Show Up Often, But Don’t Always Stay

Rick, hoping that it was completely original, said that he was more than willing to pay six figures for the bus. Tsagrino mentioned that at auction the bus would only bring around $120,000 to $140,000. The owner that brought it in seemed taken aback by this number. His original asking price was $175,000. Although the buses are gaining popularity and rising in value, auction prices are simply not guaranteed. Rick and the owner haggled a bit but ultimately couldn’t make a deal. Rick’s highest offer was $112,000. The lowest the owner would take was $125,000.For some people that come into the pawnshop, it’s hard to part with their items to begin with. The same is true for the owner of this vintage bus.

Vintage items roll onto the Pawn Stars lot often. We all hope that a deal can be worked out, but sometimes that’s just not the case. The 1959 Volkswagen Samba wasn’t the first and definitely won’t be the last. For example, two sets of vintage dolls were also kept by their original owner.

Although they were worth the amount that she had hoped to sell them for, she couldn’t agree on a selling price. She originally wanted $2,000 for the doll sets and said that her lowest offer would be $1,500. She walked away with the dolls after not being able to compromise. The shop‘s highest offer for the dolls was $1,400, only $100 less than what she had hoped. As always, she’s told to come back if she changes her mind. If not the creepy vintage dolls, we at least hope to see the vintage VW bus again.