Restored 1956 Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet

The Beetle is usually overlooked but we can always appreciate a good example. It's legacy is so conflicting: they're collectible, yet over 21 million were made, they're triumphs of engineering, yet intended for everyday use, they were promoted by fascist Germany of the 1930s, yet later embraced by North American counter culture of the 1960s. Is there any corner of 20th century life the Beetle hadn't touched?

The best and most sought after examples of course are the purest, earliest, and cleanest. This fits all three bills.

Only 331,847 cabriolet versions were officially built from 1949-1980 by huge manufacturer Karmann. Styling is pitch perfect and the loss of a roof seemingly created a second new classic in its own right. The design is also handled well with the top up. Chrome window frames roll up to support the roof when closed. The black paint is a little eerie but still really cool, and the mirrorball wheels add some playfulness although we would do without the white mudflaps. Inside, the grey and white interior brightens things up.

Underneath the rear latch is 1200 cc flat four-cylinder air-cooled engine that produced a mere 36 horsepower. It won't be winning any drag races, but, as the seller says, "its appeal is in its reliability and thrift, making this a hobby car without compromises". Couldn't have said it better myself.

COTC has showcased two other impeccable vehicles from this seller before and their Beetle is no different, with dozens of clear photos of every angle inside and out, and a better than average writeup. They say this Beetle is restored, but has been done so in a careful, quality, and period-correct manner. They don't mention whether it is matching numbers but do say the engine is a correct '56 unit and everything was rebuilt to original specifications except for a new 12-volt electrical system cleverly hidden inside a vintage generator.

The asking price is really high, but the restoration must have cost a lot too. If you're looking for a refreshed Beetle in better than new condition that is ready for a new life, take notes. Even if you don't plan on considering this, it's great inspiration.

Available here on ebay for a $39,995 and the Make Offer option.

1 comment:

  1. I looked at the car in question on the ad, and noticed there seemed to be alot of photoshop work done on the pictures, or at least it appears that way. I also noticed the car was sitting much higher than a stock passat would sit so it seems to me the pictures have been doctored.