VW Super Beetle 1976
Chassis number 1572043991
- One of the most popular cars in the world
- Timeless convertible body style
- Mint condition
Starting price: 60 000 PLN (estimated 80 000 – 100 000)
(14 100€/18 800-23 500€)
Engine: 1.6-litre, H4
Power output: 50 break horsepower
Other: manual gearbox, rear-wheel drive
Legal condition: registered in Poland, “yellow” vintage-car number plates
The shape of this immortal Volkswagen is recognizable all over the world. It is often tenderly referred to as “Garbus” here (Polish for “Beetle”) or Käfer in Germany, but it actually started its life under a generic name of “Typ 1”. It was created by Ferdinand Porsche himself. Despite the fact that the basic design was already done in 1930s, mass production hadn’t started until 1945, right after the end of World War II. Younger versions bore the names of VW 1200, 1300, 1500, 1302 or 1303, although the car was also sold under the VW Beetle moniker. Three first names were derived from engine’s capacity whereas the 1302 and 1303 were the subsequent generations. Even though over the years the car was modified only slightly, over 78 000 modifications were done to it throughout its life cycle. However, its unusual basic layout, that is rear-wheel drive with an air-cooled engine behind the rear axle, remained unchanged till the end of production. Thanks to VW, Fiat and Renault, market share of “RR”, that is rear-engine, rear-wheel drive cars in Western Europe rose from less than 3 % 1946 to 30 % ten years later. The Beetle, along with the likes of the British Mini, Italian Fiat 500, French Renault 4CV and Dauphine or the Citroën 2CV, was the pioneer of the budget car segment. It was also a reference point for the Americans when they designed compact cars.
The body was a two-door fastback sedan with a flat windscreen. The car could accommodate four passengers on two rows of seats, it also offered storage space under the front bonnet and behind the rear bench.
Throughout 65 years of production VW made 21 000 000 examples of the Beetle. It is the longest-running and most-manufactured car of a single platform ever made. In 1961 during a lawsuit launched by Czechoslovakian manufacturer Tatra it was decided that the VW Typ 1 was to some extent based on the Tatra T97, which resulted in paying a settlement to the Czechoslovakians. In 1974 VW presented the Mk I Golf, which was supposed to replace the ageing Käfer. 20 years later a concept car dubbed “Concept One” was unveiled, which bore close visual resemblance to the Beetle. In 1998 the New Beetle, which shared its underpinnings with Mk IV Golf was launched. The last classic Käfer number 21 529 464 rolled of the production line of the factory in Puebla, Mexico on July 30th in 2003.
This particular example of the Beetle in convertible guise left the factory in October 1976. It was originally destined for the United States. Little is known about its ownership history. Its odometer currently shows 6440 miles, but it is difficult to tell whether it is its original mileage. Possibly this is the distance the car has covered since engine rebuild, which could have been done back in the United States. The car has a new paint and roof cover and a refreshed interior. After being imported to Poland, the suspension, brakes, gearbox and engine were thoroughly serviced. All components were re-sealed, any leaks were removed. The engine did not show any signs of major repairs, which proves that the car was in fact barely used. The car comes with a certificate issued by Volkswagen, proving its current specification matches the original factory one. The legendary Käfer in a convertible guise is a superb opportunity to acquire an iconic vehicle in an interesting specification. Prices of these cars are on the rise again, they become especially sought after in its homeland – Germany. The car’s condition is more than satisfying.