My Classic Car: Orson’s 1973 Volkswagen Super Beetle

Orson couldn't afford a real woodie, so he built his own
Orson couldn’t afford a real woodie, so he built his own

I always  wanted to own a woodie wagon but I never could afford one, I thought.

So I got the idea of using the next best thing — a Volkswagen bug. It had the running boards and outside fenders and look of the vehicles from the ‘40s. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1974 Volkswagen Thing Acapulco Edition

The Volkswagen Thing is reputed to be an authentic and original Acapulco Edition
The Volkswagen Thing is reputed to be an authentic and original Acapulco Edition

There’s something about these little beach cars that get people excited. The Fiat Jolly, with its wicker seats, cutaway doors and fringe top, is the sunny poster child of this quirky collector car niche, but there are a few other European models that have been fashioned into seaside cruisers. It’s easy to see why. What could be more fun?

The Pick of the Week is a rare find, what is said to be a totally authentic and documented 1974 Volkswagen Thing Acapulco Edition. The vast majority of VW Things were of the standard setup -– strange unto itself -– while only around 400 Acapulcos were built during a three-month period in 1974, according to the listing on ClassicCars.com. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1979 Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet

The Volkswagen Cabriolet is a preserved survivor with  only 14,000 miles on its odometer
The Volkswagen Cabriolet is a preserved survivor with only 14,000 miles on its odometer

Model year 1979 marked the end of importation for the beloved VW Beetle. After being produced in Germany continuously since 1946, this was it for the U.S.-legal version.

It also was the end of an era, and Volkswagen celebrated by offering the Cabriolet as it’s single Beetle offering for ‘79. These cars were still handmade by the Karmann factory, and fit and finish were superb.

The interior looks to be in decent condition
The interior looks to be in decent condition

The Pick of the Day is a silver-over-black 1979 Volkswagen Beetle Cabriolet in time-warp condition with only 14,000 miles showing on its odometer. The VW is offered by a private seller in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, who has owned the car since the 1990s, buying it with 12,000 miles and driving it sparingly ever since.

The car has been consistently garage kept, the seller says in the listing on ClassicCars.com, and the photos show a car that appears to be in very good driver condition.

The final edition Beetle Cabriolet was based on the Super Beetle, which offered improved suspension and more storage, as well as a bit more performance. These last cars also offered fuel injection, which makes the car more drivable and easier to maintain.

The convertible tops are masterpieces of craftsmanship, equal to the top on a Rolls-Royce Corniche. That makes it both a nice open car and a very civilized closed car when the top is up. With this century’s Beetle now in its second generation, the market for the original, rear-engine cars is likely to continue their popularity.

A final-edition Beetle Cabriolet makes a perfect first-time classic car that delivers fun and affordable ownership in equal proportions. Every part is available and just about anyone can work them with a decent set of tools and John Muir’s How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive guide to maintenance and repair “for the ‘compleat’ idiot.”

During the past decade, VW convertibles have done well at auction, and low-mileage cars like this one tend to sell for serious money at such auctions as Barrett-Jackson and Mecum. The asking price for this VW is a reasonable $14,500 or best offer, and it looks like a good deal for such a low-mileage example.

According to Jay Leno, every classic car collection should have at least one Volkswagen, and this car would be a good candidate to fill that Beetle-sized hole.

To view this listing on ClassicCars.com, see Pick of the Day

Forrest Grove Concours to show 22-mile 1964 VW Beetle

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1964 Volkswagen Beetle with 22-miles | Forest Grove concours photos

Among the anticipated 300 collector cars entered in the 44th annual Forest Grove Concours d’Elegance, July 17 at the Pacific University campus in Oregon, is a 1964 Volkswagen Beetle with 22 original miles.

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Pick of the Day: 1969 Volkswagen custom transporter

The modified Volkswagen  bus in its natural habitat, on the beach
The modified Volkswagen bus in its natural habitat, on the beach

Now that summer has officially started, what better way to hit the beach than in an imaginatively customized VW bus transformed into an open-air dune buggy.

The Pick of the Day is a 1969 Volkswagen custom transporter in sunny yellow for sale in Southern California, of course. The unique beach cruiser will definitely turn heads, and everybody would be begging for rides. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1955 Volkswagen Beetle

The 1955 Volkswagen could be described as a resto-mod
The 1955 Volkswagen could be described as a resto-mod

For Volkswagen fanatics, the older the Beetle the better. Oval rear windows, tiny taillights, side-mounted front turn signals, simplistic dash with no gas gauge, minimal horsepower, these are the kinds of things that turn on the many followers of VW culture.

The Pick of the Day, a 1955 VW Beetle, has many of the stylistic attributes of classic Beetle adoration, but it has been spectacularly restored and sympathetically upgraded into a rolling showpiece. Continue reading

Iowa barn find of VW cars and parts coming to auction

The 25 Volkswagens and hundreds of parts were stored for decades | Hoge Auctioneers
The 25 Volkswagens and hundreds of parts were stored for decades | Hoge Auctioneering

One man’s junk is another man’s treasure, or so we’ve been told. For certain Volkswagen fanatics, the recently uncovered cache of 25 forlorn VW carcasses and several tons of musty parts in Iowa might seem like a trove of possibilities.

Some of the cars could be salvageable and provide a way to get into a VW restoration project on the cheap. Or the multitude of parts could include some necessary fodder for that VW project already started, or even for supplying a VW restoration business.

A rusty VW beetle after being removed from the building | Hoge
Crusty VW beetles after being removed from the building | Hoge

The mishmash of VW cars and parts, oddly found packed together on the second floor of a lumberyard building in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, will be auctioned June 10 and 11 by Hoge Auctioneering, a business that specializes in farm and estate sales. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1965 Volkswagen Beetle

The 1965 Volkswagen Beetle has just 22,553 miles on its odometer
The 1965 Volkswagen Beetle has just 22,553 miles on its odometer

Volkswagen Beetles could be the most common of all collector cars (well, Ford Mustangs might be close), with loads of avid VeeDub enthusiasts, clubs and events. Beetles appeal to young hobbyists for the simplicity of their classic design, easy repair and low cost, as well as their vast customization possibilities.

Too bad the great majority of them were used up and discarded and allowed to rust away rather than being preserved. Which is what makes the Pick of the Day such a great find: a 1965 Volkswagen Beetle in apparently immaculate original condition with just over 22,000 miles on its odometer. Continue reading

Eye Candy: Air-Cooled Arizona unites VW, Porsche adherents

A nicely decked-out Volkswagen Karman-Ghia nestled alongside a Porsche 911 ‘outlaw’ | Bob Golfen photos
A nicely decked-out Volkswagen Karmann-Ghia nestled alongside a Porsche 911 ‘outlaw’ | Bob Golfen photos

Air-cooled cars are mostly things of the past, but there are some vintage ones from Germany that are among the most popular of all collector cars: Volkswagens and Porsches.

Phoenix collector Erik Black tinkers with both rear-engine VWs and older Porsches. He belongs to clubs and goes to events that generally break down into either VW people or Porsche people, but rarely both. Continue reading

Pick of the Day: 1963 Volkswagen Type 3 notchback

This 1963 Volkswagen Type 3 notchback appears well-restored and customized
This 1963 Volkswagen Type 3 notchback appears well-restored and customized

Among Volkswagen enthusiasts, the Type 3 notchback has an unmistakable mystique. Rare survivors are highly sought after, especially on the West Coast, mainly because the classic shape makes such a perfect template for a cool custom Vee Dub.

The 1963 VW Type 3 notchback offered for sale by a dealer in Laguna Beach, California, naturally, is all done and ready to show and drive, according to its listing on ClassicCars.com. Hunkered down over correct-looking custom wheels and treated to a gleaming silver paint job, the notchback is a rust-free western car, the seller says, that performs as well as it looks. Continue reading