Early oval-window 1954 VW Beetle

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The early Beetle is described as fully restored to original

Of all the collector cars, one of the easiest and most fun to own, especially for a first-time classic car buyer, is an early Volkswagen Beetle. Service and repair are easy, and the Beetle is a classic that you can viably use for day-to-day driving.

Over the past few years, Beetles have become more expensive, with the earliest ones being the most valuable. Following the first post-war split-rear-window models in value are the oval-rear-window cars of 1953-57, which included advancements to the simple original design that made them better cars overall.

The Beetle is outfitted with an original fabric sunroof

The Pick of the Day is an early oval-window 1954 Volkswagen Beetle that the Chatsworth, California, seller describes as a Southern California car that has been completely restored.

The VW is a matching-numbers car that has been restored to factory specifications, including the desirable roll-back cloth sunroof (which VW fans designate as a ragtop), and finished in Stratus Silver, according to the dealer advertising the Beetle on ClassicCars.com.

Semaphore turn signals are in working order

As such, the car packs an opposed-four, air-cooled 1200 engine that generates 36 horsepower, not a lot but a marked improvement over earlier VWs.

The car features all-original sheet metal, a rarity for old Beetles, with the correct convex-egg taillights, semaphore turn signals, ribbed venders, five-bolt hood and correct single-tip tailpipe. The car looks beautiful in the photos accompanying the ad and includes its vintage California license plates.

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The restored interior contains the correct steering wheel, lighted ashtray and Motorola Big M radio.

The interior has been completely redone

Early VW Beetles in this condition are a rarity and very sought after, and this one is priced accordingly at $34,900. The popular collector car icon, which would be welcome to just about any classic car show or rally, is almost certain to increase in value.

Since these simple cars are almost as much fun to work on as they are to drive, the new owner should grab a copy of John Muir’s superb service guide, How To Keep Your Volkswagen Alive, and enjoy this enduring classic for all it’s worth.

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

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Andy Reid's first car, purchased at age 15, was a 1968 Fiat 124 coupe. His second, obtained by spending his college savings fund, was a 1966 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2. Since then, he has owned more than 150 cars—none of them normal or reasonable—as well as numerous classic motorcycles and scooters. A veteran of film, television, advertising and helping to launch a few Internet-based companies, Reid was a columnist for Classic Motorsports magazine for 12 years and has written for several other publications. He is considered an expert in European sports and luxury cars and is a respected concours judge. He lives in Canton, Connecticut.

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