A 1964 Volkswagen Beetle with just 23 miles on the odometer has hit the open market and can be yours for the low, low price of $1 million.
You read that right: A Volkswagen Beetle with a seven-figure price tag.
That would shatter the record for the most expensive Beetle ever sold. To put the $1 million price tag in perspective, Hagerty estimates that a 1964 example in concours condition would go for about $30,000.
The car was put up for sale by Burback Motors in Portland, Oregon. Pam Burback, who co-owns the dealership with her husband, said they decided on the price tag after speaking with officials.
“We took a trip to Wolfsburg, Germany, to the Volkswagen factory to the museum and spoke to the people at the museum and got… the (car’s) birth certificate and they just said, ‘Pick a number,” Burback said in a phone interview.
Museum staff told the couple that, while the Beetle is certainly a collectible car with a big following, they had never heard of one bought new and stored immediately.
“They were absolutely amazed,” Burback said. “They couldn’t believe it. He said, ‘We don’t know (of a similar) car.’”
Purchased new at a Vancouver, Washington, in 1964, the Beetle was originally owned by Rudy Zvarich. At the time, he owned a 1957 Beetle and specifically sought the ’64 model to serve as a replacement whenever his beloved car died. He was also worried Volkswagen would ruin the car in future iterations.
Zvarich was so dedicated to preserving the ’64 that he drove it home using a separate battery. The original dry charge system has never been used. The car has not been licensed and the windshield wipers and hubcaps have never been attached and are still in the original box.
It remained under cover, raised on blocks and drained of fluids in Zvarich’s garage until 2016. He had passed away and his entire collection was passed on to his nephew — Burback’s husband. It took about a year to dig the classic out, as Zvarich’s garage was filthy.
“As the story goes, my husband and his cousins were playing around the cars in the garage and one of them put a scratch on the Volkswagen and his uncle got very upset about it,” Burback said. “He put the car in the corner and that was the start of security by hoarding.”
After enough phonebooks, newspapers and scrap metal were cleared — “dump truck loads,” according to Burback — the Beetle saw the light of day. It had never even been washed.
Burback said the car, which she sees as a piece of art, should be on display.
“My thought is that this is a museum piece,” she said. “I have grandkids growing up. I can’t take the chance that one of them is going to scratch the other fender, so it’s time to go.”
Burback said the Volkswagen museum doesn’t have the funding to buy the car, but she has received interest from at least two people. One of them made a standing offer of $500,000.