Entry point: classic VW Beetle remains easiest first collector car

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beetle
The Beetle has been repainted in Ruby Red

I get asked all the time by people wanting to enter the collector car hobby which car they should start out with. My answer is always the same.

If they are looking for a car that they can maintain themselves if they choose to, that offers great build quality, is fun to drive, and is loved by just about everyone, they should consider a classic VW Beetle.

beetle

The Pick of the Day is a 1963 Volkswagen Beetle offered on ClassicCars.com by a private seller in Bakersfield, California, who is the third owner of the car and says it’s in excellent condition.

The Beetle is the only car I know of that was pretty much designed in the 1930s that people still use today as daily drivers. They were ahead of their time when new, and if you get a good example today are the easiest to own classic car.

They are affordable, have tremendous parts support, great club support, and the best shop manual ever written for any car ever: How to Keep Your Volkswagen Alive.

beetle

Due to the original quality and value of these cars, it is much better to buy a restored or preserved example than to buy a project, as you will quickly find that the cost to restore it exceeds its worth.

RELATED:  Pick of the Day: 1912 Ford Model T

This Beetle is said to be a completely matching-numbers example. The original engine has not been rebuilt, but has had a valve job, the seller says.  At the same time, the clutch, pressure plate and release bearing were replaced and all synchros have been replaced in the transmission, according to the ad. The car also has new shocks, brakes, drums, wheel cylinders, wheel bearings and new BF Goodrich whitewall radial tires.

Every bit of this car’s sheetmetal and glass are original, the seller notes, and it received a new paint job in Ruby Red, which included all new rubber seals, scrapers and felt. The car also has a correct new interior with German wool carpet and headliner, and still retains its original radio and steering wheel.

beetle

This looks to be a Beetle that needs nothing except a new owner, and the asking price of this VW of only $14,500 has to exceed the cost of the work that was done.

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.

11 COMMENTS

  1. The editor forgot the most important part of the story, the VW Beetle is cheap on gas, light in weight, easy for any mechanic to work on an air-cooled engine, and the fact that it is retired now. It is the only car maker that has retired a car so therefore it is worth millions.

  2. That is a beautiful VW, I remember back in the 70s, people would put 100 K on them with nothing but an occasional oil change. It was a great school car. A bit slow and not a sports car for sure, but always reliable. You have to love the German engineering in this vehicle.

  3. I am interested in the VW you have for sale. I would like it if I You can send me some pictures of under car ect. With interior ect thank you I will be interested thanks Peter

  4. I’m one of those guys that is NOT a big fan of the V.W. Beetle. I bought a brand new one in 1972 when I was just 20 years old. Man, was it a lemon ! It was literally in the dealer garage EVERY Monday morning (especially if I drove it on the freeway over the weekend) It was slowly pulling the rocker studs out of the heads and making a racket. Of course it was under warrantee so they would "re-adjust" the valves every Monday for free, but charge me for new valve cover gaskets. One Monday morning I pulled it in to the dealer with the left side rocker arm assembly laying inside the valve cover. It had finally pulled completely out. This car was constantly in the garage for something. But the biggest problem was this Beetle developed the worse case of "Death Wobble" (look it up) I have ever seen. It was so bad , my wife couldn’t hold the steering wheel. The only way to stop it was to slow down to 10-15 mph and hope for the best. The car was at the dealer multiple times to correct this DANGERIOUS condition and they would just blow us off and they never fixed it. I owned this new car for only 13 months and was never happier to get rid of a vehicle in my life!

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