HomeFeatured VehiclesPick of the Day: 1998 Volkswagen Beetle

Pick of the Day: 1998 Volkswagen Beetle

The first new Beetle imported into the US


The VW Beetle is an absolute icon of the automotive world. Ask anyone over the age of 40 and they are more likely than not to have a “Beetle story” usually involving some crazy hijinks of things not to do in a car. The original Beetle was not just a car, it transcended into being thought of as a cultural phenomenon. The Beetle is also a important collector car with even Jay Leno stating that every serious car collection needs to have a Beetle in it.

The last official year the original Beetle was sold in the U.S was 1980, and yet more than 40 years later it is still pretty common, especially on the west coast, to see an original Beetle driving down the road, still being used by choice as daily transportation.

After the Beetle VW evolved into a very different company building Golfs and Jettas; but while these were good cars, in doing so VW sort of lost their innocence and charm. The sense of whimsy that the Beetle had engendered over the years had disappeared.

It seems that the leadership of the company was aware of this because in the early 1990s Volkswagen did something unexpected. They introduced a concept car they called Concept 1. It was a new take on the old and much loved Beetle.

The copy they used in the intro video said it all:

It’s funny the things we remember. The things we hang on to. The first day of school. A first dance. A first kiss. Our first car. Some things are simply unforgettable. One little things can bring it all rushing back, a song on the radio, seeing an old friend at the beach, the friend you could always depend on. Everything was less complicated then, a jukebox played your favorite song, and a car was part of the family, right from the start.

What if quality never went out of style? What if originality still meant something original? What if simplicity, honesty, and reliability came back again?

The Concept 1 was introduced to the world at the 1994 North American International Auto Show in Detroit and was the single biggest hit of the show. The car was designed by Freeman Thomas and J. Mays, and public reaction was so strong that Volkswagen decided to actually build the car. Production began in 1997 and the car was launched in 1998. Volkswagen sold as many new Beetles as they could built. I actually bought one myself, a 2002 Beetle Turbo S.

What is interesting is that in 2024 it is getting harder and harder to find a 1998 New Beetle in truly great condition. This is a car that I honestly feel will be a serious future collector car, and the Pick of the Day is about the best one I could find.

The Pick of the Day is a 1998 Volkswagen Beetle finished in its original white paint with its original grey cloth interior. It is a very interesting example as it is the very first new Beetle imported into the United States. The car has covered a total of only 116 miles from new and is a true museum piece.

The Christiansburg, Virginia, dealer offering this car states that David Levy of David Michael VW was asked by VW to assist with the final production design of the New Beetle. He was flown to Germany and worked with the team to assist in creating this iconic car. In the fall of 1997, David Michael Volkswagen of Freehold, New Jersey, was allocated the first car shipped to the U.S. It was never sold and kept as a display piece until the dealership closed.

This car is completely original, and if you want a new Beetle as a car for a collection or museum this is the one.

The asking price might seem high at $49,000, but I challenge you to find another.

Click here to see the listing for this Pick of the Day

Andy Reid
Andy Reid
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.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recent Posts