pa_trick
I want to get back into the air cooled world and am looking around for project cars. using the following considerations:
- cost/restored value
- parts availability
- best reliability
Which year/model of beetle do you think would be the best to shop for?

Patrick
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74 Super Sun Bug (the partner's)
71 Super Cal Looker (mine)
the "Shade tree mech" for both...
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MY72BUG
This will draw all sorts of opinions - here are mine. ( MY72BUG is a ' 72 1302 Super beetle convertible which I restored from death's door over a four year period 1999-2003)
- cost and restored value?  The older the better - and the older the more expensive the restoration and very old and very rare parts if you want to be absolutely authentic with your work.  Beetles and vans (especially 1967 and earlier vans) are good bets with parts sourcing being very easy.  Kharmann
 Ghias - great for value but expect to pay big bucks up front, mechanicals are generally all Beetle but sheet metal for repairs is not as readily available.  Also true - when the top goes down, the price goes up. Convertibles add new challenges for umpteen rubber seals etc etc. They are out there but they cost.
-parts availability?  Check out CIP1 for example.  Parts are out there and by comparison with other antique car restorations they are cheap.  Again, very old specialty parts can be a challenge so '68-'79 looks better than '45-'67. 
- reliability?  These are all at least 30 year old cars.  They are as reliable as you make them.  You can do very valuable upgrades such as electronic ignitions, and disc brakes so your restoration can be more reliable than the bugs from back in the day.  Do your work in a conscientious fashion and you will have a reliable car but oh don't those old bugs have their quirks!  While chasing down a bad ignition I had my formerly reliable bug die on me on 4 consecutive outings?  New ignition switch and I am back to A-1 reliability until some other 36 year old part decides that it is time to die.
-best year and model?  I like my Super.  1973 was when the rounded out windshield happened and the dash changed from the old flat dash to the fancy one which is expensive to work on and a pain in the groin for access to wiring etc. behind the dash.  Pre 1967 is 6 volt country unless it has been changed and this offers lots of new challenges. 
- Whatever you check out, think body.  The mechanicals are readily available and generally cheap.  A rusted out body can be fixed but the cost of good body work will quickly surpass the value of the car.
Dan (MY72BUG) in Goderich, Ont.
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flash

MY72BUG wrote:
This will draw all sorts of opinions - here are mine. ( MY72BUG is a ' 72 1302 Super beetle convertible which I restored from death's door over a four year period 1999-2003)
- cost and restored value?  The older the better - and the older the more expensive the restoration and very old and very rare parts if you want to be absolutely authentic with your work.  Beetles and vans (especially 1967 and earlier vans) are good bets with parts sourcing being very easy.  Kharmann
 Ghias - great for value but expect to pay big bucks up front, mechanicals are generally all Beetle but sheet metal for repairs is not as readily available.  Also true - when the top goes down, the price goes up. Convertibles add new challenges for umpteen rubber seals etc etc. They are out there but they cost.
-parts availability?  Check out CIP1 for example.  Parts are out there and by comparison with other antique car restorations they are cheap.  Again, very old specialty parts can be a challenge so '68-'79 looks better than '45-'67. 
- reliability?  These are all at least 30 year old cars.  They are as reliable as you make them.  You can do very valuable upgrades such as electronic ignitions, and disc brakes so your restoration can be more reliable than the bugs from back in the day.  Do your work in a conscientious fashion and you will have a reliable car but oh don't those old bugs have their quirks!  While chasing down a bad ignition I had my formerly reliable bug die on me on 4 consecutive outings?  New ignition switch and I am back to A-1 reliability until some other 36 year old part decides that it is time to die.
-best year and model?  I like my Super.  1973 was when the rounded out windshield happened and the dash changed from the old flat dash to the fancy one which is expensive to work on and a pain in the groin for access to wiring etc. behind the dash.  Pre 1967 is 6 volt country unless it has been changed and this offers lots of new challenges. 
- Whatever you check out, think body.  The mechanicals are readily available and generally cheap.  A rusted out body can be fixed but the cost of good body work will quickly surpass the value of the car.
Dan (MY72BUG) in Goderich, Ont.

Dan just gave you a great reader's Digest version of what to consider.  Owning a VW Bug is fantasic.  I get thumbs up and people coming up to us all the time when we're out in "The Blues."  But.....I have a great VW mechanic who has been working on this car for 30 plus years.  A Bug is a whole nother ball game when it comes to mechanical work.  Your average shade tree mechanic and water cooled guy will often times not know the little tricks of the VW Bug trade. All I'm saying is start out with the best conditioned bug you can find.  I know where's there's two here in Arizona that are just parked in a guys back lot.  Arizona cars generally are more likely rust free if they're truly an Arizona bought car.  Good luck.  I would hate to be trying to buy a Bug now days. I'd spend a fortune on one already to go looks wise and mechanically.

Loren R. Knapp
In The Hot Sonoran Desert of Arizona - 73 Super Beetle "The Blues."
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fatalifeaten
Everything they've said.

One thing I'd add is that if you're looking for a car you can restore and flip,  you're better off getting something like a muscle car or a tri5. VW restorations will typically set you back more than you'll be able to sell them for in the current market. This is actually true for almost all collector cars unless you're into the quarter million and up club. Guys will drop a hundred grand on a nice '32 Ford (resto or rod) and only see 50-60k when they sell it. Same deal here.

Having said that, earlier is better. Restored early cars will definitely go for more in most cases than pristine late models. There's a legendary 1950 split window that sold  at auction for 70 grand a couple of years ago. That's the exception. They don't ever sell for that. A comparable car might go in the 40k range tops in a private sale, and the seller would be happy as a pig in mud.

I'd look for a 60's model. Early ('60-64) will cost you more initially, but will have a better ROI. Later models ('65-'67) will cost less but have a lower ROI unless they're really exceptional. 1967 is the exception. Lots of one year only parts as it was really a transitional year like no other in VW's history. A clean original '67 is worth a fair sum to the '67 collector market, but some of those year only parts are very difficult to find.

Euro models (especially right hand drive) will bring higher prices than domestics stateside. Factory options that can be documented as original to the car will help too.

Earlier splits and ovals can be very prohibitive to get into and the vintage nazi community will pick your car apart if you don't drop a tidy sum on it to do it perfectly.

I'll admit to a prejudice here. I have a '63 ragtop and a '66, so I'm very attached to that era of cars. My '66 would probably sell for what I've got into it right now, so it's a wash. Once I finish the rag, I'll probably never see the price hit what I'll have into it, but I don't care, that's not why I bought it. You can definitely do a lot with 60's cars for a lower cash outlay than even supers (sorry guys, your body parts are expensive!), and expect a decent return on the investment.
Daily Driven Dubz Phoenix AZ Family


'66 Deluxe
'63 Deluxe ragtop
'61 Deluxe
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pa_trick
Guys, you all raise good points. I have done restoration on 3 cars before this (57 Pontiac Star Chief, 62 Bentley S2 and 53 Chevy Pickup 9 window) None of those were cheap and I only ever really got money back on the 53.

Bugs just plan make more sense these days. My partner just picked-up a 74 Super and he is the documented 3rd owner with a decent history file. The body is good and with a new carb it runs really nice. Needs a full interior, but he got it for $700. I think he will do ok.

I have been leaning towards a 68-72 Std Beetle. I have been looking at parts for the super and I agree they average about 20% more. I just wanted a sanity check.... thanks

Patrick
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74 Super Sun Bug (the partner's)
71 Super Cal Looker (mine)
the "Shade tree mech" for both...
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68autobug

pa_trick wrote:
Guys, you all raise good points. I have done restoration on 3 cars before this (57 Pontiac Star Chief, 62 Bentley S2 and 53 Chevy Pickup 9 window) None of those were cheap and I only ever really got money back on the 53.

I have been leaning towards a 68-72 Std Beetle. I have been looking at parts for the super and I agree they average about 20% more. I just wanted a sanity check.... thanks


Hi,

Well, I'm a 68 beetle guy Myself .... lol

I always liked the 68 beetle as in Australia, We went from old sloped headlamps and 6 volts to 12 volt vertical headlamps disc brakes etc
in One year... 1967 to 1968...   Mine is an autostick..
Body and chassis were OK .. No major rust problems in Australia unless you live on the beach.. lol..
I have a Son who has VWs and also Fords [Australian made] and the prices for parts for the Fords are sometimes 10 times MORE expensive than beetle parts... 
We never had the European 1967 beetle - the ONE year only beetle..
That was one of the biggest years for volkswagen...

If You can find a rust free 68-70 1500 beetle [Maybe 1600 in the US]
they are one of the best examples IMHO....  lol

The last beetle sold in Australia was the 1976 Standard beetle.. [Non Super]
and it was very close in specifications to the 1968 beetle....
[All the Autosticks had the IRS CV Joint rear end..]

cheers  and welcome

LEE

http://community.webshots.com/user/vw68autobug

68AutoBug - helping keep air cooled Volkswagens alive in Australia & around the World -

http://community.webshots.com/user/vw68autobug
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68autobug
 
Hi Again,
You can still pick up a 1960 - 1976 beetle in fairly good condition in Australia
for around $2000AU -
If it has been restored or overhauled its worth around $7000+
Completly overhauled and restored for $12,000..
 
My 1968 beetle is insured for $11,500AUS
 
but a Split Window transporter [type 2] 1957- 1967
are around the $5000 for one not roadworthy
to $20,000 for a good one and $45,000 for a restored and overhauled vehicle.
 
cheers
 
LEE

68AutoBug - helping keep air cooled Volkswagens alive in Australia & around the World -

http://community.webshots.com/user/vw68autobug
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pa_trick
I would love to go "down-under" and do the bug thing, but alas I am in the greater Seattle area where older bugs are pretty common. I am looking at 3 1970 bugs at the moment, all are for under $750 and none run.

I am taking the earlier advice and paying a lot more attention to the body. The mechanical really is relatively simple. One of these has major wiring issues which scares me a bit, but a new harness is not really too bad either.

Patrick
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74 Super Sun Bug (the partner's)
71 Super Cal Looker (mine)
the "Shade tree mech" for both...
Quote 0 0