1974 VW Beetle Up For Auction – And It’s Done Just 56 Miles

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A 1974 Volkswagen Beetle with just 56 miles on the clock is being prepared for auction. The question is: What on earth would you do with such a car?

The original owner was an elderly Italian who, according to Silverstone auctions, was a deeply religious gentleman who trekked the short distance each Sunday in his Beetle from his hill house to church.

By 1978, he was too frail to go to church much anymore, and as such the car went into disuse.

Today, its engine still contains the original oil, while the tyres have never been changed.

The original books and invoice still survive, while the tool kit remains unwrapped.

It truly is a staggering piece of VW memorabilia that would be worth $45,000 of anyone’s money – provided you had the cash and needed one of these, as opposed to a sensible 5-door hatch for your family.

A Fascinating Beetle

The 1974 VW Beetle in question is a VW 1303, which was nicknamed the Super Beetle in the U.S. It comes without vents in the engine lid, largely because it relies on the original 1300cc engine that foreshadowed the 1600cc unit.

It’s also an Italian market Beetle, which makes it even hotter property. Any lucky buyer will get treated to front indicator lights that were only ever available on Italian models, which essentially makes it akin to the holy grail.

But no doubt this car’s biggest selling point is the fact that it has been driven less in its 42-year history than most cars manage in a single day.

Which leads to my original question: If you buy this, what would you do with it?

Once you put mileage on it, it surely loses what’s made it so endearing in the first place.

The Beetle, though, is unquestionably VW’s spiritual car. At a time when the brand finds themselves embroiled in a very grown-up scandal, the cheerful, wholesome Beetle harks back to a glorious, carefree era for the brand, a time when Herbie filled the hearts of children everywhere with joy.

Nowadays, VW just sneakily fills our lungs with pollution.

Will Titterington
  • 18th May 2016

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