If you’re not a Volkswagen aficionado, you might be scratching your head over the price tag on this immaculately restored 1956 Beetle cabriolet. That’s no mistake, early Beetles, particularly the ultra-rare convertibles like this, are red-hot collectables and at the very top of the Volkswagen food chain.
This particular convertible is fresh out of the restoration shop and although the quality of early VWs was impressive, this car is nicer than any factory-built car sold in a Volkswagen showroom. The early bodywork is distinctive, although the overall shape is recognizable, and VW fans delight in the myriad of detail changes that separate the generations.
This one also carries accessories like a locking rear lid, laminated safety glass, and oversized reflectors in the taillights, as well as the big bumper guards called Ram protection by the factory. And all of it is exact, beautifully finished, and expertly assembled, with new glass, fresh chrome, and spectacular paint.
The simple blue and white interior is a pleasing contrast to the basic black paint, suggesting a bit of open-air fun is hiding inside this businesslike German. Like the exterior, every bit of the interior has been comprehensively restored to better-than-new condition, including fresh door panels and matching seat covers, new firewall insulation pad, and a correct black rubber mat on the floor.
The instrumentation is simple, with a big speedometer with hash marks to show shift points, but precious little else to clutter the dash. An original AM radio is an interesting option, and all the plastic components have been expertly restored or replaced with high-quality reproduction pieces. A rotary switch controls the single Marchal fog lamp up front, a super-rare period accessory.
Overhead, there’s a fully lined convertible top that folds easily and offers a fitted black canvas boot. Up front, the trunk space is largely filled with the matching spare tire and gas tank, so you’ll have to learn to travel light in your Beetle.
The engine is a 1200 cc flat-four, air cooled, of course. With 36 horsepower, performance is leisurely, but its appeal is in its reliability and thrift, making this a hobby car without compromises. The engine is fully rebuilt to original specifications, save for a 12-volt electrical system upgrade hidden inside an original-appearing generator.
All the parts are correct German-sourced components, the engine is a correct 1956 unit, and the finishes are the same as those used by the factory. The 4-speed manual transmission is as vague as ever, and the swing-axle suspension requires attention when you’re running hard (such as it is), but that’s all part of the charm of an early VW. The finishing touch are restored black steel wheels with bright hubcaps wearing 165R15 blackwalls.
This vehicle is located in Streetside Classics’ Charlotte, NC showroom. For more information, please call (704) 598-2130 or toll free (866) 542-8392.
5400 West Wt Harris Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28269
Tel: (704) 598-2130
Toll-Free: (866) 542-8392
Sale price: $29,995.00 USD