4 April 2017

eBay Find of the Week: This Beetle is a perfect starter convertible

1973 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible

We’re often asked what makes a good first classic car for beginning enthusiasts. It has to be fun, relatively cheap to buy and maintain, and reliable enough to be driven regularly. Air-cooled Volkswagens often make the shortlist. More than 21 million (!) Beetles were sold worldwide over their seemingly endless production life, which started in pre-war Germany and ended in Mexico in 2003. In the U.S., they were sold in the U.S. from 1950-79.

This ubiquity won’t do wonders for their long-term values but it does mean that parts will remain plentiful and Beetles enjoy strong aftermarket support. The simplicity of their air-cooled engines means that even a novice can tackle one as a first project.

While they were certainly never fast, they are capable of keeping up with (legal) modern traffic though you won’t be passing often.

In any case, the basic Beetle spawned many variants but the iconic original remains abundant and affordable. A nice convertible, like this week’s eBay find, represents an interesting entry point in top-down fun. Later Beetles, sporting plastic dashes, lack some of the earlier models’ panache but are also more capable on modern roads and offer even lower costs of entry.

Everyone seems to have a VW Beetle story—what’s yours? If you’d like to know what to look for when shopping for a Beetle, watch this.

4 Reader Comments

  • 1
    Chuck Minn. April 5, 2017 at 16:57
    It was fun to go to a drive-n-dine, park with the parking brake on, engine running and with the transmission in reverse. When the waitress came out to get my order I would backfire the gas heater and pop the clutch making the back of the car jump up. It would stop the waitress in her tracks. :-)
  • 2
    Ron Kimmel Southport,NC April 5, 2017 at 17:16
    Back in 70s;up in Bflo. NY,we bought winter junks & put R "Muscle cars" in storage. Roads were salted all the time up there,which reaked Havok(RUST)-everywhere. VWs we're great in snow,& when a deer crossed ur path-the faster u we're going,the easier they Rolled right over the bug. Best car in that situation,& ive had some "boats"(Lg. Cars),back then. This happened numerous times over 10 yrs. & always felt Safest in a VW.
  • 3
    luigi naples April 26, 2017 at 05:11
    very interesting car
  • 4
    Sara Moore Tifton, Ga May 20, 2017 at 20:32
    This car is beautiful. I sold my 1973 super beetle convertible years ago and have regretted it since. I have the serial # and wonder if there is a way to find it. Any ideas?

Join the Discussion