1958 Volkswagen Beetle
4-cyl. 1192cc/30hp 1bbl
With an experienced team and a lot of data.
The Volkswagen Beetle made its greatest changes to date in August 1957, when the 1958 model debuted with a larger square back window, double the size of the oval one dating from 1953. At the same time, the windshield was also enlarged and squared up, with thinner A-pillars and increased height.
Volkswagen went from strength to strength in the U.S., and Beetle production increased to 441,941 sedans worldwide, with 9,577 cabriolets. U.S. buyers purchased 78,261 of the new “big window” Beetles, though the Cabriolet window remained small, due to the need to fold the bulky lined top. Prices increased slightly with the 1958 Beetle Deluxe Sedan at $1545, the Sunroof Sedan at $1625 and the Cabriolet at $2045.
Inside, the car the radio speaker was moved beside the speedometer, the glovebox door had a push button and dropped open, a chrome strip crossed the dash, and the roller accelerator was replaced by a pedal.
The engine received a taller and smaller air cleaner, and carburetor improvements led to claims of 35 mpg or better. Magnetic oil drain plugs were introduced and sealed tie-rod ends became optional. The wipers were placed closer together to increase the swept area and the steering column was shortened to be further from the driver. Soundproofing was improved as were the seats. New colors were added and wheels were painted pearl white from mid-year.
Sedan colors and codes for the 1958 Volkswagen Beetle were Black (L41), Jupiter Gray (L225), Agave Green (L240), Diamond Gray (L243), Light Bronze (L245), Glacier Blue (L334), Capri Blue (L335) and Coral Red (L351). Sunroof colors were color coded to paint. Cloth/vinyl interior colors were Gray, Blue Gray, Green Gray, Red Brown and Brown Gray, available in various two-tones. Leatherette colors were Blue Gray, Red, Green Gray, Blue Gray, and Brown Gray. Headliners were Gray or Beige, carpets were Gray Black and rubber mats Gray or Black.
Cabriolet colors were Black (L41), Bamboo Green (L241), Diamond Gray (L243), Moss Green (L244), Inca Red (L258), Shetland Gray (L329), Atlas Blue (L338) and Alabaster Gray (L473). Cloth/vinyl interiors were Blue Gray/Red, Green Gray/Green, Light Beige, Green, Brown Gray/Light Beige, Blue Gray and Brown Gray/Light Brown. Leatherette colors were the same but tended to be single tones. Convertible tops were Light Gray, Black, Beige, Green and Brown. Headliners could be Light Gray or Beige, carpets were Gray or Honey Brown and rubber mats were Gray.
Motor Trend magazine chose the 1958 Beetle as the Best Foreign Car for $1500-$2,000, and rated the service and parts situation “likely the best in America.”