VW Beetles are still so common in the western states that it’s often hard to get too excited about them, unless they have some special feature. And by the late 1970s, Beetles were antiquated cars, largely superseded by the Rabbit/Golf and Jetta, and the convertible awaiting replacement by the 1980 Rabbit Convertible. However, they did benefit from updates such as fuel injection to pass the new emissions standards, better impact protection, a catalytic converter, rack and pinion steering, and strut suspension, along with minor luxuries we would now expect as standard. As one of the last true convertibles to be sold before the expected ban on open-top cars, various special editions were made. Today’s car is not one of those, but it does benefit from many of the end-of-days upgrades – check out this 1976 VW Super Beetle Convertible, for sale for $4000 somewhere on the San Francisco peninsula, CA.
Those of you shouting scam will be interested to know that the seller’s area code lines up with a southern peninsula location, and for what it’s worth, the car wears California plates. Yellow works great on these later cars, and appears to be the original color or a the result of a very thorough repaint. This car’s finishes look very good, and while the paint and wheels seem to be original, the top fabric has to be more recent, showing no fading. It’s said to have all new tires, and to have all features working – not that there’s much to break on these simple cars.
Top, windows, and transmission are all manual, and the car shows about 85,000 miles. Unfortunately, 1976 is the oldest a car can be and still require smog testing, so you’ll have to contend with that, but this car does have a recent smog test so you know it’ll pass again if you do it soon. However, looking up the test history does reveal a history of failing and passing, so you’ll want to dig into that a bit further with the owner.
This interior is amazing for a cheap-ish 38-year-old car. Seats are in great shape and tear-free in the original material, and door panels and dash are great, with only a few cracks at the gauge pod. Can you smell that VW/Porsche vinyl-horsehair-gasoline-oil smell yet? The car is said to have a full dealer (!!!) service history – does anyone at a dealer still know how to work on one of these? Half the people there are probably younger than the car.
Things are even clean, if fairly cramped, under the hood. 48hp will not win many races, but at 1800 lb. you will probably still be quicker off the line than your average driver if you give it some stick. While the seller uses a lot of exclamation points and too many caps (one word in all caps is too many), the level of detail is enough to give the impression of a good, well-kept car. To further underscore the point, he even included some pictures of the car going through a car wash, not something most people with a 1976 convertible would expect to do successfully. So what do you make of this – is this a steal?