With the millions of VW Beetles sold in this country and the world, they’re still pretty ubiquitous. So it’s hard to find what you might call an unusual version of the Beetle. For people north of the Mexican border, this is any Beetle built after 1979. The latest versions even had fuel injection and a catalytic converter, which must be pretty similar to final Canadian/US spec. Mexican built Beetles have an interesting mixture of features compared to the standard Canadian/US Beetles, and late in their production run lost things such as the flow-through ventilation system and any chrome fittings. Check out this this 1971 VW Beetle for sale for $3600 in Vancouver, WA.
Fitted with a factory catalytic converter and chrome bumpers, it’s likely this car was built sometime between 1991 (when the cat was added) and 1995 (when chrome fittings disappeared). So you’re close to the 25-year exemption, though apparently some sneaky enthusiasts got Mexican Beetles in the country by building them up on earlier US-market pans. The dark red looks smart on this car, and this style wheel seems specific to Mexican Beetles. If you look closely, you can see clearcoat failure on the upper areas of the frunk.
The car is being sold for the elderly owner by their mechanic, and the owner claims the 38,000km indicated to be accurate. It’s hard to say whether or not to believe that, since the odometer only goes to 5 digits. Some of the condition of the rest of the car suggests it might be more. As you can see, she was probably not able to turn her neck to look backwards, resulting in a bent bumper and dented rear fender/hood. Chrome bumpers are rusting, so you’ll want to budget to have that fixed up somehow.
The interior is said to be needing a cleaning, and looks pretty rough for a car with such low miles. The piping on the side of the seat is broken, and the seat bolsters look worn. The 1990s wheel (“You might know me from other cars such as the VW Fox and Golf”) does not belong here, though it’s probably safer – there must be a suitable version from a 1970s car that would look better here.
Contrary to some of the other indicators, the engine actually looks in line with that of a low-mileage car. All the cadmium plating on the pulleys, carburetor, and other pieces looks great, and it looks like you could work on it without getting your hands too dirty. The plastic air filter box sure looks too modern for this kind of car, but you won’t see that if the hood is closed. So do you prefer the low mileage and presumably greater reliability of this recent Beetle enough to risk trouble with the authorities, or would you go for vintage?