Original Owner – 1976 VW Beetle

It’s interesting that VW was able to concurrently sell their iconic legacy product – the Beetle – at the same time as the more modern and better Rabbit. Imagine Honda selling their 1986 Civic alongside the 2016 model; though even this is not an accurate comparison, since VW had completely changed the fundamental concept of their entire product lineup between the senior and junior cars. And sure, by 1976 people were not exactly buying Beetles as fast as VW could make them, but you could still walk into a showroom and get something truly aged – perhaps the closest we are to this today are some of the American manufacturers’ products, like the Panther-platform cars (Crown Victoria / Town Car) or the Chevrolet/GMC vans, but these are only half as old and not facing more modern competition in the same class from their own manufacturers. Check out this 1976 VW Beetle for sale for $3300 in Daly City, CA.

1976 VW Beetle left side

Amazingly, this car is said to have had only one owner – since the term “original owner” is so frequently misused, does the seller count among those? Not much other detail is given, but the Sapphire radio is said to be working, while the car is said to be very clean. There’s something interesting about the base 1970s specification of this car – perhaps it looks like other slightly updated cars sold in foreign markets, with design cues clearly dating from a different era than the actual cars.

1976 VW Beetle rear

California yellow-and-blue plates do something to substantiate the first-owner story, and these should be right for the year of the car. This was the age of the safety bug, with extra-large tail lights and big chrome impact bumpers – perhaps all that show was intended to comfort owners who’d just bought into 1946 crash technology, because they were still getting the same impact zones as Heinrich got in 1946.

1976 VW Beetle interior

The only other part of the car you get to see is the interior. Hopefully what’s under these newish covers is not torn, and it’s not clear why one would purchase seat covers with so much vinyl that they’d be no more comfortable than the seats underneath. Either way, they’d get flung into the same trash pile as the steering wheel cover. Everything that’s visible in the interior looks quite good for its age. The fun thing about Beetles is there are different flavors for everyone – which do you prefer?

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2 Responses to “Original Owner – 1976 VW Beetle”

  1. steve in podunk Says:

    it’s got a sunroof too,, I don’t much care for these cars; slow, noisy, cramp, lousy driving, uncomfortable and as you said, you’ll perish in any kind of serious accident; why they were and are so popular is one of those mysteries of marketing and nostalgia, but this is probably a pretty good deal if it ain’t rusty.

  2. Tom Says:

    Some good comments from Steve – Although I have a different perspective.

    I’m six foor three. Driving a Beetle means arriving at my destination alert with a smile on my face and a moderate body work-out.
    Modern cars you just sit in – but a Beetle you drive. They’re actually quite agile – okay, maybe not Subaru WRX, but they can go quickly round corners when you get the hang of them, and they’re fast enough so long as you don’t mind thrashing the box – these cars were designed to take it.

    You certainty burn more calories operating an old Beetle than you do wth anything designed after 1990. I’m not a biker but bikers have told me being on a bike makes them feel alive – a Beetle is a similar experience.

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