Is there any car that’s more recognizable than Volkswagen’s Type 1 Beetle? It single-handedly built a 58 year legacy out of honest, no frills transportation. And today, it continues to be one of the most endearing shapes on the planet. That’s because there simply isn’t any platform with a better combination of vintage style, cool engineering and big-time affordability than a vintage VeeDub. And from a collector’s standpoint, they’re plentiful, fun, easy to live with toys which enjoy a cult-like following and a positively gigantic support system. This sweet ’56 oval window coupe, the product of a frame-off restoration that’s been aged to perfection, is the ideal classic for a budget-minded collector or anyone who just wants an awesome weekend warrior. If you’re looking for one of the best and most unique rides your money can buy, welcome to the ‘people’s car’!
Sporting a clean coat of bright red paint, this fully-sorted and completely road ready Beetle is the beneficiary of a thorough, frame-off restoration that likely doubled our asking price. And while its body isn’t perfect, it is very straight and carries a smooth shine that will look excellent motoring down the road to either a VW show or your favorite local hang-out. The restorers began by stripping the car’s solid fuselage to bare metal and smoothing and prepping each of its panels. Once those panels were completely flat, and aligned to better than factory standards, they were evenly coated in a high quality, two-stage urethane and buffed to a mirror-like shine. The end result is one sharp, well-aligned bug with a top notch appearance that’ll provide years of worry-free fun!
Being that the Beetle is one of the most popular and longest running brands of all time, you only need a few contacts and a little bit of luck to find almost any replacement part. And as you might imagine, this bug’s body features a ton of factory-correct bolt-ons. At the front of the car, a classic curved bonnet hangs bright chrome trim and traditional Volkswagen emblems between a straight bumper, chrome horn grilles, sealed headlights and bullet-style turn signals. Behind that bonnet, an elegant chrome mirror, straight stainless trim and two correct door handles flank like-new greenhouse glass. Below that mirror, traditional bear claw hinges combine with new running boards and a small, vertically anchored antenna to remind us of this restored Type 1’s true age. And at the back of the car, a sculpted decklid hangs between painted tail lights, a second chrome bumper, an oval rear window, and polished and bridged exhaust tips.
Powering this classy ’56 Beetle is a 1200cc four cylinder that mixes subdued aesthetic bling with a solid 36 horsepower. Based on sound and appearance, the peppy engine has been completely rebuilt sometime in the not too distance past; and it runs beautifully, creating that famous and distinctive VW gait which has become synonymous with all boxer engines. At the top of the pint-size block, a traditional oil bath air cleaner funnels wind into a fresh 1-barrel Solex carburetor that’s piped into an old school fuel pump. Behind that carburetor, a traditional coil sparks a correct points distributor that’s snapped onto fresh silicone plug wires. To the right of that distributor, a small generator spins a pliable V-belt under a familiar “BOSCH” branded voltage regulator. Like the rest of the car, the engine bay is clean, road ready and nice enough to set up at any show. And with its high quality components, fresh gaskets and low maintenance design, the air-cooled mill will likely putter along forever!
Take a look under this solid VeeDub and you’ll find a straight, fully-sorted chassis that’s seen plenty of dry roads and years of impeccable maintenance. The car’s torsion bar front and independent rear suspensions have been completely rebuilt at some point, and feature weather-free bushings and pliable shocks. At the ends of those suspensions, manual drum brakes are all it takes to bring this welterweight bug to a standstill stop. At the back of the car, power flows from the flat-four engine into a rugged 4-speed manual transaxle. And at the corners of the car, painted steel wheels spin 165R15 Big O Radialmax tires around bright trim rings and dent-free center caps. The bottom of this Beetle is 100% road ready from its front control arms all the way to its true dual exhaust. And you can cruise down the strip with the confidence of knowing there aren’t any hidden surprises waiting for you just below its surface.
Pop open this coupe’s solid closing doors and you’ll find a restored vinyl interior that’s the perfect spot to spend a summer afternoon cruising! All four passengers, assuming two of them are very short, enjoy firm, pleated seats. In front of those seats, a painted and chrome-trimmed dash hangs a large VDO speedometer above simple accessory knobs. At the base of that dash, a wonderfully vintage shifter snakes up from coated, low-maintenance floorpans. At the edges of those floors, fully painted door frames contrast well with two-tone side panels. And above those panels, a tight tan headliner frames dark-tinted sun visors. Keeping the driver connected to the road is a restored and Volkswagen branded steering wheel that makes good use of the car’s small turning radius. And keeping the passenger’s trip gear stowed is a fully finished hatch which centers a fifth Big O Radialmax in front of a surprising amount of cargo space.
No matter the car, executing a roadworthy restoration is a very expensive proposition. Fortunately, you can walk right into our RK Motors Charlotte showroom and make one man’s loss your big gain for less than the price of a new Golf. If you’re looking for a fun and unique classic that’s stuffed with charming VW character and so much more, this fully-sorted Type 1 is your ticket!