What you''re seeing today in the VW Beetle market is a generation of folks who were raised at the tail end of the Beetle''s run turning back to their past. As a result, cars like this 1978 Beetle convertible are no longer regarded as merely cheap fun, but legitimate collectors'' items and the days of finding a nice one for $5000 are over for good. The upside of all that is that nicely restored Beetle convertibles are showing up, meaning that you don''t have to do any of the dirty work to relive the past. This sparkling white convertible has obviously had way more than the asking price wrapped up in its rejuvenation, offering a lot of new equipment on top of a very solid original car. The paint has a bit of pearl in it, so there''s a little upscale shine in its surface, and it seems to accentuate the Beetle''s curves in all the right places. These were well-built little cars, and the best ones are those whose undersides have never been ravaged by the elements, and on this one the doors open and close solidly and the top fits neatly without a struggle. Shiny chrome and stainless trim in all the original places makes for a familiar look, form the simple bumpers to the parking lights perched atop the front fenders, and the Beetle might be the last passenger car to offer running boards as standard equipment. The dazzling black and white interior looks like it''s never had a passenger. The seat covers are brand new, and replicate the originals with vertical pleats and comfortable padding underneath. Black carpets keep it from feeling too sterile inside, and even the door panels show minimal signs of use. Woodgrained inserts on the dash aren''t particularly convincing, but that''s how they were built and they remain bright, indicative of a car that''s led a good life. The speedometer with integral fuel gauge shows crisp markings, with all the secondary controls managed by levers and rocker switches just below. A newer AM/FM/CD stereo head unit fits in the dash like it was born there and provides the right soundtrack for this fun ragtop. And speaking of ragtops, the black canvas convertible top is brand new and features a correct heated glass rear window, a rare find in a car at this price range, yesterday or today. The engine is VW''s familiar 1600 cc flat-four, air-cooled, of course. Everyone knows the sound and if you''ve driven one of these before, you know that performance is surprisingly lively. If you''re a first-timer, you can rest assured that the little boxer engine is an over-achiever and moves the Beetle with aplomb. The engine bay is very tidy, with a clean engine block, new ignition components, and a shiny new air cleaner on top. It runs and drives like a Beetle should, with the 4-speed transmission offering fun shift-it-yourself action that only takes a little familiarization. Nicely finished stock steel wheels wear modern 165/80/15 radials that look right and handle better than the originals. Pound for pound, it''s still hard to have this much top-down fun for so little cash. There are probably cheaper Beetles out there, but not many are finished to this level. Call today! This vehicle is located in our Charlotte showroom. For more information, please call (704) 598-2130 or toll free (866) 542-8392.