- Mileage: 29,766
- Year: 1961
- MOT Expiry: TBC
- Exterior Colour: Black
- Interior Colour: Oatmeal Cloth
- Top speed: TBC
- 0-60mph: TBC
- BHP: 34
- Transmission: 4-Speed Manual
- Engine Capacity: 1192cc
- Engine Configuration: Air-cooled Flat 4
The VW Beetle has become an iconic vehicle worldwide, and has built a huge loyal following. As the floor pan and running gear can be used without the body being attached, it’s become a firm favourite amongst kit car builders. Beetles have been turned into Porsche 356 replicas, beach buggies, and Nova kit cars to mention just a few. When production stopped in 2003 in Mexico over 21 million air-cooled Volkswagen Beetles had been produced. Over eight decades of manufacturing came a whole variety of models, ranging from 25hp through to the 1303S, or Super Beetle, with independent rear suspension.
Fashions change and over the years the VW Beetle has seen styles come and go. By the 1960s the trend to build street-legal drag racers was taking hold in the USA, especially on the West Coast. Here in the UK smaller tuning companies such as Speedwell developed carb tuning kits and alloy wheels.
The Beetle story started in the early 1930s but production started officially in 1936. The Second World War all but stopped production until the British army rebuilt the factory and production commenced of the ‘Splitscreen’ Beetles. These were very basic cars with engines from 985cc (24hp) to 1131cc (25hp).
1953 to 1956 was the time of the “Oval Beetle”. Very similar to the Splitscreen, but with the split removed from the rear window making it an oval. Small developments aimed at improving driver comfort and making the Beetle appeal to foreign markets, including a new 1192cc engine with 30hp.
In 1957 the rear window was enlarged to the rectangular shape that would stay for the remainder of production. The windscreen and side glass were also enlarged in August 1964. These Beetles still retained the sloping headlights, long bonnet, link and king pin torsion bar front suspension, swing axle torsion bar suspension at the rear, and 5 bolt wheels as previous models. Engine options were now 1192cc (34hp), 1285cc (40hp), and in Aug 1966 the 1493cc engine with 44hp. The flat windscreen design remained until 1973.
Original Black paintwork, Original cloth upholstery, 4-speed manual transmission, Steering lock, Wing mirrors, Driver and passenger sun visors, Cross-ply white wall tyres, Polished hubcaps, Parcel shelf, Glove compartment, Peak number plates, Spare wheel.
Looking every bit the ‘60s icon in black with period white wall tyres, this fantastic ‘61 Beetle boasts an attractive aged patina throughout. But what really makes this example so special is that it has never required any welding. Better still, following a check over with our paint depth gauge the paintwork appears almost entirely original, with only one small repair having been carried out to the offside front wing early on in the car’s life. As to be expected with 60-year-old paint there are a few minor blemishes to report, namely a peppering of stone chips at the front end, but nothing to detract from the overall charm. All in all, a true survivor in highly original and very solid condition, ready to be driven and enjoyed for many years to come.
VIEWINGS WELCOME BY APPOINTMENT ONLY /// ADDITIONAL PHOTOS AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST
The classic Beetle cabin presents extremely well throughout. The seat upholstery is all very original, as are the door cards, dash and headlining, again all boasting a really nice level of patina that can only be acquired with age. The Oatmeal square weave carpets are in fine condition and the rubber footwell coverings are also immaculately presented. Some nice period accessories include the string parcel shelf, central dash gauge, and steering lock.
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
With its 1.2-litre flat-four the Beetle is a real joy to drive, and what it lacks in power it more than makes up for in character. Under current ownership the car has been lightly re-commissioned with any worn or perished items replaced as necessary. The engine bay is particularly tidy, not overly dressed but in very good original condition. The car has just been inspected by our trusted air-cooled VW specialist for the new keeper’s peace of mind.
WHEELS, TYRES & BRAKES
The 15-inch steel wheels present in good original condition, finished in the correct two-tone paint scheme and still wearing their original polished hub caps. They are shod in a matching set of Firestone cross-ply white wall tyres, which make for a striking contrast against the exterior paintwork. The tyres have plenty of tread remaining and the brakes perform well on test.
The Beetle was first registered in Sweden in July 1961. Following on from a long period of dry storage it was imported into the UK in 2013 and has remained with the same owner since that time – the V5C shows zero former keepers. The History File is complete with a raft of invoices detailing the car’s recent maintenance history, various DVLA and shipping documents, plus some nice period paperwork from Sweden. Original, unwelded and truly unrestored examples of this era of Beetle are fast becoming a rarity, especially in such fine working order.
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