10 Hours Left! Garage-Sale Find ’63 Beetle

I’ve always held out hope that I’d stumble upon a garage sale wherein a vintage car in the garage would be half-heartedly for sale by the longtime owner. Perhaps they’re downsizing, and the spouse doesn’t want to take the Sunday driver with them. That may be along the lines of what put this 1963 VW Beetle convertible here on eBay after the seller spotted it in St. Petersburg, Florida.

St. Pete is one of my favorite places to visit in Florida, and I’m not surprised this Beetle was found there. I’d put equally good odds on the Beetle being a long-time resident belonging to an artsy owner or a fun weekender that some snowbirds purchased when they made the move south permanent. Whatever the story may be, this early Beetle convertible appears to be in excellent cosmetic condition and largely original. The top does “work” but the seller says it could use a good cleaning.

It’s encouraging to see matching paint outside and inside the door jambs and dash, which hopefully indicates this Beetle hasn’t been repainted. The seller says the Beetle could use new door panels and carpet, but I don’t see anything too alarming in these photos; throw some Coco mats on the rug and buy some new clips to re-seat the passenger panel in its mounting holes. You’ll notice the original radio has been kept in place with a modern unit stowed in the glove box – nice attention to detail.

The seller says the engine and transmission show up as correct for a 1963 model, but stops short of calling them numbers matching. The engine does appear clean with some signs of use that do more to make it look undisturbed than ignored. Said to all of its major mechanical components working “as they should,” we don’t know much about the car’s maintenance history and the seller is letting his pictures and videos do the selling for him. What do you think – is this rapidly winding down garage-sale-find auction about to get interesting?

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Comments

  1. Steve

    I wonder why a lot of the pan bolts are missing on the drivers side…..

  2. Jeffro

    I see a remote oil filter on left side of fan.

  3. Woodie Man

    help me out here folks…..looks to me like later front seats maybe ’68. Amateur restoration…..either the pix distort the color or the jambs and door tops are a lighter baby blue.

    Since I’ve forgotten most of what I used to know chapter and verse on bugs perhaps Howard will parachute in and discourse on the subject.

    Lucky for me its on the other side of the country.

    Still a nice easily handled driver funmobile.

    • Len

      Seats are definitely later. I’d say ’68 too.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi WM, when I cheat, I use this site. I agree it’s an older restoration, the oil filter is not stock ( obviously) and there was a screen by the drain plug to clean. It is a 40 hp. but the “timing wheel” may indicate some sort of engine mods, as on a stock VW, close on the timing was good enough. Also agree, very nice bug. ( oh, btw, no heater, if that’s an issue on a convertible in Florida, but there’s no hoses from fan to the heater boxes, if any, but a pre-heater hose to the air cleaner?)
      http://www.vw-resource.com/years.html

    • audifan

      Seats are definitely from a 1968. IIRC that was the only year for the wide integrated headrests. 1969 and later are smaller. I also think this blue is not a factory color.

  4. Puhnto

    Pretty sure there’s been some re-painting somewhere along the line. I don’t think that color is correct for a ’63 and someone correct me if I’m wrong, but the wheels were always painted a different color than the body, from the factory. And of course, WoodieMan has already pointed out the seats are wrong. I think the whole car was re-done somewhere along the line.

  5. Patrick McC

    With a massive rust/filler bubble the size of my fist in the driver rear quarter panel, I would stay far away from this one. Although very pretty, this car shows signs of paint/filler failure and rust all over.

    • Jason

      Yep looks like they just painted over it. And another on the opposite side. Blech.

  6. the one

    Ok so why the air cleaner hose passing out through the pan? wet roads won’t work to well..
    The engine is really tired My sisters boyfriend drove one of these in 1966. I remember it being gutless, and I was like,12.

  7. Andrew S. Mace Member

    Hmm, that old adage about “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all”? Well….

    • The One

      To whom r u referring?

      • Andrew S. Mace Member

        Strictly to myself! ;)

        However, due to the reaction to my initial comment, I suppose I would have been better off to point out the numerous flaws I see?

  8. boothguy

    The reinforcing rails unique to converts that run under the body behind the running boards are gone. Notice the lack of jack points, the doors appear to be sagging also.

  9. John P

    This turd…. Well–I said it.. Ugly repaint-bad interior job–NOT a barn find.. Com’on…

  10. Francisco

    It always slays me to see an ebay listing that states “Free Local Pick Up.” Why would a local pick up be anything but free?

  11. Howard A Member

    Gone at $9,650. It saddens me that people would pick this car apart. I can only hope it went to someone, that on Friday evenings, take the top off, and take the grandkids to get an ice cream, or a cruise down Daytona Beach. Or up the PCH, or down Atlantic Blvd. These cars weren’t about speed, but a direct expression of the times. Times we’ll never see again, or cars made like this. Of course it’s not going to be perfect, but you just can’t go down the block and buy a new ’63 VW convertible. This was a pretty good example of one. I hope someone builds a lot of memories with this.

  12. Jake

    Interesting, I met a guy once who also bought a Beetle at a garage sale. I guess if you’re gonna sell a car on your lawn it should be small…

  13. john clark

    I had a 63 beetle while in high school, around 1966. In central Nebraska they were scarce. We always flashed our headlights at other on coming beetles, and waved. It had 36 HP. Was really slow. Put a gas heater in it. That was great. It could make you sweat. Never mind the carbon monoxide. Otherwise you had to use ice scrapers on the windows from the inside. Great party car, even hill climbed with it. Those were the days.
    Put a header on it and bumped it up to 40 HP. You learned at a early age what “drafting” was when passing someone on the highway. Took eons to pass a semi.
    Every time I get nostalgic and want to buy one, I’ll go look at it, and bang my head on the door/roof jamb getting in the drivers seat. Maybe that’s why the 60’s are sort of a blur in my mind.

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