15k-Miles! 1965 Volkswagen Beetle

Our air-cooled aficionados will want to look at this car! This beautiful 1965 Beetle reportedly has only 15,000 original miles, and is available for sale here on eBay right now, in Asbury, New Jersey. Seriously, look at this thing!

I’m admittedly not an expert on old Vee-Dubs, but I know that, despite its dubious beginnings, the original Beetles and Super Beetles went on to become the 4th-best-selling automobiles in history, with about 21.5 million sold worldwide from 1938 to 2003. And for good reason: Reliable, affordable, economical transportation, among other things (I’m not counting the “New Beetle” or the iterations since then). I don’t believe that I could possibly say anything new and different about the “People’s Car” – every word necessary has already been written a hundred times.

This car in particular, though…wow! From the description and pictures, we see an incredibly well-kept example, with at least some paper provenance.  We’re told that is has had some resto work, but it retains its original 1.2-liter engine, right down to the Solex carb and Bosch fuel pump. It wears the correct Fontana Gray paint and red Leatherette interior, as well as a bamboo package shelf under the dash. We’re also told that is has been garage-kept since new, and was acquired from the estate of a collector. It has zero rust and is ready to show or drive at your leisure – and I do mean “leisure” because anyone who’s ever driven one can tell you that they were not built for speed.

Again, I’m not super familiar with older VWs, but I can tell you that I would indeed want this car for my own. I’d have to call my Uncle Walter, who paid his way through college in the late 1960s as a Porsche/VW mechanic, for his expert knowledge, if I had to do any serious work to it later on. The seller says these cars are gaining value, and I can’t say that I disagree. I’d have it in my garage, would you? Got a cool story related to one?

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Comments

  1. Bear

    Wow! Nice older V-dub.
    It is getting hard to find unmolested examples like this these days.
    Bidding is already showing that this car will bring big $$$.
    :-)

    12
    • Brakeservo

      When I looked at the eBay listing there was NO BIDDING, just a “Buy-it-Now” that may very well be reasonable IF the car is as nice in person as it is in the photos . . . but that’s a big IF. Years ago I had a business and did inspections on eBay listings and found a full 90% were seriously mis-represented!! It’s amazing the “adjustments” one can make with a digital camera!

      14
      • John Burkhimer

        My first car down to the year make model color and everything. I was 15 and grand pop bought for me in the summer of 1991….for $250

  2. Howard A

    Yeah, this is a nice one. I think VW was at it’s zenith with these mid ’60’s Bugs. Simple, cheap ( the least expensive car sold in America for years until I believe, the Gremlin undercut it by like $50 bucks) dependable, cruise all day at 55mph, outstanding gas mileage, for it’s time, it was the best automotive bargain to be had. Sadly, at this price, it excludes many people who would enjoy this car.

    21
    • Garry

      Fifty-five! I had a 1967 1300, it would cruise for hundreds of miles at 65 mph (sometimes more). And it loved a bit of rough stuff!

      2
      • Howard A

        That’s true, depending on a head wind or not. Actually, running them hard, the fan did a better job of cooling the motor. The 1300 was a much improved motor.

        1
      • Garry

        They can catch fire easily after a front-ender. Unlike the type 3, they don’t have a firewall between the cabin and the boot.

  3. Todd Van Winkle

    Absolutely gorgeous! I’ve got the same car but a convertible, that beautiful interior is called “Mesh Red”..wow..love it!! Rare indeed.

    9
  4. Farhvergnugen

    Well, this certainly is a low-mileage car that you just KNOW wasn’t accumulated, one-quarter mile at a time…

    11
  5. OhU8one2

    I think by looking at the seat upholstery that the mileage claim is true. In 65′ VW used a vinyl type material for one year only, this car has that. You cannot find original or repo material anywhere. So I believe with that and other clues, this is a very low mileage car. Very nice indeed.

    8
  6. Vudutu

    I am astounded this on eBay at current 15k price. This should get professional buffed and go to Henning’s.

    3
  7. JP

    I had one back in the day just like this one (not mileage) as a temporary way to get around & it was great plowing through the snowmounds left against it from the snow plows!

    2
  8. A.J.

    Bet I’m the only guy here who had one with A/C! My ’68 came with dealer installed a/c when new. Most had it in San Antonio, too damn hot most of the time! Pedal to the floor it would hit 62 MPH. When the compressor kicked in speed would drop to 58. And it floated away from our apartment parking lot one spring monsoon. Pushed it back and chained it to the carport like a boat. Boy that little car was fun.

    18
  9. Vince

    I remember a friend of mine buying a brand new Bug in 1966 it cost him about $1600 dollars, this bug will for 10 times as much . The cost of inflation

    3
  10. the one

    Dang!

    2
  11. theGasHole

    That shelf under the dash is worth quite a bit of $$$ that was not a common option at all from what I understand. For this to be this rust free, and here in NJ….it must have been very well cared for and stored. Very impressed.

    6
  12. mikestuff

    I graduated from high school in 1967 and knew a girl all the way through junior and high school whose dad was a car guy. Nancy always had a car when we were in high school and even before she was of legal age. She had a big old Plymouth sedan and then graduation year, her dad got a new Beetle, I think a 1967. It looked not unlike this one but I wasn’t part of her crowd that would have afforded me a ride in it. And of course, it wasn’t an American car so lots of parents of that era still didn’t like the Germans, people or cars. I had a minor crush on Nancy as did most other boys in our class.

    Didn’t see her until about 15 years later I was working for a VW dealership and saw Nancy drive in one morning in her Beetle. She was getting ready to give it to her son for high school use and the car needed some service. She remembered me, which was kind of surprising. And I never saw her again.

    In 2017, we had a 50th high school reunion and Marilyn F. (now, her I had a crush on!) put together some displays of picture of the class of 1967, those who had passed away in the ensuing 50 years. And the picture of Nancy showed her getting out of her VW.

    9
  13. David Frank David F Member

    Whatever the history of this Beetle this appears to be an incredible survivor. There is a nice old VW in the museum collection. When we have it out for Sunday Drives I’m always surprised and delighted by how many people choose it as the car they’d like to have a ride in. Some love the nostalgia but many younger folks are just curious about a car so different from modern cars. It’s like a missing link between antique cars and today’s cars.

    4
  14. Russell Casey

    Lovely car. I have owned two. Almost time for the first engine rebuild. :) Just saying.

  15. Cranky Steve

    Attached is a photo of the interior of my 1960 Indian Red Beetle. One has to admire the simplicity of the air-cooled venerable VW. I drive and maintain my own vehicles because it is FUN…and the Fun Factor of a VW is off the chart. VW folks are my kind of folks.

    Collectors and speculators, many of whom do not know the difference between a crescent wrench and a torque wrench, have ruined the market for the Type 2’s (that’s the station wagon/bus to those from Rio Linda), so let’s hope they keep out of the Bug market for a while.

    12
    • Mountainwoodie

      Don’t bet on it. Though the saving grace may be the girth of the gold chain bedecked yahoos who bid 100K on Type 2 21 windows ( and wouldn’t be caught dead on them back in the day) probably can’t fit into a Beetle today. So there’s that.
      On another topic, those of us in Rio Linda don’t go deaf from abusing oxycontin though :)

      4
  16. Will Owen Member

    Went to work at an Anchorage AK newspaper (then THE big one, now defunct) in the winter of 1965, delivering to businesses and coin racks. The vehicle was a newish VW with only a driver’s seat and plywood covering the floor, onto which was piled 300-500 papers per day. The car did have a gas heater, but I stayed bundled up anyway. It was a much easier car to drive on ice, especially, than my own Mini. Its only problem was on the two- or three-mile stretch of straight road from Anchorage Airport to the Seward Highway, because both the steering box and brake MC were exposed to subzero air, and both became pretty much unusable unless I drove at very low speed … which my schedule did not allow. There was one time a ripple in the road sent the car sideways, and although I managed to countersteer I couldn’t move the wheel back! And stepping on the brake pedal was like stepping on a brick. It was sheer dumb luck that kept me out of the ditch.

    I agree that this is THE Beetle to have, though I’d go for a later engine. The cars are quite sweet to drive briskly, though not exactly what you’d want for a day of canyon bombing!

    7
  17. C5 Corvette

    When my Wife and I got married she had a 4 year old 65 VW exactly like this one, same colors. I had a 3 year old Galaxy Conv 7 liter. We didn’t keep the VW very long and it had turned into a Flintstone car…..no rear floor!

    3
  18. Jack Quantrill

    Calif., a while back offered $750 to owners to get old smoggy cars off the road. At the crusher, some old guy gave up his pristine ‘65 for the $750, rather than have it fall into someone else’s hands! Watched it get flattened.

    6
    • Cranky Steve

      Thanks, Jack, what a way to start a weekend with such a depressing thought! Just kidding, brother…wasn’t your fault.

      5
    • Patrick Farmer

      I hope that man’s butt grows shut. You should have rolled him for the $750. Just kidding, Ha, Ha, Not, Not, Not, Not,……Not

      6
  19. RexFox

    Should be a 1300, not a 1200. Beautiful car! Prices are already heading ‘bus-ward’, although not as quickly. Religiously change the oil and adjust the valves every 3,000 miles and these cars will last forever. Keep an eye on the battery tray though.

    2
  20. Bob McK Member

    I have owned so many of these as a kid. Would love to bring this one home.

    1
  21. ken tilly

    Looks like the wheels have been widened. I used to travel 1000 miles each way every year to visit my in-laws and I used several different makes of cars including a 1956 Austin Westminster 105 3000cc, (I think) 1955 Austin Healey 100/4, 1962 VW Kombi Bus 1200cc, 1962 Ford Cortina 1200 cc. Whichever car I used I knew that it was going to be a 24 hour, nearly non stop drive. Then I bought a 1962 VW Beetle 1200cc and knowing that if I stopped for anything else other than a pit stop, it was going to take me forever, so I didn’t stop unless I needed petrol and I did it in 20 hours!! It also used a lot less fuel than all of the others.

    3
  22. Mountainwoodie

    Welll…if this is the MOST stunning example of a restored/original Beetle in the world, clearly the seller has never been to California. :)

    That aside, it is very nice. Except, except………….the seller does not make it clear what exactly is new and what is original, leaving my conspiratorial id to spin in the cavernous empty space it occupies. That usually means that the seller doesn’t know or care. Bad sign either way when you’re asking this coin.

    Long ago and far away in time I bought my step son a ’66 sunroof which was original and cherry and by then it was almost thirty years old. It had a metal sunroof.

    In no time flat, being a knucklehead ( and besides it didn’t cost him anything), he managed to have it stolen by some Cholos who thought if they rattle canned sprayed the perfect original exterior paint they could hide it from Five Oh..

    Being future occupants of Tehachapi, and none too bright, they left the plates as stolen on the car. After they were apprehended some days later cruising down the street, incarcerated and subsequently released on bail, one of the criminal masterminds appeared at my son’s door and asked for the stuff they left on the floor in the back seat. Of course, the knucklehead, instead of taking a bat to their skulls, gave them back their stuff.

    True story!

    4
  23. Patrick Farmer

    No, wait now let me guess. You found it running after it floated out of the barn. Did it come with any spare parts, like a radiator cap, muffler bearings or a bottle of blinker fluid?

    1
  24. TimM

    Certainly a rarity to find a bug this nice in the snow belt of New Jersey!!!!

    3
  25. Bob McK Member

    Loved your story. It is almost funny! Isn’t it fun to be young and stupid? Thinking all the time that you know everything.

    2
  26. bruce baker

    i see lots of cherry old V- Dub’s being driven all around Glendora Ca. now a days. I remember when Ford Pinto’s seemed to way out number Bugs on the road. It’s 2019 an i barely remember what a unmodified Pinto looks like. Where did they all go? Their was a highly modified not running flat black pinto wagon like 10 years ago forsale parked near my house. Then it was gone. If Pontiac had made an 1984 Firebird wagon, it would look a lot like this pinto.
    Back to this beautiful WV, i hope the new owner gets that car out to the warm west where there is no salt on the roads.

    1
  27. Howard A

    Everybody has a Beetle Bug story. Can’t say that about many other cars.

    1
  28. Wayne

    Hey Howard A, I don’t have a story, as I have never owned one. ( my wife says that she can’t believe that to be true) Yes this one is very nice looking. But having never owned one, I have no affection or appreciation for them.

  29. Steve S

    I remember when I was a kid my grampa had 2 or 3 beetles and 2 or 3 square backs in his driveway and they all ran and drove and he used to work on them on the side and he had about a dozen cases and transmissions and some body pannels and a couple boxes of carbs and a couple boxes of lights and 3 or 4 brand new cams that was never put in an engine they was still in the original box and plastic covered in the assembly oil so they wouldn’t rust and he also had a set of domed Pistons and a set of concaved Pistons and some flat top Pistons and some heads and window glass in his attic and seats at my great uncle’s house that was in perfect condition and anything else you can think of for parts and when I was about 16 he got rid of about half of the stuff and just sold the rest of all of it last year and every time me and my dad or grampa go to his garage we end up finding more VW stuff and set it to the side and I let my buddy know we found more stuff for him and when my buddy came to pick it all up he couldn’t believe how much VW stuff he was getting and he didn’t make the space big enough for all of it in his barn and he collects VW stuff also and he has a VW crew cab VW bus truck or what ever it is and he has a VW thing and some other cars that I don’t know about

    1
    • Ken Tilly

      Steve S. I believe that must be the longest sentence that I have ever read.

      5
      • Henry Longfellow

        Agreed. I had to come up for air twice while reading.

        1
      • bruce baker

        Yup!

        1
    • KVNJ

      Steve S… punctuation is your friend.. but a really nice story.

      • Steve S

        Sorry but I never was good with punctuating anything you don’t punctuate while talking

  30. Howard

    Dangerously slow , squirelly handling , virtually nonexistent brakes. Overheated in traffic jams, no heat in winter. Snow would build up in the front fenders , especially wet snow, and you would attempt to make a turn and find out you couldn’t . And they weren’t that reliable, maybe by 30’s standards. The passage of time has made these cars out to be legendary, but the only thing legendary about them was the low price and decent fuel mileage. The reason the vast majority of people drove these things was because they couldn’t afford something better.

    • bruce baker

      You must of had a rare lemon or two. As our 2 Bugs, & 3 Ghia’s never ran hot or were never hard to stop on our steep Altadena/Glendora Ca. streets. Plus my dad, & me was always blowing big cars off the line. Yeah the square backs, & vans did get known for hot worn out number 3 cylinders though if poor maintenance on the vents. The Bugs, & Ghia’s handled great on our dry warm mountain roads. Get a snow machine.

    • ken tilly

      I have owned several VW Bugs from a ’56, ’57. ’58, ’61, 62, ’64 and a ’70 and never had any of the problems that you had Howard and that was when I lived in Durban, South Africa, where the temperature was often in the mid thirties with over 100% humidity. As a previous commenter stated, you must have bought a couple of lemons. As for decent mileage, once they moved on to the 1500cc motor that was the end of the economical Beetles. They were no better than the 4 cylinder Fords of the day.

    • Garry

      A glance at the results of Australian Reliability Trial results for the era would offer a different assessment of their reliability. My personal experience differs from your observation, also.

  31. ken tilly

    I have owned several VW Bugs from a ’56, ’57. ’58, ’61, 62, ’64 and a ’70 and never had any of the problems that you had Howard and that was when I lived in Durban, South Africa, where the temperature was often in the mid thirties with over 100% humidity. As Bruce Baker commented, you must have bought a couple of lemons. As for decent mileage, once they moved on to the 1500cc motor that was the end of the economical Beetles. They were no better than the 4 cylinder Fords of the day.

  32. ken tilly

    @Steve S. Quite right, we don’t use punctuation while talking, but we do take a breath now and again.

  33. Garry

    I am a bit of a punctuation freak! However . . . this is a car enthusiast forum, no one should be discouraged from contributing because his/her grammar fails to reach some assumed standard! Most of us could dig his lingo. Give him a break!

    2
    • Cranky Steve

      Right on! I am in complete agreement about grammar and this being an enthusiasts’ forum. We all make grammatical mistakes from time-to-time, so please lighten up. Next, will we be criticized for incomplete sentences, subject-verb agreement, proper tense (past, present, & future), slang, and heaven forbid, leave a dangling participle? This ain’t the place for that!

      Let’s focus on compression ratios, crankshaft end play, and piston ring gaps instead.

      1
    • ken tilly

      No discouragement intended. I enjoy reading all of the coments, whichever way they swing.

    • TimM

      I totally agree with you Garry!! I’ve had some auto correct misspell what I was trying to write and had someone jump down my throat for it! This isn’t high school English or English 101. So I really wish the nit pickers would go to some other form to check spelling and punctuation!!! I can’t stress that enough!! Go get a job at a grammar school!! ( no pun intended ) I’m sure everyone that reads it understands what he’s saying!!!

  34. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    Sold for $15,395.

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