1955 VW Beetle: Showroom Survivor

1955 VW Beetle

Given how shiny this Oval Window Beetle is, it is hard to believe it hasn’t ever been restored. It glistens like a brand new car, but is 60 years old. The seller claims it hasn’t ever been restored or refurbished. It has supposedly been in storage all of its life, with the past 33 of those years spent on display in the New Milford Volkswagen Dealership in New Milford, Connecticut. Proving that part of the story shouldn’t be hard, just find someone in New Milford who has owned a VW in the past 30 years and they will likely remember seeing this car in the dealership. It’s hard to say though what might have been done to it prior to entering the dealership. If this Bug turns out to truly be an untouched survivor, it could prove to be an important piece of VW history. The dealership is sadly closing down and the Beetle needs a new home. You can find it here on eBay with a starting bid of $20k. So do you think this Beetle should be returned to the road or kept in the stay in the safety of a showroom? Special thanks to Dan M for this tip!


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  1. MH

    Beautiful car! Would be hard for me not to drive it if I owned it. Should into a museum.

  2. RayT Member

    Should be in a museum.

    Wouldn’t be if I bought it! To paraphrase an insurance company’s TV commercials: I’m a driver. It’s what I do.

    For a brief time in the 1960s, I had a ’54, which was great fun to drive. Certainly not a “modern” ride, but it was reasonable in all respects (except no a/c, of course) and reliable. I loved everything about it.

    Probably a good thing I neither can nor would shell out $20 large for any Beetle. The one who does will probably keep it safely bundled up.

  3. Chris A.

    This is a time capsule survivor and does need to be kept just as it is. I learned to drive on a ’55 convertible and this shouldn’t be driven in modern traffic, just displayed. As far as being able to work on it, I’d love to have it as I can refer to my actual 1955 VW Service Department official shop manual. What I do remember about the ’55 is the workmanship and material quality was outstanding. It may have been an economy car but Karmann built it like a Mercedes. We had the first VW convertible in Rochester NY courtesy of F-A Motors and white wall tires were an option along with a driver side outside mirror. No gas gauge, so the first additional option was to buy a speedometer with a reset odometer. About 30 miles per gallon. The reserve lever down on the floor gave you another 25 miles, but 300 miles was a stretch. Back then many VW’s had a wrinkle in the front hood as the gas tank filler could only be accessed with the hood open and it had a strut, not a spring. You learned to lift up, release, then lower the hood otherwise you creased the hood. No syncro in first which was good to 9-10, then a careful shift into 2nd. If you learned to double clutch, traffic starts and stops weren’t a problem. The brakes were marginal even back then. Ours topped out at 68 mph. Turn signals were flippers just behind the doors. Wonderful first car for my sisters and I to learn on.

  4. Dolphin Member

    This is the way you want to buy a vintage Beetle—original, known history, sympathetically housed in one of the oldest VW dealers in the country, and now sold only because the dealership is closing. It doesn’t get much better than that….unless maybe you buy one from the VW museum.

    Speaking of which…the last time I bought one was around 1965, a 1962 M.Y. car, low miles, for $550….but not from the VW museum. Used it as my DD for 8 years, sold it for $150, depreciation = $50/year.

    Given this car’s history, condition and the market for vintage cars these days, it’s probably worth $20K to someone who wants a special older vintage Beetle. But no bids yet after 5 days. Now that the Ebay waters have been tested and (so far) no takers, maybe an auction house. There are probably vintage car auctions in CT/NY that can sell this car. Or, I’ll bet that a sale in Germany is possible at a good price providing their strict roadability laws for old cars would allow it.

  5. Rob

    I wonder if it still has that “new car smell”

  6. tugdoc

    Our local VW (Vancouver, Wa.) dealer had a wrought iron bug they used in local parades and display. It looked as if it had been pressed in factory dies, set on a stock floor pan all the electrical worked. Pretty cool I wonder what ever happened to it?

  7. jim s

    i wonder if the dealer is going to sell the yellow beetle and the pickup in the photos also. it does have a bid but reserve is not met. i would want it for a driver, would upgrade as needed but not at the price this car is going to bring. great find.

  8. John

    Pretty wild to log in and see a post about a car in the town where we live. Sad sight driving by the empty dealership. They had been in business for over 60 years. Volkswagen cancelled their line of credit because they hadn’t turned a profit for two years, so they couldn’t order any more cars. Only about 20k in debt. Just like that, done. After more than 6 decades…

    • jim s

      i read on another site ( autonews.com maybe ) that VW was also not happy the dealer had not updated the building or built a new one.

      • John

        That’s right, Jim. I just went back to the local newspaper article from last month, which mentions arguments with Volkswagen about updating the building. The corporate honchos also wanted the classic Beetles removed from the showroom, claiming “That’s not who we are anymore.” I loved the local owner’s response, though: “Maybe that’s the problem.” ;-)

    • jim s

      just visited 2 VW dealers who have 1960’s aircooled cars in their showrooms. i wanted to see the cars and the old buildings. one dealer has a new building and the other is still using a building from the 1960’s but has plans to build a new one very soon. both of the old VW spec. buildings are going to be torn down.

  9. Polarisky
  10. Charles

    I love this car!

  11. Alex

    I lived in New Milford for 14 years and yes it’s real. I have seen this car many times. It really needs to be in a museum or maybe the Volkswagen company should buy it and display it in one of their factories the way Toyota has the first Camry in the lobby of the factory in Georgetown, KY where I live now.

  12. DT

    Isnt this a European model, No bumper overriders.side markers/parking lights

  13. hhaleblian

    sold and relisted. Wha happened?

  14. jllgd

    Not true. It doesn’t say sold on eBay:

    ENDED1955 Volkswagen Beetle – Classic
    US $25,050.00

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