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1958 VW Beetle Convertible: Cali Survivor


This 1958 VW Beetle convertible here on craigslist in San Francisco caught my eye this morning. I like it because it’s an earlier model, with the smaller tail lights and the recessed headlamps behind glass lenses, among other details unique to the earlier  production runs. In addition, given the quick rise in prices for bathtub Porsches, VW Buses and Vans, and even the occasional 914, I feel like the harder-to-find air-cooled Bugs can’t be far behind. Although this is priced a bit ambitiously at $5,000 for a project with lots of needs, my suspicion is that it will look cheap within a few years’ time. I don’t expect the later models from the 70s to be particularly valuable at any point, so there’s definitely a fine line in my prediction. I’d love to see this one restored with the classic 2-tone color scheme, white paint on the doors with red across the other surfaces. How would you bring it back?


  1. David C

    Restore it for sure. Restored bugs are much more valuable than customized versions.
    Don’t get me wrong it’s pretty cool to drive a bug with 100 plus hp and all the countless things you can do to one but this one would be very valuable restored. I expect it to sell fast at that price!

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  2. Doug M. (West) Member

    Gone? Add already pulled!!

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  3. MH

    Always been one of my many dream cars.

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  4. JamestownMike

    $5,000 was a STEAL!……..already gone!

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  5. Bobsmyuncle

    This vintage Bug has moved up in value long ago. This early of a convertible must be pretty rare I’d think however my knowledge resides primarily around the buses.

    Pretty confident it would be a solid colour as well.

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  6. That Guy

    AFAIK the two-tone color scheme is a customizer’s creation, not a factory offering. But I’m no expert; those who are please feel free to correct me.

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    • Jeff Staff

      You’re probably right – I loved it all the same, but I’d want to stick with the original design.

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  7. jim s

    we used to take the engine cover from a convertible and put it on a sedan. thinking was that it would provide more cooling air to the motor. years later ( 1970, from the information on the web site on todays bus listing ) VW did the same thing.

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  8. Alabee

    Had a friend whose parents had a similar model that was factory two tone beige.

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