1959 Volkswagen Beetle: How Do I Love Thee?

1959 Volkswagen Beetle

Classic cars are getting so desirable that even cars like this mass produced VW Beetle are starting to go up in value. Admittedly, it is getting harder to find clean rust-free cars like this ’59 with each passing year. From the sounds of the seller’s listing here on eBay, this seems like a great classic for someone who is more interesting in maintaining and preserving than actually restoring. The color combo is great, parts are plentiful, and apparently it will most likely go up in value. Who would have ever thought that these cheap little cars would eventually become collector items?

Air Cooled

Split and oval window Beetles have been highly sought after for a while now because of their aesthetics and relative rarity. Nowadays most Beetle guys are happy to find a ’67 or older model at a good price. Volkswagen made little improvements along the way so the best driving cars are the newer ones while the older ones are the most collectible. I suppose this one lands somewhere in the middle with much of the character of the early cars, but with few extra ponies and better brakes.

Blue Interior

I really doubt those seat covers are original, but how many 50+ year old cars still have theirs intact anyway. Beetles can be fun to drive, but personally I feel like the driving position is a little awkward. The floor hinged pedals and wheel well intrusion bother me, but I also know they are just a couple of the quirky design touches that make a Volkswagen a Volkswagen.

Dry Paint

I’ve always like the idea of Beetle ownership. Since I was a kid, I knew that the Beetle enjoyed a cheap and plentiful parts supply here in the US. My mother and father even restored one before I came along and my father always spoke fondly of it. That’s even after theirs blew up one cold winter day on the way home. So, not only are Beetle cheap and easy to work on, but people will gladly overlook their flaws. Everyone knows that they are slow and that the heaters suck, but we all just seem to keep loving ’em anyway!

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Comments

  1. randy

    It’s funny but the “bugs” were going up in value in the 90’s while the 356’s and 912’s were still considered turds.

  2. Lee H.

    The tail lights are from a later VW. But everything else looks kosher.

    • John

      That is a 1960. None of it is correct for 59. Taillights, Doors,steering wheel. Front turn signal placement and front fender shape are all incorrect for 1959. They are correct for 1960. The interior is cheap reproduction. But still somewhat correct for 1960.

  3. Leo

    Seat cover could very well be original. Sold one last year that had the original interior in it and we’re in perfect condition except for the underlying foams. My big healey’s interior is all original and still in great shape.

  4. Oldstuff 1941

    What a Blast from the past !… My second car was a ‘Kalihari Beige’ 62 with the redish interior… After reading your intro, I was thinking, well at least I’m not the only one that has questions about the so called ‘100% complete’ originality of this car…

    I went to the ebay auction and looked it over…I saw several things I question. You mentioned the seat covers and I was thinking …nah… I do not remember any of these having ‘Piping’ originally. From the ebay photos, I noticed the door and window handles spacers and shift knob are clean white, originally they were a light beige… The Blinker handle has been replaced, since the original did not have the Black rubber on the end….Looking at the floor pan photos, it looks like rivets at the rear closest to the seat, indicating to me that pans were most likely replaced at one time.. I also saw ‘rivets’ at the top of the engine cover where the spring latch attaches,…none of mine ever had those..It’s also missing the sheet metal plates on each side to seal the engine compartment from the road…ALSO…. I would think that anyone with decent vision can see that this car has at some point, been painted on the rear fenders and engine cover…It seems those tailights are out of place also… not completely sure but I thought 59- 61’s still had the smaller ones…(I owned 4 early 62-66 bugs…and then two more 74 ‘Super Beetles,later in life,… a Coupe and a Karmann Cabriolet, BOTH with Air conditioning)…

    With the bidding at $6000 already I’m also thinking maybe some of these bidders never owned one of these.

  5. Oldstuff 1941

    All in all,… It’s a very nice little car that anyone should be proud to own,drive and preserve…!

  6. 8banger David M Member

    Ah yes,
    the days of air-cooled goodness and replacing push rod tube seals!

  7. Albert

    That car has a number of flaws for being a 100% original cars. First the vin is late 1960, not 1959 at the owner states. It has a 36 horse power engine from a 1957. It’s been painted once. The interior is not original. It’s not even done in the original style. That car is WAY too much money for what the seller claims it to be.

  8. Tory

    Car is definitely a 60 model with incorrect taillights. ’59s have icepick style pull door handles…

  9. Dan

    Abort! Abort! This is a cool car but the ad literally says its “100% original” and that is an out and out lie. The entire interior from top to bottom is new, it’s been repainted if you look close, wrong taillights, the list goes on. The others are right, too. Run the clearly-stated VIN, it’s a 1960 model. Then run the engine number, which was made in ’57! Still an okay car but considering these factors, it’s not worth what an all-original car would be and my concern is that a less experienced bidder may go higher on it because they believe the false information given in the ad. A ’59 is more valuable than a ’60, too, just since its from the ’50s.

  10. jim s

    sold for $ 6700.

  11. wayne

    Can anyone tell me were these photos were taken please? Looks like a recreated historic village.

  12. Oldstuff 1941

    Tory ,
    I wasn’t sure sure about the door handles… but thought they were wrong… Also,… I was wondering, wasn’t that car supposed to have the ‘Semaphore’ side blinkers?

    Semaphore Reference Guide and FAQ
    Thanks to Matthew Ross at > Wolfsburgwest VW resto parts
    This guide was prepared as a reference for the make, model, part number, lens color and arm style to help you quickly:
    * Identify which semaphores you have, or
    * Determine the correct semaphore for your vehicle.
    Year Model and Part Number Brand Lens Color Arm
    1940-1943 19290-left hand Orange Ribbed
    1940-1943 19294-right hand Orange Ribbed
    1943-1946 20 953 021-left hand Orange Ribbed
    1943-1946 20 953 022-right hand Orange Ribbed
    1946-July 1949 AL 142.001
    Right and Left
    or
    L143.001-2
    Right and Left SWF Orange Ribbed
    July 1949 -December 1953 AL.143.001.1
    or
    L.143.001-2
    or
    111 953 021 SWF Orange Ribbed
    July 1949 -December 1953 111 953 021 SHO Orange Grooved
    January 1954 -August 1957 AL 143.001.1
    or
    111 953 021B SWF Orange Smooth
    January 1954 -August 1957 111 953 021A SHO Orange Smooth
    September 1957 to August 1959 111 953021D SWF Yellow Smooth
    September 1957 to August 1959 111 953 021C SHO Yellow Smooth
    September 1959-August 1961 111 953021F SWF Yellow Smooth
    September 1959-August 1961 111 953 021E SHO Yellow
    K20605/1 Smooth
    Convertible 151 953 021 A
    or
    151 953 021 B
    or
    15.143.001.1 SWF Orange Smooth

  13. Tory

    Old stuff, after US market cars got the “bullet” turn signals on the front fenders, only the euro spec cars that came over here (usually by way of returning soldiers) had semaphores. This car was originally a US market car to begin with, so it’s got the correct “peanut” style front turn signal assemblies.

    • Oldstuff 1941

      Thanks Tory, ….That would explain it… I hadn’t even thought of that, but If I remember correctly, the 59 Beetle that a guy who lived down the street from me owned when I was a kid, had the Semaphores AND the fender blinkers Too ! I guess the fender lights could’ve been added later… LoL… so many ways that could’ve ended up happening…

  14. Mike

    Poster Jesse mentions the known weakness of the VW heating system. I owned a ’57 and then bought a ’62 new. As I was working up in Quebec, I soon learned the inefficiency of the heating system. But as an engineer/inventor, I also sought a solution – and found one. The secret is to add some baffles, ducts and a vent at the rear, to take some (or all on -30F days) of the air to cool the motor from the space behind the rear seat INSIDE the car, instead of all from outside. The Corvair also did this very effectively and the heat available is far improved. Adding insulation around the duct from the engine compartment can go a long way towards absorbing engine noise that might otherwise be ducted into the cabin ;)

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