91K Original Miles: 1961 Volkswagen Beetle

When it comes to original cars, the details can become exceedingly small but simultaneously grow in significance. It’s almost as if the more granular you get, the more the truly special cars stand out because not a single detail is “off.” This 1961 Volkswagen Beetle could be such a vehicle based on the details the seller captures in the description, which seems to suggest that very few, if any, details aren’t correct on this Gulf Blue survivor. The Beetle even retains its 6V system, which is practically unheard of in the air-cooled world. The Beetle is listed here on eBay with bids to $15,000 and no reserve.

Wow – what a great color. The seller confirms the paint is almost entirely original save for the engine lid which was repainted to fix an unfortunate scratch. The Beetle was sold new in Boston, Massachusetts, and left the dealership with an optional undercoating that has likely helped it stay rust-free. Adding to that was the fact it didn’t stay in New England very long, as it moved to southern Idaho shortly after leaving the dealer. Put the undercoating and climate together and you have a Beetle that has survived in much better condition than most of its siblings that stayed in snowy New England. The hubcaps still shine nicely and the bumpers appear laser straight.

The seller bought this Beetle from the son of the original owner following her passing. The car remains incredibly original, aside from new carpeting and a headliner. The car was equipped with the optional package tray under the dash, and while this is a desirable item, it’s rare to find them in good shape. Take a look at this one – all of the netting appears to be in perfect condition. That’s just amazing and tells the story of how carefully this Beetle was used. The door panels remain original and the seller confirms that the limited functions inside all work, including the turn signals, dome light, and horn. The heat still works, too, as confirmed recently via a morning test drive where the outside temperature was 27 degrees.

The engine has been serviced with a recent oil change and a carburetor rebuild. The seller has also installed a fresh battery. With only one small spot of rust bubbling noted and this otherwise being a rust-free car, this Beetle is likely as good as it gets for an untouched survivor. And while a better one may have been sold in the past and another car may come along that makes this ’61 look tired, for the time being this is the best one I’ve seen recently. The lack of reserve in this auction is surprising, as I believe this Beetle is certainly worth more than the current price bid here. Do you think it will clear $20,000?


  1. JW454

    I’d lose the shelf and the shopping basket. After that, just the scheduled and necessary maintenance and add some more miles.

    Like 6
  2. Adam

    I would add a roof rack.

    Like 0
  3. Truck Officer

    Take the back of the back of the backseat out. Couple big pillows and a blanket. Front seat backs forward and it’s amazing what a 6’4” teenager can accomplish. And with good tires you can really hide on old logging roads.

    Like 3
  4. Rw

    Had 68 Baja bug when I was 16, I went places my buddies Jeeps would get stuck in,I can relate to your comment Truck Officer.

    Like 0
  5. Jack Quantrill

    In ‘61, in Hawaii, students were hired to drive a shipload of VW’s from the docks to Honolulu dealers. What fun! We raced as fast as we could. When we arrived, the cars were popping, and crackling. Some break-in.

    Like 4
  6. TheOldRanger

    I have never understood why anyone would buy these “bugs”, especially in the 60s and early 70s. I taught school in west Texas for several years and driving from one town to another, I would often see one of these on its top from being blown over by those west Texas winds… these were underpowered, cramped, and not very stable on the road.

    Like 2
    • 19sixty5 Member

      Yup, and Ralph Nadar talked about Corvairs flipping over!

      Like 0
      • Terrry

        Ralph Nader had problems with a lot of cars not made by Ford…since he owned a lot of Ford stock.

        Like 3
  7. Kurt Member

    Rare low mileage car. I guess semaphores had been omitted by this time. Needs a VW flower vase hanging inside!

    Like 2
  8. Terrry

    When I see the prices of these, I have to shake my head. I owned four Bugs total back in the day, and when I had them you could get one for a song.

    Like 1
  9. Phillip Parmelee

    My first driving car was the same color, except it was a 62. Met my now wife a month after getting my driver’s license at 16, with many cold dates and drives following here in Michigan. Lo and behold, she married me anyway 2 years later, 4 days after my 18th birthday. Not sure I would recommend either the VW or marrying so early, but I loved that VW…….and my then girlfriend! Married over 50 years, now! :)

    Like 0
  10. Tom

    Had a 1959 Volkswagen from college days that I sold literally when we tore the barn down 25 years after storing it. Had 52,000 original miles and would start with fresh gas and popping the clutch on a nearby slope. Unfortunately the reason it was parked was it was rusted out bad with the rear fenders flopping.

    Like 0
  11. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    My first car was a “refurbished” 61 Beetle. Great car.

    Like 0
  12. Bo

    Pre-68 Beetles are getting more and more scarce. The fact that beetle were so abundant and cheap meant most got modified, abused or abandoned. These are super fun cars and super cute. Clean ones are only going to go up in price.

    Like 1
  13. Roland Schoenke

    I first thought this car was from my area as I have worked on one that is a spitting image.

    Like 0
  14. Mike

    Surprised they didn’t put a roof rack on it. A major faux pas!

    Like 0

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Get new comment updates via email. Or subscribe without commenting.