Barn Find Oval Window: 1956 Volkswagen Beetle

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It’s amazing how many places desirable collector cars can be found, hidden away. You’d be forgiven if you thought they were just in dense urban population zones, like Los Angeles or New York. But the truth is, barn finds are everywhere and examples like this rare, early Volkswagen Beetle with the desirable oval rear window are still out there. This car, like so many others, has been in one owner’s care for the last 20 years and apparently hidden from view – and based on the barn it is in, the seller has more than a few Beetles to keep him company while this very complete example moves onto a new home. Find it here on Facebook Marketplace in Lake George for $14,500.

The Beetle looks quite handsome with its steel gray paint over whitewall tires and the classic chrome bumpers with overriders that were synonymous with early models. The bullet-style turn signals are another clue that this is an early example, along with the obvious oval rear window. The bodywork looks quite tidy despite  the Beetle residing in snow country, and it’s even more impressive when you factor in that this car has not been laid up for restoration – it’s a running, driving example, and as seen in these photos, it can mosey on down the road under its own power.

The engine is described as a numbers-matching unit and looks quite clean in pictures. Given the seller’s storage arrangement, I have to believe he is a true air-cooled fanatic, because if you’re storing your favorite type of vehicle on rafters about the ones that run and drive, you have officially migrated into “next level” status as it relates to collecting one type of car. The oval window is likely one of the more valuable Beetles the seller owns, and I’m curious as to why he’s selling – I can only imagine there’s another project he’s looking to finish that’s better than this one, or otherwise more deserving of restoration.

Of course, that’s my own bias at work, as I always figure there’s no way someone is simply selling a car to cut down on an out-of-control collection, or putting some money away for a rainy day. No, it must be to grow what he already has, or lavish another car with more time and money! Regardless of the intent, someone looks to snare a honey of an oval window, as the interior doesn’t show any surprises, either, with a backseat that looks like it was barely used, and a gorgeous silver/gray vinyl inside the cabin. Early Beetles are the ones to buy, and if this one is as nice as described in the listing, the asking price seems downright fair.

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    • Joe Backer

      “That guy” needs a hair cut…

      Like 1
  1. T

    I had one similar to this but it had no turn signals, no gas gauge (had a lever on the floorboard for an auxiliary tank), and had a porthole for a back window. Titled as 1957 but I’m beginning to have doubts as the true year.
    Bought it for $25 and sold it for $75.00

    Like 15
  2. chipsbee

    Best I can tell from these pics, this is a 1956. The turn signals, cloisinee emblem at the trunk handle and steering wheel all look correct.

    We had a 1955 Beetle as our family’s 2nd car ever, the 1st was a 1936 Packard businessman coupe. The VW was a step in the right direction. The 36HP power seems sufficient for the day, might take a spell to get up to speed. It will have a non-syncro 1st gear if original and minimal heat delivery in the cold.

    Like 7

    If I could come up with a good way to heat the cabin, I’d have a Beetle as a winter driver. The featured example looks way too nice to use for that purpose. I sure do like it, though.

    Like 4
    • MBorst

      They make gas heaters for them

      Like 4
      • Fred Alexander

        Yes they had gas heaters in them that sometimes startled the unknowing passenger or newbie driver when they ignited with a WHOOMPH – – – and there was “Warm”
        I had a 1961 or 62 that was a red color and It was a good car with a TEXACO decal on the side – – – she a courtesy car for my Texaco service station – – – in 1968 I was the first person in Saskatoon to offer a courtesy car to customers who’s vehicles might be tied up for a couple of days or more for repairs (engines. trany jobs etc.) Users liked the experience since most had neb\ver driven one.If it wasn’t out on loan, I used it to chase to suppliers for parts and going back and forth from home to work.
        Great cars.

        Like 9
  4. Mark

    That’s a really good price for a umolested oval. Watch it reappear at a higher price !

    Like 6
  5. steve.

    No idea about where this car came from but Lake George is a resort area where several wealthy families had “cottages” on the lake. Drive up from NYC in the Eldorado and use the beetle as the “go to town car” with wet bathing suits etc. Easy to park in town with all the tourists and you don’t want french fries and melted ice cream on the carpet of the Caddy! Store it in the carriage house at the end of the summer. Just a guess, but I’ve seen this type of thing before.

    Like 10
  6. Richard l kegel

    I had a 61 beetle. Miseaurable little car. Never ever want another.

    Like 2
  7. MBorst

    I knew of a split window sitting in a barn near my Uncle’s when I was a young driver. I begged the people too give me the owner’s name and phone number. They would not, starting he was a professor at Western and he was in the middle of a nasty divorce. It was the following winter the blizzard if 78 brought the barn down on top of the car. 😥

    Like 2
  8. TimM

    Even know they made so many Volkswagens these are becoming a bit rare!! It’s in great shape for the price!!

    Like 2
  9. Skip

    I had a 56 bug with a rotten floor pan the body was in excellent shape so I switched bodies with my 1965. Had to do some work in the engine compartment to make room for the Porsche engine. But I had directional flaps behind the doors on mine.

    Like 2
  10. EBorst

    A similar situation happened to me with a 1960 Doka. When that tool shed came down, it totally obliterated cab and bed gates.

    Like 0
    • MBorst

      EBorst , Where you outta ?

      Like 0
  11. Michael Kunze

    I thought this article was about a 1956 Volkswagen Beetle with an oval rear window. Where’s the picture of the “oval” rear window?

    Like 2
  12. Joe Backer

    I wanted to buy a dune buggy in my area. I regret of not filling out my bucket list.

    Like 0
  13. Richrd kegel

    I owned a 1961 vw for a number of years in the 1960’s, what a miserable car. I never ever want another vw bugl

    Like 1
  14. Richard

    I owned a 1961 vw beetle in the 1960s. What a miserable car. I never ever want another.

    Like 1
    • karl

      So you’ve said- three times now !

      Like 4
  15. Jeff

    Gas heaters never did work in the 2 I had, but sure did make a lot of noise hahaha

    Like 1
  16. John M.

    What makes an underpowered, sparsely equipped car with a poor heater and defroster worth $14,500? Just goes to show you how much the dollar has devalued over time!

    Like 2
  17. gerardfrederick

    The guy who claims to have owned a ´61 and found it ¨miserable¨ seems to me to be a troll. He repeated his remarks 3 times as well as using different name identifications. He is the first perspon I know of who makes negative comments about the Beetle. Something about this guy is fishy.

    Like 7
    • 38ChevyCoupeGuy

      Probably the same guy who has his ride listed ,only needs a 12 buck part,new “breaks” on back seat. Also, he will not accept “lowball offers “, and doesn’t have time to “waist”. Just needs a daily driver.😁

      Like 0


    Like 0
  19. David RMember

    My first car was a 12 year old 1967 light blue bettle. I loved it and got myself a light blue 1966 last year. The 67 had the heater under the hood and blew out below the glovebox doing a great job.

    Like 1

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