Beetle Battle: ’67 and ’71 Barn Find VWs


Ah, a tale of two Beetles. Though it’s not hard to find a Beetle for sale in almost any configuration you want, it gets a bit harder if you’re on the hunt for an early model or a later-production Super Beetle. Well, we’ve got two possible projects up for debate, both of which were recently exhumed from long-term storage. First up is this 1971 Super Beetle here on eBay, currently bid to just over $1K. 


For some Beetle fanatics, the Super Beetle is the one to get if you’re a fan of the later models. Unlike earlier cars, the later ones had some engineering improvements to make them more usable as a daily-driver classic. This included slightly more storage space and a McPherson strut-and-coil spring suspension, which was a drastic improvement over the earlier car’s torsion bars. This particular Super Beetle does have some prior accident damage and rust issues going against it.


This earlier model here on eBay has been in storage since 2000 and personally is where I’d spend my money. I just like the thinner chrome bumpers and the smaller tail lights, but those are largely superficial concerns. The seller claims the engine will turn over freely with a jump and is completely original from stem to stern, which I can’t disagree with based on the photos. It looks like rust has become an issue behind the passenger-side headlight, so that warrants a closer look.


In the listing photos, there is plenty of surface-level corrosion on the floor pan, but it looks like a situation that warrants monitoring rather than replacement. This Beetle isn’t far from me in Seekonk, Massachusetts, and based on some of the stains on the hood and dash board, I’m guessing this was once a very clean survivor that was stored in poor conditions. Assumptions aside, which one looks like the Beetle to bring home to you?


  1. Howard A Member

    I like the ’67 as well. I never cared for the super Beetle, even though, it clearly is the more refined VW. It’s not why I would get a VW though. The ’67 is much more my style, and by looking at it, you’ve got to admit, it’s pretty basic. Does anybody know what that counter thing is on rear view mirror? The Beetle, like the Bugeye Sprite, is one of those instantly recognizable cars, a Lancia Appia, not so much. Fun times are usually associated with these, and everybody has a crazy VW Beetle story from their youth, and if you don’t, well, I feel sorry for you.

    • RJ

      A mileage counter.

    • Mark S

      HI Howard I had a 67 beetle and there are some things about them that make it a very collectable year
      First year with 12 volt system
      First year the head lights were set in a more upright position in the fender
      Only year for its interior features handles, window cranks, seats, radio to name a few.
      Final years to carry this bumper style.
      It Is a transition year and fairly rare and much more valuable than the 71 super beetle. I regret selling mine it end up being totaled by the guy that bought it he drove it under the back of a lumber truck and nearly totaled himself too.

      • Dave Wright

        As collectable as anything can be that 925,000 were made.

  2. RayT Member

    I’m with Howard A and prefer the older Beetle. Seems simpler and more basic — just like me!

    But for me to jump in, it would have to be older: specifically, a ’54, like the one my godfather owned and I briefly possessed. I suppose by 2016 standards — or even 1977 standards! — it would be considered pathetic, but I enjoyed every mile I put on it.

  3. American_Badaz

    Odd that the 67 has a heater box on the right side and a j-tube on the left.
    Why would you cut your heat supply in half, especially living in Mass?

  4. Joe T

    The 67 has a lot of one year only parts and is sought after by many VW fans. The 71 Super has serious rot in structural areas of the front suspension and would take a lot of metalwork to put right.

    • DrinkinGasoline

      The Super’s McPherson was in fact….the downfall.

      • Dave Wright

        I always found the strut suspension to be soft and sloppy, struts were always either failed or on there way to failing. I had a friend that was VP of Gabril shocks. With there warranty they lost money on every early strut they sold. The beam front end was nearly indestructible and could give very precise steering.

  5. DrinkinGasoline

    The two most desirable (aside the unobtainium split and oval) Type 1’s are the ’66 and ’67….’66 being the last 6v and one year only U.S. 1300cc powered fluted headlamp Type 1. The ’67 being the first U.S. 12v with upright headlamps, retaining the overider bumpers. Our ’66.

    • DrinkinGasoline

      We continue to drive Our ’66, as pictured. Unfortunately, the weather has once again forced it back into winter storage in the climate controlled garage attached to the house. Never fear….it’s tended to all winter long in the “Bug House”.

  6. Dave Wright

    My USCG son is redoing a 71 super right now, it was bought new by his in laws and used for many decades. We have the engine out for a refresh and to seal some major oil leaks. The plan is to do the top, shine and polish, off course new push rod tubes and all the usual stuf. I am dragging more stuff out of my grey matter as we go rembering what I have forgotten over the years. In the old days we could do these in our sleep, used to race in Pomona removing and reinstalling the engines. I have always preferred the standard beetle with a 12V system. Always seemed the best of the bunch. The 1600 dual port engine was the best for power but the A block 1300 could not be damaged unless you put bigger carburation on it…….the little PICT carb acted like a gouvomer and kept it alive. By today’s standards they got pretty poor fuel economy. Commonly around 26 MPG or even less with the big engines. The 1200’s did OK is driven carefully but they were also more fragile. We had some early 25 HP engines in the corner of the shop but never did anything with them. We repaired many engine fires and cars that had the back seat burned from people installing a tall battery and not replacing the battery cover. Many a rear seat passenger got a hot seat when the seat springs shorted across the battery posts.

  7. JCW Jr. Member

    My dad bought a new 66 biggest lemon he ever owned. Traded it in on a 67 falcon. Drove bug for a year and it was always in the shop for something. Had the falcon for about 5 years only needed a clutch under warrenty. The clutch was probably his fault he tended to drive it kinda hard. He once took the clutch out of my Impala SS street racing.

  8. M/K

    bull frog baja kit an a 1776

  9. audifan

    It looks like “some rust” has a totally different meaning for somebody living on the West Coast. We have a 1960 sunroof Beetle here in So. Cal. with NO rust. There are enough newer Beetles around in way better shape than these advertised cars.

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