BF Auction: 1955 Volkswagen Beetle

This auction has been pulled for now. Thanks for all the interest!

  • Seller: James S ommers
  • Location: San Diego, California
  • Mileage: 57,500 Shown
  • Chassis #: 1872899
  • Title Status: Clean

UPDATE – Additional photos of this Beetle have been added to the gallery below, including photos of the floor pan and previous rust repairs.

Few automobiles have seen the same level of success as the Volkswagen Beetle. Over 21 million air-cooled Beetles were built and sold worldwide, with the last one being built in 2003. Even lowly Super Beetles have a dedicated following, but early examples tend to be the most sought after, especially ones with nice patina. This 1955 Oval Window has an awesome look to it and is right in the sweet spot of driveability, desirability, and value. It’s a sorted driver that’s ready to enjoy, but just needs a new owner who will enjoy it as much as reader James S has. If that person is you, it’s located in San Diego, California and you can make it yours by casting your high bid below.

The Beetle saw a few changes over its production run, most notably the changes made to the rear window. Early examples featured a split rear window, then the oval window, and finally, the large window body came along. These changes improved visibility and likely reduced production costs. While everyone has their own preference in style, oval window cars are typically considered to be a nice balance of looks and usability. Production of the oval window began sometime in late 1952 and was phased out in ’58.

By the time this Beetle was built, VW had enlarged the air-cooled 4-cylinder engine to 1200 cc. This brought horsepower up from 25 to 30 while also improving the engine’s willingness to rev. It might not be a ton of power, but weighing in around 1,700 pounds means you don’t need a lot of power to move these cars down the road. They aren’t quick by any means, but there are lots of upgrade options for those so inclined. This car’s engine is the original numbers matching unit, so we would consider leaving it as is. If you really need more power, new high-performance engines are available, and swapping a Beetle’s engine is a straightforward task.

Beetles are about as simple a vehicle as you can get. The interiors are basic, but functional and comfortable. This one appears to be in its original condition and might benefit from some work. The main areas needing attention are the headliner and the carpets, although you could easily enjoy it as is. Just about every part of the Beetle is now being manufactured, so getting parts to restore this one is easy to find and affordable.

While the patina look isn’t for everyone, at least you know what you are getting here. There are a few problem spots on the body, but photos have been provided of those areas for further inspection. The car was recently treated to new shocks at all four corners, new wheel bearings, and a new set of tires.

This Bug looks like a great find with a ton of character. The seller states that it runs like a champ, they’ve provided a video below to prove as much. If you’ve been on the hunt for an oval window, this might just be the find for you! Please leave any questions you have for James in the comments section below.

 

Comments

  1. Davey Boy

    very nice!!!

    Like 9
    • James S (Seller)

      Thanks, hate to see it go but need to thin the herd.

      Like 6
  2. justpaul

    Solid condition, great color combo, and an oval window to boot.

    If I didn’t already have the Fiat in the garage, I’d have to consider this even though it is 3000 miles away. But it’s probably better that this stays in a dry environment.

    Best of luck. Someone is going to get a good one.

    Like 6
  3. alphasud Member

    Probably one of the nicest unmolested example of an oval I have ever seen. Would make a really straightforward restoration whether it be a sympathetic one or a rotisserie. As justpaul mentioned great color combination. I found my 71 in San Diego. Good place to find VW’s that are still whole.

    Like 7
  4. John

    Did VW Beetles in Canada have a really thin steering wheel with 3 spokes instead of a bat steering wheel? Seem to remember that in the early sixties but was just a kid. If anyone knows please enlighten me.

    Like 0
    • -Nate

      Yes John ;

      There was a ‘Canadian Standard’ that had hydraulic brakes, flashing turn signals and U.S. style bumpers, exterior bright body moldings .

      -Nate

      Like 0
  5. Pete Arons

    Isn’t this the same car that twice failed to sell out on eBay?

    Hope you have better luck here.

    Like 1
    • James S

      Failed to reach the reserve twice in fleaBay. Thanks for the reminder.

      Like 0
  6. Dan

    I would make sure that rust is not penetrating rust before I do a matte clearcoat to preserve the looks, which I like. And Beetles are one of the few vehicles where you can do a performance upgrade simply by exchanging the engine. I like it!

    Like 1
    • Yblocker

      “Beetles are one of the few vehicles you can do a performance upgrade by simply exchanging the engine”? Would that not hold true with every vehicle ever made? Lol

      Like 1
      • Dan

        Yes, my initial comment sounds a little simpleminded, but what I meant to say is that the exchange can be made more easily on Beetles than on most cars to the point where most backyard mechanics can do it and the job can be accomplished in an hour, maybe even less.

        Like 3
  7. Jeff

    Beautiful Bug, and like a 1955 bug should, it has “The Whistle”. when you rev the engine.

    Like 2
  8. Leonard Ira Vernon

    Beautiful Bug. Wish i kept my 64!

    Like 3
  9. Eddie

    Aftermarket bumpers, looks like the glove box doesn’t match, is that the original color? Do you have the birth certificate?

    Like 0
    • Eddie

      Can’t answer?

      Like 0
      • James S

        Hi Eddie, Are you really interested in it or picking it apart?

        Like 1
      • Eddie

        James,
        I’m interested in knowing exactly what I’m buying. the questions I asked are common for folks in the VW crowd. Can you please provide the info requested.

        Like 1
    • James S

      No birth certificate

      Bumpers appear to be original

      Glove box probaby is not original as it is a slightly different color.

      This is the original color of the car.

      Like 1
  10. Aaron

    Do you have pictures of the typical rust spots? Under pan? Heater channels? Battery tray? Under the fenders?

    Like 2
    • James S

      Absolutely, as you can see it’s raining here in San Diego. The car is stored in a carport but the lighting is poor. As soon as the rain lets up I’ll be happy to provide you pics.
      James

      Like 1
    • James S

      Added some new pics as requested. If you would like to see anything else in particular let me know. Happy to take pics of whatever.
      https://photos.app.goo.gl/34zsVFzX5DnTs1Uw5

      Like 1
  11. Kevin Yahtzee

    The current bid is at $4k, but I expect it to climb rapidly and reach over $25k before the auction ends. Splitties and Ovals don’t sell cheap, especially in this condition. I’ve seen people offer $4k just for a VIN tag or the “W” engine lid (bonnet).

    Like 0
  12. -Nate

    A nice little car if tired .

    Those who care should be aware the floor pans have been replace and there are low quality rust patches in the front foot wells .

    The deck lid needs welding, if the ripped out spring perch is included this isn’t a big deal .

    The spring is different and co$t$ a bit more .

    The front bumper is a low quality Brazilian replacement .

    Overall this is a nice tidy Beetle but if you think you can leave it like this you’re in for disappointment in a few short years .

    I’m keen to see what it’ll bring .

    -Nate

    Like 0
    • James S

      Why do you feel the bumpers are aftermarket?

      Like 0
      • Eddie

        German bumpers didn’t have the rubber grommets on them.

        Like 0
      • -Nate

        I replied but my reply didn’t post .

        The shape of the low co$t Brazilian bumpers is different .

        Also, if you look at the weld ments on the over riders they’ll be different .

        My reply had more detail but folks interested in this neat old VW sould know what they’re getting into .

        -Nate

        Like 2
  13. stu Member

    Not sure what’s going on with this one. Bids for it ended Saturday 12-3 on eBay at $15.1K—Reserve Not Met. Today, 12-4, it’s back on eBay with a Buy it Now price of $23K.

    Like 1
    • James S

      What are you confused about?

      Like 0
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      We asked the seller to pull the eBay ad down. Thanks.

      Like 2
  14. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

    This auction has been pulled for now. Thanks for all the interest.

    Like 2