BF Auction: 1966 Volkswagen Beetle

Sold for $13,300View Result

  • Seller: David S hort
  • Location: Caldwell, Idaho
  • Mileage: 100 Shown
  • Chassis #: 116 286 644
  • Title Status: Clean

UPDATE – The seller made some adjustments and the clutch noise went away so they have relisted the Beetle with a lower reserve!

Being forced to part with a classic project due to circumstances beyond your control is a bitter pill to swallow. However, that is the situation faced by the owner of this 1966 Volkswagen Beetle. It is a rock-solid car, but its humble exterior hides a heart of pure gold. The engine bay houses an updated powerplant that offers significant power and performance improvements, leaving the winning bidder to decide on the finishing cosmetic touches that would personalize this beauty. If you are sorely tempted, you will find the Beetle listed with us at Barn Finds Auctions.

If you’re going to tackle a project build, locating the best possible candidate is the ideal starting point. That was what the owner did, selecting a 1966 Beetle that was rust-free. The original owner undercoated this classic, meaning prone areas like the floors and heater channels are rock-solid. The exterior is equally impressive, although the owner describes the presentation as serviceable but rough. The Fontana Gray paint has chips, marks, wear, and other imperfections. The panels sport a few minor bumps and bruises, but none justify steel replacement. The beauty of these Beetles is that Volkswagen employed rudimentary construction techniques. That means that dismantling the exterior to the point where a new owner could undertake a high-end cosmetic restoration could be tackled in a home workshop. Most trim pieces look acceptable for a driver-grade project, and the seller includes some new items for those who wish to fulfill his dream of creating a vintage rally machine. The Hella driving lights are already installed, as are halogen headlights. However, the buyer receives amber headlight covers, mesh headlight guards, and new running boards.

The serviceable theme continues inside this Beetle, leaving the new owner to choose how they would like to finish it. The upholstered surfaces don’t feature gaping holes, but the headliner, carpet, and a few small items require replacement. A total retrim probably isn’t warranted, but it might be worth the cost and effort for those seeking a high-end result. Trim kits are readily available, and spending $1,500 on a high-quality version would give the interior a factory-fresh appearance. The painted surfaces might benefit from a refresh, but the buyer could tackle this during exterior restoration. The interior includes welcome upgrades, some practical and others to improve occupant comfort. The vintage Blaupunkt radio features upgraded internal components that provide AM/FM, iPod, and Sirius/XM functionality. The speakers aren’t installed but are included. The cabin stays toasty warm courtesy of a refurbished Southwind gas heater that works perfectly. The dash features additional gauges to monitor the powerhouse under the hood, including tach, oil pressure, oil temperature, and CHT and the winning bidder can install the refurbished Halda Speed Pilot and Halda Tripmaster Instruments with installed cables and drives, and the twin stopwatches to complete the vintage rally car theme.

This Beetle rolled off the line powered by the 1,285cc air-cooled flat-four, a new addition to the range for that model year. It sent 50hp and 69 ft/lbs of torque to the road via a four-speed manual transaxle. Performance was respectable for such modest figures, but this Beetle is now anything but mechanically standard. The owner wielded his wallet to produce a motor that would leave other Beetles in the shade. This 2,180cc brute is full of desirable components to extract the maximum power while maintaining civilized driving manners. The list of parts is enormous, including:

  • New CB Stroker Super Case, 90.5/92 size, full flow w/ 8mm case savers, shake-proof nut kit, and high-performance case kit.
  • New CB Panchito 044 heads with CNC reshaped 61cc chambers, titanium retainers, dual hi-rev springs, and Super Grip Snakeskin 40 X 35.5 valves.
  • New dual Spanish Weber 44 IDF carburetors with 36mm venturis.
  • New CB Panchito 044 match ported intake manifolds.
  • New DPR Deluxe Type 1 stroker crankshaft, Type 1 journals, 82mm stroke.
  • New Scat 4340 5.394″ balanced H-beam connecting rods, 3/8″ ARP 2000 bolts.
  • New AA Thick Wall Hypereutectic machine-in piston and cylinder set for 90.5/92mm case and 94mm heads. Perfect Circle rings installed on pistons by the machinist.
  • New CB Eagle 2242 racing camshaft, CB straight cut cam gears, 28mm ultra lifters, and CB aluminum Super Duty push rods.
  • New CB Super Stock rocker arms, compete set 1.25:1 ratio.
  • New Gene Berg oil pressure relief oil pump cover.
  • New Schadek 26mm oil pump with 8mm pump studs.
  • All bearings are Clevite 77, Kolbenschmidt, and Silverline.
  • New DPR chrome vanadium 12V 200mm flywheel lightened to 13 pounds.
  • New 200mm Kennedy 1700 lb. stage 1 pressure plate.
  • New Daikin solid center super duty clutch disc.
  • New Type 4 oil cooler.
  • New Concept-1 fan shroud – no heater holes (see Chassis note below re: gas heater).
  • New Setrab USA Series 1, 19-row oil cooler/fan pac with 180 deg. thermostat.
  • New Setrab USA Hyperflow canister oil filter with Mocal thermostatic sandwich adapter.
  • New CB Magnaspark 2 distributor, coil, and spark plug wires.
  • New Vintage Speed Abarth style exhaust.

The upgrades continue as we venture further below the Beetle’s surface as the owner tackled the car’s drivetrain as a total package. This list includes:

  • New – Rebuilt BENCO Freeway Flyer transaxle.
  • New alloy wheels with Porsche 356 Carrera-style spacers (extended lug bolts installed in rear drums).
  • New CSP disc brakes on front, ACN Super Stopper shoes in rear.
  • New KYB Gas-Adjust shocks.
  • New ACN ¾” heavy-duty front anti-sway bar.
  • New Vintage Speed shifter with new shifter connections front to back.

The owner says the car runs and drives exceptionally well, and I’m unsurprised by his statement that the motor has plenty of power. The temperature and pressure gauges sit precisely where they are supposed to. Everything is still tight because the package has only clocked around 100 miles since work concluded. The winning bidder faces further breaking in miles, unlocking more power to increase their driving pleasure.

The new owner of this 1966 Volkswagen Beetle will drive away in a classic with no immediate needs. They can take pleasure in breaking in that impressive drivetrain and enjoying everything this gem offers while they choose their path to completion. A simple cosmetic refresh would be straightforward, while an interior retrim is inexpensive. The beauty of a classic in this state is that it offers an opportunity for personalization. What would be your plans if you found this beauty in your workshop? If you have a clear vision, transforming the dream into reality could take a single bid. That has to be tempting.

Bid On This Vehicle

Sold for: $13,300
Register To Bid
Ended: Jan 18, 2024 11:00am MDT
Winner: Todd
  • Todd bid $13,300.00  2024-01-18 10:33:17
  • Cmarv
    bid $13,100.00  2024-01-18 10:01:10
  • Todd bid $12,900.00  2024-01-18 09:23:27
  • Cmarv bid $12,700.00  2024-01-17 22:39:42
  • cocranfill
    bid $12,500.00  2024-01-17 18:06:13
  • JOHN bid $11,000.00  2024-01-14 11:40:17
  • Todd bid $10,500.00  2024-01-11 20:31:58
  • cocranfill
    bid $10,000.00  2024-01-11 11:29:56


  1. Threepedal

    Was the steering wheel repositioned to make the auxiliary gauges more visible?
    Sweet VW!

    Like 2
  2. mike

    Very nice build.Like the rally theme.Like the wheels.Question….does the front sit to high??

    Like 4
    • WT1998ZX2

      like an inch or two……

      Like 0
    • Steve Bush Member

      Looks like a nice basis for a fun car and looks like it will end up selling for a fairly reasonable price. Nice to see all the pics and details on the work done. Get tired of seeing little info and a couple pics and the seller wants $30k for something that’s missing a lot of parts and is far from drivable in the foreseeable future.

      Like 0
  3. Mister Green

    A twin-weber 2180 motor-powered bug is pretty fast. It’ll pull the front wheels off the ground.

    Like 6
  4. Tom

    Amazingly Caldwell, Idaho is my hometown that I have not been back to in decades. I bought a 65 VW new and loved it but it was under powered on the open highways. OK in town. Wish I could travel there to check this one out in person. BTW love all these postings and some of them bring back many different memories.

    Like 5
    • Richard Jones

      Ditto, i was born there and only have been back once since i was 3. Nice bug and wish i could have it.

      Like 0
  5. Lincoln B Member

    What is the black filter canister under the front hood used for?

    Like 0
    • Hank

      I believe an early iteration of an EVAP system.

      Like 0
    • Christopher

      That’s a gasoline-fueled auxiliary heater. Very rarely seen in bugs, a bit less rare in buses and Things.

      Like 2
  6. Derek

    Leave it a bit scruffy and practice yer starts…!

    It’s fun driving something that’s unexpectedly – to others – quick.

    Like 3
  7. Big C

    Beautiful Bug. I’d leave the body as is, and drive her!

    Like 2
  8. KaferDave Member

    Seller here. Lincoln B: The black canister under the hood is an old element oil filter container that is vented and serves as the “gas tank” for the gas heater. I did not want the heater to draw directly off of the gas tank.
    Mike: All suspension is stock height. In everything I researched to establish the suspension, all said the stock height was best without going to extremes, such as changing to IRS, Kafer bars, etc. A swing-axle bug is no Miata for sure so did not try to make so. This was in keeping with the answer to Threepedal below.
    Threepedal: The steering wheel has not been moved. All of the car was held to stock condition as much as possible, save performance items. The car could be put back to stock all the way around if desired.

    Like 14
    • Lincoln B Member

      Thanks for the reply, very well done buy it and drive it, the price as I comment is to low you deserve more.

      Like 3
    • MrBobbbb

      Lincoln B, Didn’t you have this for sale on Hemmings last year? I recognize the fuel tank setup for the heater.

      Like 0
      • Lincoln B Member

        No sadly it was not me.

        Like 0
  9. Joshua Mortensen Staff

    Jesse and I have had the pleasure of knowing KaferDave for a while now and at one time, this Beetle was actually parked in the BF Garage. We purchased it from him with the engine out. We put the engine back in, but before we had a chance to finish it, we sold it back to him to make room for a different project. Once he got it back on the road, he took us for a ride in it and it was awesome! If we had space for it, we would love to have it back, but unfortunately, I’ve got too many of our projects torn apart.

    The next owner is going to have fun driving this Bug!

    Like 7
  10. Jeff Langbehn

    Any rust on the body or otherwise? Very desirable bug, dependable, affordable, and practical. Good job !

    Like 1
    • KaferDave Member

      Seller: Jeff, Thank you. As can be seen in the photos, there is some surface rust and dust (from a wind storm last year that blew copious amounts of dust from the adjacent field and made its way into the shed where parked) that has adhered to the front beam and looks like rust but isn’t. The undercoating has abraded off of the bottom of the floor pan but as can be seen is solid. Suggestion by Kirk TA to apply POR-15 to the chassis is, I think, a good one. The only rust issue I have seen is some pin holes in the bottom of the spare tire well which is a noted problem area. A small repair panel has been installed. No rust in the battery area or anywhere else that I have encountered.

      Like 2
  11. Hank

    I’m glad upgrades for the powerplant (via Sand Rails I’m sure) are now becoming common, but as a Corvair guy I’d drop a souped up Corvair 4X1 bbl engine with a reverse rotation kit. Probably get about 160 HP from it. The Screamyest VW around!

    Like 3
    • Christopher

      A Corvair swap wouldn’t fit under the stock engine lid and apron and would look terrible. They do fit into buses well, though all the ones I’ve seen used the Corvair transaxle as well, so it could rotate as designed. At that point, I’d prefer an FC Corvair anyway.

      Like 1
  12. Kirk

    Nothing better than a high performance air cooled VW boxer engine.. the sound is exquisite. I’m only running 1800cc with racing heads, cam, exhaust etc in my roughly 1200 pound tubeframe buggy and the joy produced behind the wheel with foot to floor is immeasurable.. I’m sure this beetle will be much of the same when broke in . The engine spec is indeed impressive but if mine i’d be very tempted to upgrade to IRS. Beetles can have outstanding road handling when set up correctly. I use the IRS and torsion bars from the bus for greater stability handling +durability

    Like 1
  13. Frank TA

    Nice car. Only thing that needs to be done is to brush some “POR-15” on that chassis to preserve it for many years to come.

    Like 4
  14. Rob

    Who did the engine work?

    Like 1
  15. Derek

    The world of historic rallying is probably the best place to find a home for those. Historic Monte Carlo and so on; they like their period-correct accessories!

    Like 0
  16. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

    I wish I’d known you had these Dave! Josh and I go on TSDs once in a while and they would have made our lives easier.

    Like 0
  17. Perry

    I had a ’73 Beetle over 40 years ago *I was in my early 20s *. Stock as could be and THAT was a blast to drive, oversized go-cart that went through the snow bbeautifully. Oh the fun/trouble I could have had in THIS ONE! And I wouldn’t have had to get splashed in the face while driving from a rotten floor pan or stick my head out the window to drive home from work during a sleet storm 😒🥶

    Like 4
  18. Arne73

    Very well done! My fun car is a 73 Super , 2180 similar attention to the internals but w/dual Dellorto 45’s. Agree with the seller about the suspension and expectations. This will be lots of fun for whomever wins the auction.

    Like 2
  19. Chad Cranfill Member

    Will this come back up for auction?

    Like 1
    • KaferDave Member

      Seller: Chad, yes it will. I did not feel comfortable with the noise that appears to come from the clutch and therefore pulled the auction. I spoke with a local air cooled VW/Porsche shop here in Boise and explained the noise and components that were installed. They seemed to think that since that year of VW originally came with the finger clutch and now has the diaphragm clutch installed, the original free play distance is too tight and may pushing the diaphragm blades against the clutch disk hub. I will re-adjust the free play and test. If all goes well, I will set the car back to auction. This will be after Christmas since family is here for the holiday. Thanks for the question.

      Like 4
  20. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

    The Beetle has been relisted with a lower reserve!

    Like 1
  21. Al camino

    Too bad most of these sellers don’t leave this many pictures when they sell a car! Some give you two or three pictures and there you go

    Like 0
    • Steve Bush Member

      And they want $30k or so for something that isn’t currently drivable and will require another $30k or so and several years of work to be drivable.

      Like 0
  22. Slomoogee

    WOW what a perfect build. I would leave this as is and enjoy it. Nice to see a VW set up like this one instead of the Cal look busses and the desert wanna be Things. Fashion a bracket for the speed pilot, trip master, and stop watches mount it in glove box. Put the gravel guards on the lights and head to the next stage. You won’t need the speakers just listen to that built engine. Well done Dave

    Like 0
  23. Davey Boy

    Add to the suspension so it rides on rails. Break in the motor correctly and drive it the way it was built. “FAST”!!! Very nice build. Personally I would come up with a blue theme. Only because I like the beetle in dark-ish blue. If only my situation were different. Hope you get what this is really worth. Definitely worth more than it’s selling for right now. GLWTS

    Like 0
  24. Cmarv Member

    I’m a GM muscle car guy and have a 71 Chevelle SS convertible , a 67 RS/SS Camaro convertible , a 67 Malibu convertible , a 66 Stingray convertible and a 68 442 convertible and I have a 72 Super Beetle that is a bit of a rat-rod with a much lighter built motor that’s rowdy and I get more seat time in it than the other cars put together not for any other reason other than I just have a blast driving the Bug . I grew up in the back seat of multiple Beetles that my dad purchased new every year starting in 1950 and ending with a 66 model that was sold in 1973 , he kept it around for winter duty and unfortunately the tin worms had gotten the best of it . In high school a friend had a 67 with a built motor , fiberglass fenders , Hurst shifter and a header with a single outlet tailpipe , he would sit a Miller pony bottle in front of the front wheel and pop a wheelie over it without knocking it over , he also regularly beat some of the V8 powered “muscle cars” that were on the back parking lot . I used to buy em for $50-100 bucks and just beat the living guts out of em . They are just so fun . This is an amazing car and I really don’t have any room for it but damn I’m so tempted . I salute the owner and I really feel bad for him selling something that I can tell he put his heart and soul into .

    Like 1
  25. giadeFLIGHTNING

    VeryQool. ’66 was always my FaVored year for Volkswagens & iLove tgat Colour ( is the Cabin Blue?🙃). I even have a “CalLook” ’66 Sedan in the backyard now, that i don’o what to do with (Everything else is there in one piece, yet it has nO Engine)🏁gF☮️

    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.