Black Plate Beetle: 1964 Volkswagen Beetle

1964 Volkswagen Beetle

The humble Beetle was built to be a cheap and basic form of transportation, but for some reason it is still loved by VW enthusiasts. The engineering was unique and the cars were higher quality than their price would have led you to believe. Finding good pre-65 cars is getting harder all the time though so this little guy caught our eye. It needs some attention, but is sporting a nice white over red color scheme and looks like a good start. It’s located in San Mateo, California and is listed here on eBay with about a day left.

Beetle Interior

The seller had plans to fix the car and drive it, but life got in the way. The car has already been converted to 12 volt, but is still riding on old bias ply tires. You will want to replace those right away and have a look at the brakes while you have the wheels off. The engine could use a tune up, but no mention is made of when or if it has been rebuilt. New seat covers and a good cleaning will work wonders in here.

Fender Damage

Most of the paint is original, but the seller made sure to spray some red primer all over the problem areas. Luckily, you can pull the fenders right off a Beetle and either repair them or replace them. I would try to save as much of the original paint on the body as I could and then bolt the repaired fenders back up. If it really as solid as the seller claims, this could turn out to be a cheap and easy project!


  1. Todd Zuercher

    Great little car. Always wanted a Bug as a kid and would still love to have one someday.

  2. RayT Member

    The price of nostalgia keeps going up! Maybe it’s just age talking, but seeing bidding heading north of $3500 for a Beetle just seems…crazy.

    But, yeah, buy, clean, make sure brakes work and throw on a set of fresh tires, seat covers and then drive. Over the years, I’ve seen countless Beetles treated that way, and they seem to thrive on it.

  3. jim s

    finding one without rust is a big plus. i would make this a daily driver for intown and back roads. having own and driven stock 40hp i think today interstate speed limits are too high for this. if the reserve is not to high someone is going to get a fun car. great find.

  4. francisco

    I’m not interested in this car. If I were, I wouldn’t bid because the seller’s arrogant and negative final comment in the description is a turn-off. He’s telling me not to be a flake! Would you buy a car from somebody this rude?

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      Well, giving the seller the benefit of the doubt, he has probably been burnt a few times on eBay. When I sold my father’s Cadillac a few months back, I kept having people bid who wouldn’t follow through. It was very frustrating and they ended up turning a week long auction into a month long ordeal. I don’t know if this seller is arrogant, but if you had spoke with me while I was trying to deal with deadbeat bidders, you probably would have thought the same thing about me.

  5. Matt Tritt

    Not only is the seller arrogant, but he’s also just the kind of guy who drives the price up on this kind of car. He clearly bought it just to resell, not restore, and you know he paid very little from the bad upholstery, primered fenders and greasy engine room. I bet it went for around 2 grand, which is what it’s worth in it’s current condition. Not that I wouldn’t mind having it!

    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Staff

      Lots of assumptions there Matt…

  6. Rick

    Bet the reserve is $6K. Heck, it’s a rust-free survivor, and the black plates attest to that. And when you see a piece of rust like that Speedster featured earlier going way into 6 figures (granted the whole early Porsche thing is a different dynamic), anything near $6K seems to be a bargain for the bug. Just sayin’

  7. bcavileer

    Gentleman please, please get a decent large monitor and look at the pics. Clearly has rust, clearly has had floor pan work. Stop the madness. Look before you buy the BS lines.

    • Duncan

      BC- Please elaborate- I see a little rust through on what I would guess is a splash shield (I’m a 356 guy looking on a MacPro). I don’t see evidence of pan work and it appears to be a pretty solid og beetle and I’m considering it. The pictures ain’t great but it’s pretty “honest” looking. No affiliation and Samba/Vanagon/356 knowledge only

  8. John M

    This is for sale about a block from where I grew up in SF. This is 5 blocks from the Pacific Ocean and if it spent it’s whole life in that area, it should be rusty. Owner sounds young and seems to not have owned it for long, but it may be an SF car which tend to get a lot of salt air.

  9. Tundra/BMW Guy

    Wow! Not sure what this guy did to crawl underneath everyone’s skin?!?!? Maybe somebody can explain what this young gentleman said or did? The way I read it, is a young man trying pay his way through school. If true, I respect that! I know the Internet is covered in con games and even if this guy is “conning” about school, he still has a product, that he is trying to sell, for money. He has no control over what others are willing to bid. Same thing everybody else on EBay is trying to do. His comment about flakes is unfortunately a very valid one as Jesse attests to. Just W O W!

  10. jim s

    at $ 3700 with less then a day to go and no reserve.

  11. Glen

    From the Son of the original owners’ Father? Think about that, then tell me who that is.

    • krash

      Glen…funny that you picked up on that….did Gramps take ownership when one of his sons passed prematurely….and then tossed his other son the keys…

      or did the grandfather take ownership and hand it to his grandson…

      hmmm… we must journey to Delphi to unwind this riddle..

  12. jim s

    sold for $ 3700.

  13. Mike

    If only closer to Missouri, I would pick this up in a heart beat. My Grandmother on Mom side drove one of these forever it seemed, I don’t know whatever happened to it, but her was the same color, I remember I always told her if she would bring it into the shop, I would paint it up like Herbie, but she was not up for it. She would make the 4 hour trip from Northern Mo to my parents home 3 or 4 times a year, by herself, because Grandpa hated the little thing, but he was 6’6″ tall also. Fond memories.

  14. Duncan

    So I bid and won this Beetle- despite the harsh commentary. (Jesse’s remarks were spot on.) Flew into SFO was picked up at the airport and taken to car. The seller is not a “flipper”; he is a 20 something VW geek finishing his paramedic internship in SF (which they charge you for). Car was exactly as described, very, very original down to tool kit and owners manual. Motor does not look to have ever been out of car, nothing other than surface rust anywhere that I could find and the condition totally matches the central CA narrative… it has a few more dents from storage, but will be a really fun car. The seller has also jumped in to get it running/driving for the cost of the parts this week just to help me out.
    Totally great experience. BTW BF Tee shirts got here today- awesome. Outstanding site guys thanks.. will send an update driving her around.

    • Jamie Palmer Jamie Staff

      Congratulations on the purchase, Duncan!!! Be sure to tell us more and send pictures!

    • Al

      Congrats on the Beetle! Panama Beige is the color! It should have a brown and beige vertical seam cord upholstery. I had one with 50k original on the clock for a while. I could not get around that Godawful filing cabinet color and sold it. But this one looks quite nice and solid!

      • Duncan

        Thanks Al-
        Actually it seems to be “Pearl White” (L87) with the original Red cord/Oxide red which was apparently another one of the combos you mentioned. I hope to find the original stuff!

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